If your beloved dog isn’t getting around like he used to, it could be a sign of a greater health concern. Limping or lameness in dogs can range in concern from a minor bruise to serious injury. If your dog’s limp is not constant, it may be due to how the injury is manifesting itself or due to their ability to mask pain. With a great deal of factors, it is important to take your pet’s pain seriously, monitor it to the best of your ability, and ultimately make a visit to your neighborhood veterinarian.
At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic in Colorado Springs, we have treated virtually every health concern that leads to limping or lameness in dogs. Below are common reasons dogs experience limping as well as how to help your pet become comfortable again.
Signs Your Dog Is In Pain
If your dog is injured, he will likely do anything he can do mask the pain. Due to biology, dogs never want to appear weak in order to protect themselves from prey. In knowing this, it is important to take every injury seriously and monitor whether your dog’s limp occurred gradually or suddenly.
Gradual limping may occur when an injury is minor but putting pressure on joints leads to increased pain. Many gradual limps are caused by underlying conditions that may get worse over time if not monitored. Fortunately, many of these conditions can be checked during your dog’s annual wellness exam and there are treatments that can help!
Sudden limping often occurs when your dog experiences trauma or injury. Broken bones, fractures, and muscle sprains or strains often lead to severe limping that occurs suddenly. Keep in mind that the trauma your dog’s body may experience might not be from a dramatic experience; often trauma can occur when dogs jump off a bed and land at an odd angle or walk over a sharp object. We highly recommend that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible for your pet when the onset of sudden lameness occurs. Your pet will likely need a digital x-ray to understand the origin of the injury in order to administer treatment.
Common Causes of Dog Limping
There are various causes that may impact your dog’s health and cause him to limp. Even if the limp seems sporadic or minimal, it is important to address the concern as soon as possible to avoid worsening the condition. Here are many common causes of limping or lameness in dogs:
- Nerve Injuries
- Bone Tumors
- Joint Diseases
- Degenerative conditions
- Bone fractures
- Inflammation of muscles or tendons
- Muscle sprains
When Should I Call The Vet When My Dog is Limping?
Your dog may put on a brave face and do his best to push through any pain, but ultimately your dog can’t tell you exactly how much pain he is in, so it is best to take him to your veterinarian and begin treatment. Major injuries such as broken bones or severe lacerations need to be seen immediately whereas gradual limping may be able to wait a day or two, depending on your dog’s level of discomfort. No matter the concern, your veterinarian should be well-equipped to analyze your dog’s health concerns and administer treatment accordingly.
How Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic Can Help!
At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we have treated limping and lameness in dozens of dogs from Colorado Springs, Peyton, Black Forest, and more. We’ve seen it all and we are prepared to help with our extensive services including blood work, digital x- rays, vaccines, and more all designed to get your pet back to the top of their game as soon as we can. Contact us today to schedule a preventative wellness exam or appointment for your pet so our experienced team may ease any health concerns.