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Dog Limping Problems

What can make a dog limp?

Dogs may become injured just as humans, in such a way that limping could occur. In some cases a dog may endure a slip disc, torn ligaments, sprained muscles or even broken bones. Typically, all of these conditions could result in mild to severe limping. One of the most common causes of limping is a torn knee ligament; something less likely to occur may be a strained muscle. An older dog may suffer from arthritis or what is also known as osteoarthritis may cause limping when the dog makes a quick movement.

How is a limping dog diagnosed?

Usually the determination of a limp may be diagnosed from a normal physical examination. On the other hand in a more serious case, a veterinarian may need to run some more advanced procedures such as an X-ray, Computed Tomography (CT scan) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). These may be needed to see exactly what is causing the limp such as a fracture or a break in the bone. Below are answers provided by Experts to some of the commonly asked questions about dogs limping.

What could cause a dog to limp on the right leg and have a lack of appetite?

Case Details: The dog does not seem to be in any pain.

These symptoms would suggest a joint infection. This may be a bacterium that is in the bloodstream, that could have entered through the dog’s mouth. This may also have caused a gastrointestinal infection and a joint infection. The dog may have an autoimmune condition that may be making the dog’s body attack its joints. This could make it quite painful for a dog to open its mouth and may cause the dog to limp. The limp alone could be caused by a number of different things such as a sprained leg, fractured toe or a foreign object stuck in the pad of the foot.

Why would a dog refuse to put weight on hind leg?

Case Details: The scrotum has become much darker, but X-rays show no fracture or breaks in the leg.

When a dog becomes older it's common for the scrotum to also become darker and this may not be something to worry about by itself. This is however as long as the change in color happens gradually and not in just a few days or months.

The dog not wanting to put any weight on the hind leg and the x-ray not showing any defects in the joints or bones could indicate a soft tissue injury. This injury may include a muscle, ligament or tendon. A soft tissue injury is common in the hind legs of a dog and can cause limping in a mild or severe condition. In some cases a dog may need surgery to correct the issues. This will also help with the limping that the dog is suffering from.

What could cause a large dog to start limping on the hind leg, with no known injury or contact with other animals?

In large dogs, one of the more common reasons for limping on the hind legs is a torn cruciate ligament. The cruciate ligament is better known as the dog version of the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). For a diagnosis, a veterinarian would need to do a physical exam. Typically, the way to repair this type of limp would be surgery.

When a dog limps it can be frightening for a dog owner. Different questions can arise when you see your dog limp. For the answers to your questions it is best to contact an Expert.

Ask a Dog Veterinarian

Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4081
Experience:  Over 12 years of clinical veterinary experience
11664588
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Dog Veterinarians are online & ready to help you now

Ron
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Recent Limping Questions

  • Hello, my dog Nero got three shots one on his back right leg.

    Hello, my dog Nero got three shots one on his back right leg. It has been five days since then but he just started limping I check his whole leg and there is a lump where I assume the shot went. He is still limping and won't put pressure on his leg. I'm wondering if this will go away or should I take him to the vet again.thanks
  • I have an 8 month old 35 pound foster dog who I just found a

    I have an 8 month old 35 pound foster dog who I just found a abnormal growth on her foot toe pad. It is pink and seems to be an extension of her toe pad that extends into the tissue between the toes and feels roundish in nature. Should I be concerned?
  • Our Chessie, Ovi, 2 yrs, had TPLO 4 weeks ago. It was done

    Our Chessie, Ovi, 2 yrs, had TPLO 4 weeks ago. It was done at specialist. She has been coming along well. Regular vet removed staples on 14th day. She starting putting toe weight after 3 or 4 days and walks on leg now. Concern..last night she leaped up on ottoman to see husband, I tried to restrain as I keep lease on. She cried in pain. I was sick with worry! Gave her a Rymidyl ..she had just eaten and takes 2 daily. Also gave her Ace 1/2 as I am doing that to keep her calmer since she is so high energy. After resting she has resumed walking on injured leg. Common for her to be limping a little or stiff if she has been laying for a long time. Worry as there is a small bump..at the lower part of her plate size of a quarter . Been icing off and on today and really keeping her more calm. The bump feels a little solid ...I hope it isn't the bottom screw! She doesn't seem in pain, not licking it, let's me check and ice it. Thoughts??? It happened so fast and I am hoping not a fracture since she is using her leg. Thank you, Nancy
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