Causes of Limping In Dogs and What To Do

Causes of Limping In Dogs and What To Do

My dog has difficulty moving one of its limbs; should I be worried? 

As dogs get older, they begin to experience different changes in their body. For instance, they may start limping. So it's important that if this is the case then you investigate what is happening and decide what your best options are to help your dog.

Causes of Limping In Dogs and What To Do

What is Limping? 

Limping is the irregular movement of dogs when one of either pair of limbs – hind or fore, is affected. There are mainly two types depending on the severity – Chronic and Acute Dog Limping and Gradual Onset and Sudden Limping. The former takes some time before it starts showing, while the latter doesn’t – it usually happens after major trauma or an accident. 

What Causes Limping in Dogs? 

Whatever the situation may be, you need to be aware of the major causes of limping in dogs so you can take steps to manage the condition. Below are the common causes. 

#1. Joint Disease

One of the main causes of dog limps is joint disease.

If a dog suffers excessive use of the joints in performing certain activities they are likely to experience wear and tear in various areas. If those areas are not tended to properly it could cause limping and different health conditions may result. These joint diseases include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, ligament disease, osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc disease. Lyme disease could also play its own part in joint pain and limping. 

#2. Bone Diseases 

Many times, young dogs may develop problems with their bones due to excessive use or stress, resulting in painful situations like panosteitis and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. 

These are all conditions that need medical care because if not treated they can cause issues for your dog.

#3. Paw Injury 

A common cause of limping in dogs is paw injury. Naturally, dogs are likely to come across objects which may endanger them. These objects could be nails, glass, thorns, sticks, or anything that can hurt their paw. With the paw being exposed and coming across these objects, mobility will be affected – your dog starts limping. Other things that could affect your dog’s paw and cause limping are stings and bites, broken bottles, lacerations, and frostbites. 

If the paw injury gets exposed there could also be an infection. 

#4. Trauma 

An unarguable cause of limping in dogs is trauma or injuries. Loss of mobility comes with different injuries/trauma – a car accident, sports accident or injury, or fall. With dogs encountering different surfaces that can potentially harm them, their bones, muscles, or joints become affected. 

That is why after a serious accident, they could experience broken bones, ligament tears, spinal injuries, etc. If that happens, there is a likely chance they would be limping. The reason is that dogs cannot put pressure or weight on the affected area – they try to adapt to a more convenient position. 

How Can This Condition Be Managed? 

Limping is a condition that could be acute or chronic depending on the actual cause; however, it can be managed with the proper care. A visit to a vet would help. 

Your vet may recommend treating your dog with pain medication and giving physical rehabilitation therapy. 

What is important for you to do, as a pet owner, is to take all the necessary steps and make sure your dog’s health is restored.