Why is my dog limping?
To see your dog limp is something that makes you concerned and worried about its well being. Nothing makes you happier than an energetically bounding dog to greet you when you are home. A limping dog is reluctant to even walk, leave alone run or jump in glee. While this makes you sad, it is important to ascertain the exact cause of limping so as to help your dog recuperate faster and easier.
Types of limps
There are two types of limps in dogs; gradual onset and sudden onset. While gradual onset could be because of an underlying medical condition like those related to bones and muscles, sudden limps are mostly due to an injury or trauma. In general, gradual onset limps in dogs are caused by an underlying chronic or degenerative condition, such as osteoarthritis or dysplasia. Arthritis is more common in aging dogs or in overweight ones that have never had their share of required amount of exercise. In some case arthritis is seen in dogs living in extremely cold conditions as lack of proper exposure to sunlight leads to deficiency in certain important vitamins and triggers arthritis in them. Some other causes of gradual limp include bone cancer or hip dysplasia. Whatever the underlying medical reason is, the treatment becomes easy and effective if they are caught sooner rather than later.
Common reasons of limping in dogs
Paw injury- When you take your dog out on a walk without his shoes on, there are chances that he could step on something sharp like shredded glass or sticks and thorns or sharp edged pebbles and cut his paws. This injury makes it uncomfortable for them to walk and if left untreated, the injury could worsen into a more severe infection. Insect or animal stings and bites, broken toenails, carelessness while trimming nails, frostbite or bruising are other common causes of their paws being injured and their consequent limping. If you notice your dog licking his paw incessantly, there are strong chances of his paw being injured. Waggfluence cares for your dog and hence has come up with Waggfluence pet walking shoes to keep your dog’s paws safe while walking. Waggfluence electric dog nail clippers ensure that you do not accidently cut his nails beyond the quick of the nails and hurt them.
Joint disease- The gradual wear and tear on joints and the musculoskeletal system in dogs may lead to subsequent limping in dogs. Their limbs may get mildly or severely affected by a lot of diseases like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, ligament disease, intervertebral disk disease, and osteochondritis dissecans i.e. OCD among others. Sometimes pet parents miss having their dogs on an effective tick preventative. In such cases, the dogs might catch infections like Lyme disease which can also cause joint pain and limping. If your vet confirms arthritis or dysplasia, they may put your dog on a veterinarian grade joint supplement of glucosamine and chondroitin. Joint supplements are clinically proven to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. These are great to be used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis as these drugs are considered safe for long term usage.
Injury or trauma- Dogs are prone to almost as many injuries as we are. From car accidents to sports injuries, ligament tears, fractures, sprains, dislocations, joint trauma and spinal injuries can all cause moderate to severe limping in dogs. In some cases when the dog is not able to put weight on the affected leg, proper rest should be given until an appointment with the vet.
Treating a limping dog
Deciphering the reason of limping makes it easy to treat the limp. When the cause of limping is clear like a broken bone or a piece of glass in a paw pad, the treatment by the vet is done accordingly. When the cause is more elusive and need tests, your vet may recommend radiographs, biopsies and joint fluid collection and/or blood tests to identify broken bone, joint disease, skeletal abnormalities, cancer or infectious diseases like Lyme. Depending upon the cause of the dog’s lameness, the treatment plan could be simple as a few days of rest, or it could entail surgery, medication and a prolonged recovery. The key is to visit the vet as soon as possible for better prognosis. Till then, keep your dog calm and abstain from exercise or play.
Happiness knows no bounds when you see your limping dog walking straight after treatment. Waggfluence wishes all the pets a healthy life so that you as pet parents do have extra reasons to worry. All pet products and pet grooming supplies at Waggfluence are designed to keep your dog safe and far from injuries. For more information and shopping on Waggfluence, stay tuned for latest updates. We love to pamper your fur baby just the way you do!