How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask crimson_axe Your Own Question
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16
Type Your Dog Question Here...
crimson_axe is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

how do i care for my dogs sprained leg

This answer was rated:

my 5 year old poodle sprained her leg 4 days ago. she is still having a problem putting weight on it, she even starts to shake if she gets up fast. her doctor gave her pain pills, but it still seems to hurt more now than it did 2 days after she did it. is ther anything i can do to ease the pain? icepack or heating pad

You can do both. I would use a heating pad set on low under her bedding or blankets. You can use ice but it won't be as effective as the heat.

What pain medication is she on?

Since sprains refer to damage of a ligament, which attaches one bone to another bone. The damage that occurs is most commonly over-stretching of these units. Sprains and strains can be further characterized as chronic or acute, as well as mild, moderate and severe in nature.

The most important component of a treatment regimen is rest. It is absolutely essential that the affected area be rested for a sufficient period of time to allow for total healing to take place. Failure to heed this fact greatly enhances the probability of re-injury the affected leg, which in turn enhances the probability of the problem becoming chronic or severe in nature. When leash walking, minimize stairs, and allow no jumping, this is essential until which time no lameness has been observed for a week. Avoid the temptation to test the leg. Testing can be a recipe for disaster.

Once no lameness has been observed for a week, I usually recommend a gradual rehabilitation program that runs in seven to ten day intervals.

During the first interval the dog is allowed to quietly trot on soft level footing for several times daily.
The second interval would involve faster trotting for longer periods of time.
The third interval would be full speed trotting as well as some low jumping if warranted. During the first three intervals sudden turns, chasing and jumping heights should be avoided. We need time to not only rehabilitate the muscle tendon unit or ligament, but also to re-strengthen the muscles that will have diminished in tone from the decrease in activity level.
Activity during the fourth interval can be gradually increased to normal. If at any time during the rehabilitation process the lameness reoccurs, you need to back up to where you were approximately two weeks previous.
Medications during the rehabilitation process are inappropriate, as they are likely to mask symptoms we need to see to assess our progress. Clearly this is a slow process, which can be frustrating if you have an event upcoming, however, the more carefully it can be adhered to the greater the probability of success.

Some other treatments that you can ask your vet about.

Aquatic Bioelectric Therapy is a new form of treatment combining the benefits of whirlpool therapy with the pain management benefits of electro-medical horizontal therapy. Candidates for aquatic bioelectric therapy may have some acute injury such as a muscle sprain or may be recovering from serious injury or surgery.

Cryo therapy is the use of cold over an injured or healing area of the body. This type of therapy is used to decrease pain and speed up the healing process resulting from inflammation occurring after surgery or an injury.

Hydro-treadmill therapy in veterinary rehabilitation is the use of an underwater treadmill for strengthening and re-education of the animal's limbs. Originally used as a treatment for race horses, hydro-treadmill therapy is now available for humans and dogs. It is used as treatment for arthritic patients and as an aide in weight loss.

Therapeutic massage is used to help circulation, soothe tender muscles, reduce stress and help relieve pain.

Therapeutic ultrasound is the use of sound waves, which are passed through tissue creating certain physiological effects. This type of treatment is used to increase circulation, decrease the presence of scar tissue, decrease pain and accelerate the healing process.

for more information
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16
crimson_axe and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

If you can tell me what pain medication she is currently taking, I can help to figure out a course of action that might be helpful.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
she`s using Rimadyl
limit the amount of Rimadyl given - because it is very hard on a dog's liver and it can give a false sense that everything is okay and the leg can be reinjuried before it heals fully.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16
crimson_axe and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
dear tammy , thank- you for your free message. she was on Riadyl , but i didn't like the way it made her act, tired and she actually urinated while asleep. i`ve just been keeping her off the leg and applying the heating pad. she doesn`t want to go for her bathroom awalk though, can that hurt her? if yo ucant get back to me, thanks so much for your reply, it helped so much.Customer

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Previous | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Gary

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • Candy's Avatar


    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • 's Avatar

    Satisfied Customers:

  • Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew


    Satisfied Customers:

    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery