Canine Limping is a common issue, and this issue is of particular interest to me, I have identified 10 types of injuries that can lead to canine limping. I had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that suffered with a limp about 4 times during her life. The vet said it maybe this and maybe that. They seem to think it is soft tissue problem and prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication from time to time. Another vet was sure it was something that had slipped out of place in the knee area needing surgery if it didn't go back into place by itself.
My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had lost her best doggy friend a couple months earlier. She had been alone for that time. My wife decided it was time for a new puppy.
I was worried that the puppy might make the Cavalier's leg worse while playing. Just the opposite happened. Her leg improved in a very short time. You couldn't tell there was ever a problem. Maybe it was coincidence or perhaps it was exercising with the new puppy. We'll never know. Here is the result of the research I did during those difficult times.
A dog limping does not mean old age has set in. It could be caused by a host of medical problems, ranging from trauma to subtle chronic conditions. A slight leg limp can even be a symptom of life threatening conditions, like malignant tumors.
Here is a list of some of the likely causes of dog limping:
Soft Tissue Injury
This is the most common cause of a dog limping. They include sprains, muscle pulls, and similar minor traumas. They are not serious, and can be successfully treated with a few days rest, and a mild analgesic.
If your dog has increasing difficulty with getting up after lying or sitting for some time, or trouble with climbing stairs or getting into and out of its bed, check with your vet about canine arthritis. If you have a large dog, hip dysplasia might be present.
Footpad or Paw Injuries
Look for cuts on the footpad. Also look for splinters or other foreign objects (thorns, sharp stones) imbedded in the footpad, or between the toes. Check for broken claws. Be alert for swelling or other possible signs of infection in this entire area. Extreme weather conditions can also cause painful cracks in the tissue of the footpad which can cause dog limping.
These injuries are bone fractures where the skin is not broken. They may not be immediately evident because the leg may not look misshapen or twisted.
This is a very serious type of bone fracture where the broken bone punctures the skin. This exposure often causes dangerous infections of the bone.
Epiphyseal and Greenstick Fractures
Epiphyseal fractures usually occur at the end of the long bones (femur, humerus) in puppies and young dogs. These areas are called growth plates, and because they are not matured, the bone there will soften and fracture. A greenstick fracture is a crack in the bone. The bone is otherwise intact.
A more scientific medical term for this complaint is Panosteitis. It is, of course, found in puppies and young dogs and usually does not need treatment.
Ligaments are the bands of muscle tissue that knit bones together at the joints. When they're injured, stability of the joint is compromised or destroyed, and your dog's limping will get progressively worse over time.
Limping is a symptom associated with tumors in or on the bones, or in the brain or central nervous system. If you see suspicious symptoms accompanying your dog's limping, such as dizziness or disorientation, or if you find any odd lumps or masses, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Tumors are often life threatening, and time is of the essence.
Your dog's knee can adopt a sudden and dangerous side-to-side motion for various reasons, (trauma, infection) and the knee will slip out of alignment. The knee can also pop back into alignment just as quickly. Be watchful for recurring problems with this if you have a small dog.
I would also recommend a second opinion when it comes to canine limping due to the number of possibilities. Just my personal opinion.
“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.” ~~Unknown
Always consult a veterinarian should your dog develop any kind of a limp.
If you have a recuperating dog keeping them separate from other dogs is important. One of the functions of a dog crate is to give the dog a place to heal in peace. If you think you may need to offer your dog this type of security please visit us to see what we have to offer. We have a variety of crates including heavy duty dog crates. It can make a positive difference in your dog's recuperation.
I hope that "10 Types of Injuries that can cause Canine Limping" will help solve a potentially serious problem if it happens to your dog. A dog that can't enjoy running or walking is not living a whole life.