If you see your dog is limping but aren’t sure it’s not a serious injury, there are some things you could do to help right away. First, check the area around the injured limb. Is there a particular place your dog is limping that you could pinpoint to be the issue? This may be the cause of the problem.
Many dogs have pain in their paws and if they are moving around too much, especially while playing or going for a walk, this is a common symptom. Limping isn’t usually a serious problem but it can be very uncomfortable for your dog. If it is painful for him, he likely isn’t enjoying the activity as much as he could. A frozen limb in this area is a very serious concern and you’ll want to seek veterinary care right away.
Dogs don’t usually seek medical attention unless something is seriously wrong. Your dog may limp because he’s injured. He may have some type of infection in his toe or his paw or he could even be suffering from Bursitis or a more severe type of arthritis. In most cases, your dog will just limp but in some instances, he could collapse onto his back, lose circulation and even break a bone. In order to save him, you must intervene as quickly as possible.
When your dog is limping around, I recommend heading straight to the veterinarian. When you take him in to the vet, you need to let them know what is going on. You should also ask any questions, your vet may have. It’s critical for them to make sure that he is okay and if there was indeed something stuck in his paw or foot, it needs to be taken care of right away.
First of all, your veterinarian should assess the extent of your dog’s lameness. They can then determine whether he is going to need surgery or not. If your dog has a severe amount of lameness, they will most likely want to perform surgery to put a stop to it. If it was only slightly problematic, you might just need to take him to the vet for observation and to make sure that he doesn’t have any broken bones or too much pain in his limbs. In some cases, simply getting some pain killers and physical therapy may do the trick. In other cases, surgery might be required.
Your vet may perform some lab work in order to confirm the presence of joint pain. Lab work such as x-rays and CT scans can indicate the presence of various bone or joint conditions. X-rays will show you, where exactly the lameness is located in your dog’s body. An x-ray will also help the vet know how advanced the condition of your dog is and what kind of treatment he might need.
Once your dog’s condition has been confirmed by a lab work, you may already have an idea on what causes it. There are many different causes of lameness in dogs, ranging from old age to arthritis to trauma and even genetics. Because it can be caused by so many things, your veterinarian might want to run a full series of tests in order to be sure. It might even be necessary for them to conduct a bone scan in order to verify if there is something more serious at work. Don’t hesitate to tell your veterinarian about every potential cause so that they can run tests and do further examinations in order to come up with a proper diagnosis.
Even though there are many causes of dog limping, no matter what is causing it, your vet will always give you the okay to keep your dog active and happy. It is important for them to take a holistic approach and treat the entire body of your pet, rather than just one symptom. If they suspect that something more serious than exercise is at work, they will usually refer you to a specialist such as an orthopedist, a neurological specialist or an internal medicine vet. Although these professionals are much more trained in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the internal organs, they are not generally known as experts when it comes to canine health issues.