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 Dr.Fiona Your Own Question
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr.Fiona is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog is limping and does not put pressure on his rear leg

Resolved Question:

My dog is limping and does not put pressure on his rear leg?? What sounds wrong??
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

When did this start?

If you run your hands down his leg, is there any area that is swollen or painful?

Is he licking at any particular spot on the leg?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It started a few days ago and was getting better. I took him for a walk today and he started limping again after we got back. He only puts pressure on the top of his toes when he is walking. He is not licking or crying at all. He still runs outside. It is hard to get him to stop running.


Should I be giving him any type of ani inflamatory to help??


When I ran my hand down his leg he did not seem to be in any pain. He seems to just keep the preasure off as much as possible.


He is not licking and spot on his leg that I have noticed.



Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.
Ok, thanks for that info!

If your dog is standing and you lift up the good hind leg, will he hold weight on the sore leg, or will he sink down into a sit position?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Yes he held the weight on the sore leg. He did not sit.



Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

I need a few minutes to write up your answer and will be right back.

Do you know when this started? Was it after playing with other dogs, or slipping on ice, or anything like that?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It started on sat. We think it was when he was playing with my other boxer.



Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 7 years ago.

Ok, Mike, there are a few things that I would consider in a Boxer dog this age.

1. He may have stretched or ruptured his cranial cruciate ligament.

This is something humans get as well, but in humans it is called Anterior Cruciate Ligament.


The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the structures that stabilizes the knee joint. It is prone to problems, especially in large breed dogs. If the dog is in motion, and the lower leg is held still (by going down a hole, getting caught on a string, etc) while the upper leg keeps moving forward, there will be damage to this cranial cruciate ligament.

It is by far the most common injury that I see causing the symptoms you are describing!

The symptoms seen are usually a sudden onset of hind-end lameness, with toe touching seen at standing and walking, but the dog often carries the leg when running.

Here is more information about this problem:

And you can see more here in this video:

2. Your boy may have a fracture (broken bone) of one of the bones in the foot.

I have seen this many times with a dog getting their toes jammed under the door of a crate or between the planks of a deck or similar, and then twisting somehow and causing a fracture, usually in the foot area. Symptoms are a sudden onset of non weight bearing lameness, just as you are describing. Usually, you can see swelling on the foot, and the dog reacts when touched on the foot.

X-rays would help to diagnose this.

Here is more:

3. It is also possible that your dog has dislocated his hip.

This is a common dislocation and again could happen if he trapped his toes under the door and then pulled. It is very unlikely but certainly possible. With this, again you would have the symptoms of non-weight bearing lameness. Here is more:

So, in summary, there are a number of different orthopedic conditions that can all give these same symptoms you are describing in your dog. In order to diagnose this, a veterinarian would have to perform a thorough orthopedic examination, and a neurological exam.

The vet might well suggest an x-ray.

For this part, it might be necessary to give your dog a pain killer to allow proper positioning for the x-ray without hurting him. I do think your dog needs to see his vet to have this looked at. Something is going on, and the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better.

If this persists, I definitely would recommend a visit to see your veterinarian.

If your boy is eating and drinking normally, then you could try conservative treatment: STRICT rest for 2 weeks! That means no playing with your other Boxer, no walks, no ball playing, no jumping - just REST for 2 weeks. I know that this is hard to do with a 2.5 yr old bundle of energy!

Be particularly careful with him if he has to go UP stairs as this is when all his weight is on the back legs and he is more likely to do additional damage.

To help your dog to get up the stairs, I would recommend using a "sling" that you can make yourself. Take a long bath towel, and fold it 3 or 4 times lengthwise, so that you have a long and thin shape. Put this under his belly, as far back as possible, so it is under the hips. Now, bring the ends up over the back so that you can hold the ends above him. With this, you can lift almost all his weight by using this sling, and thus really help him up the stairs. He can walk himself, with you right beside him taking his weight on the sling to help. This is a really good way to help your dog up stairs or up into the car - or any time he has to go UP!

You may be able to give some aspirin (as long as he has no history of kidney problems, stomach problems and is not on other medications). Please use Buffered Aspirin if you have it, and give it with a piece of bread or something low-fat to eat, not on an empty stomach.

Here are links that tell you about it, with precautions and dose:

I would suggest that at most you use this at most for 2 or 3 days. Also, do mention to your vet that you gave it.

If your boy is not improving after 2 weeks of STRICT rest, or if he is getting worse, then you should see your vet to have him evaluated.

I hope that this helps you to help your dog!

If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Dr.Fiona and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you