Whether your dog was just playing outside or just awoke from a nap, there are several things that cause your dog to limp or favor certain limbs. Sometimes, the problem will resolve on its own, but other times it can indicate a serious problem that requires prompt veterinary care. The only way to know for sure why your dog’s limping is to schedule a veterinary exam and, likely, to have diagnostic imaging done.

5 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Is Limping

1. Arthritis

Older dogs commonly suffer from arthritis in the joints (hip, elbow, and knee).

2. Hip Dysplasia

Most common in medium and large dog breeds, hip dysplasia occurs due to a congenital malformation of the hip joint, which leads to rubbing/grinding inside the joint.

3. Torn ACL

Left untreated, hip dysplasia can lead to a tear in a dog’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

4. Paw Problems

A broken toenail, something stuck on a paw, or a raw paw pad can cause limping.

5. Broken Leg

A broken leg is one of the most obvious reasons for limping. Legs break due to traumatic injuries or simply getting a leg caught in a fence. You’ll likely be able to see the break and signs of swelling.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Some reasons for limping aren’t serious, but others should be addressed right away. Also, it’s imperative to remember that human pain medications are toxic to dogs and cats. Do not attempt to treat your pet without a veterinarian’s guidance.

If your dog has any of these symptoms or if any of the following is true, we recommend seeking immediate veterinary care:

  • Trauma or injury
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Inability to walk
  • Whimpering, trembling, excessive panting, or other signs of pain

If you don’t see any of the above symptoms or other obvious reasons why your pet might be limping, it’s okay to wait a day or two to see if the symptoms resolve on their own.

Schedule a House Call with Our Veterinarian

If you’re concerned about your dog, we welcome you to contact Capital Home Veterinary Care to schedule a house call appointment with one of our mobile veterinarians. We’ll come to you, so you don’t have to worry about the stress of visiting the veterinary clinic or transporting your dog. We’ll be happy to stop by your home, examine your pet to make a diagnosis, and discuss treatment options with you.

To learn more about mobile veterinary services in the Richmond area or to schedule an appointment for your pet, contact us today.