How To Treat A Limping Dog At Home

how to treat a limping dog at home
Image source: Odie Pet Insurance

Dogs have two more legs than humans, but they still limp when one of their legs or feet is injured. Although most limps require veterinary attention, there are a few home remedies you can try if your dog begins to hobble around. Here’s all you need to know about how to treat your limping dog at home.

How to Treat a Limping Dog at Home

While some limping will resolve on its own, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to treat a limping dog at home.

If he suspects a sprain, strain, arthritis, or another minor problem, he will begin treatment with rest and medication to reduce pain and inflammation. Pain relief can be administered orally or topically at home, but it is critical to first ensure that each method is safe for dogs. First of all…

#1. Consult with your veterinarian about safe pain relievers.

What can I give my limping dog? When learning how to treat a limping dog at home, you may wonder if you can give your dog a human painkiller. Regrettably, the answer is no. Many human painkillers, particularly over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin, are toxic to dogs in general.

However, amantadine is one of the safest analgesics for dogs and can effectively relieve discomfort and swelling. You can obtain a prescription from your veterinarian.

#2. Consult your veterinarian about a topical cream.

Gently soak your dog’s foot and leg in warm water containing plain Epsom salts to reduce swelling. The motion of the water will promote healing by increasing circulation. Apply antibiotic ointment to the leg after gently drying it with a towel. Dog antibiotic creams containing neomycin or bacitracin may be suitable. Before using either of these, consult with your veterinarian.

If your dog has swelling caused by a sprain, bruise, or tendonitis, applying ice packs to the area for 15 minutes twice a day on the lame leg can also be very effective.

How Can I Assist My Painful Dog?

You can ensure your dog’s maximum comfort by providing him with a soft couch or bed covered in cozy blankets. Provide your dog with lots of fuss and attention, as well as his favorite food and toys.

To keep your dog as healthy as possible while he heals, avoid giving him too many treats—remember to feed him a balanced diet. And, as much as he’ll want to go for a walk, it might be best to keep exercise to a minimum for a few days while focusing on reducing pain and inflammation.

Identifying a Limp

A limp occurs when a dog favors one leg over the other. The injured or painful leg is the one on which the dog will avoid putting pressure. When a dog limps, it puts more pressure on the uninjured leg, which can lead to injury to the favored leg, so it’s critical to pay attention to both legs.

Gradual limps develop more slowly over time and are typically a symptom of an underlying chronic condition or disease such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Sudden onset limps – Sudden onset limps are usually the result of an injury. A sudden limp, for example, may occur after a tumble while hiking or rambunctious play.

Determining whether your dog’s limp is gradual or sudden, as well as which leg is limping, can assist a veterinarian in diagnosing the cause and potential solutions or support options.

Limping Dog on Back Leg

Several conditions or injuries can cause a hind leg or rear leg limp. Limping is a common arthritis and hip dysplasia symptom.

Ortho Dog Hip Hound Braces are intended for dogs with arthritis, mild to moderate hip dysplasia, decreased endurance during activity, hip pain, lower back pain or weakness, and back leg limping.

Limping in the back leg can also be caused by knee arthritis or a tear of the CCL, the dog equivalent of an ACL. CCL tears are one of the most common dog injuries, and Ortho Dog offers a Cruciate Care Knee Brace to help dogs recover from a minor tear or as a post-surgery aid.

Limping Dog on Front Leg

A variety of conditions and injuries can also cause front leg limping. Limping is a sign of canine carpal extension, as well as sprains and strains to the wrist or hock, the dog’s equivalent of an ankle. Arthritis and dislocation are two other hock injuries that cause limping.

Symptoms and Causes Of Dog Limping

While dog limping is common, it is far from normal. Limping in dogs is usually caused by an injury or illness and should always be taken seriously.

Dogs limp for a variety of reasons, including:

Bruises; Insect bites and stings; Joint dislocations; Torn nails; Bacterial or fungal infections; Autoimmune conditions; Inflammatory conditions; Joint disease; Cancer; Nervous system conditions; Tick-borne diseases.

There are a few different types of dog limping causes.

Paw ailment

This covers a wide range of situations that could (and frequently do) occur with your dog. Thorns, stones, and other foreign bodies getting stuck in your dog’s paws can cause significant discomfort and cause your dog to limp and lick their paws. Other injuries, such as insect bites and stings, can also result in limping.

Trauma or injury

This includes, among other things, broken bones, sprains, dislocations, and ligament injuries. These injuries can cause moderate to severe limping in dogs, and in some cases, your dog may be unable to bear any weight on the leg at all.

Joint disorder

This category includes conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, and intervertebral disk disease. Other infections, such as Lyme disease, fall into this category as well.

Disease of the bones

Limping can be caused by conditions such as hypertrophic osteodystrophy and panosteitis (which commonly affect puppies of larger breeds). Limping in dogs can be caused by certain types of bone cancer, such as osteosarcoma.

Gradual vs. Sudden Onset

“Why is my dog limping all of a sudden?” is a common question among dog owners. A dog who suddenly starts limping has most likely suffered an injury or trauma. So, when you take your limping dog to the vet, make sure to mention whether the limping started suddenly or gradually.

Limping that develops gradually is usually the result of a chronic or degenerative condition, such as osteoarthritis.

After reading the preceding, you may conclude that sudden onset limping should be treated as an emergency, whereas slow onset limping should be treated with less urgency. Not so. Even if the limping started gradually, it’s always a good idea to get to the vet as soon as possible.

Some conditions, such as bone cancer, benefit from early detection. The earlier treatment is started, the better the outcome.

Can A Dog Limp Heal On Its Own?

Limping can sometimes go away on its own, especially if you provide some at-home support, such as a brace. Limping can also be a sign of a more serious injury or condition that necessitates veterinary attention.

What Can I Give My Dog For Limping?

The NSAID family of drugs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) such as carprofen, meloxicam, firocoxib, and deracoxib are commonly used in the management of pain associated with dog limping.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Heal From A Limp?

Most pet parents’ biggest challenge is convincing their active and energetic canine companions to rest for the six weeks it takes for a sprain to heal. There is a risk of re-injury if it does not heal completely.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Limping But Isn’t Crying?

A limping dog who is not crying or showing other signs of pain should be taken seriously. Dogs are tougher than you think, and just because your dog isn’t howling in pain doesn’t mean no pain exists. It’s best if you still take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Can I Give Paracetamol to My Dog?

NO. Never attempt to treat your pets with human medication; instead, take precautions to keep household medications out of reach of your pet to avoid a potentially harmful or fatal reaction.

In Conclusion,

If your dog is limping on one or more of his legs for no apparent reason, it could be due to a minor injury such as a thorn in his paw or a minor muscle sprain.

While a sprain is more serious than a strain, most dogs recover completely from a sprained leg. If you have any concerns about the severity of his limping, please contact your veterinarian. Otherwise, use these guidelines to learn how to treat a limping dog at home by making him comfortable and reducing his pain and inflammation with natural methods.

The most difficult challenge you may face as a pet owner is convincing your dog to rest for a few weeks while he recovers.

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