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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30058
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My dog is limping in her right back leg

Resolved Question:

My dog is limping in her right back leg. I do not know what happened. She seems ok other than a limp I checked her leg and paw and there is no sign of anything in her foot she does put weight on her paw and plays as usual.

Could she have a sprain or pulled something please advise as I cannot afford to take her to the vet.

She is a 5 year old female beagle about 35 pounds.


Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 6 years ago.


I am sorry to hear about Abbey.

Certainly, it could have been a soft tissue injury anywhere in the leg. However, even if not overtly painful a fracture cannot be ruled out. But, since its a back leg, the most common injury is a partial or complete tear of the cruciate ligament in the knee (stifle). So, it would be advised, even if you can't afford x-rays, to get a safe and effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and/or pain medication to keep Abbey comfortable in the meantime.

She should also not be permitted to run or jump and should be kept on a leash when outside, to rest the injured leg.

Good Luck

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can I give her something over the counter. If it is a fracture what is done to fix it ? Do soft tissue injuries or fractures or tears heal on their own. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 6 years ago.


Well, I can honestly say nothing over-the-counter is really that safe or that effective.

The only over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory I recommend in dogs (NOT CATS) is aspirin. Due to potential toxicity issues if not dosed correctly, many veterinarians do not consider Tylenol, Ibuprofen (Advil), and Aleve safe.

You can give 10mg per pound of body weight up to every 12 hours. Just remember, there are different pill sizes for aspirin, so look to see if it is an adult pill, extra strength, etc.

Aspirin can be upsetting to the stomach, so discontinue if any digestive upset and definitely consult a vet if not helpful.

***Do not give aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication if your pet is already on prednisone or any other anti-inflammatory medication. Severe stomach and intestinal ulcers can result from giving a pet aspirin, tylenol or ibuprofen when they are also on medications like Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Prednisone, Metecam, Zubrin, and Previcox***

Certain soft tissue injuries can heal. A ligament tear will not heal.

Fractures can sometimes heal if properly stabilized (cast/splint), whereas, if the broken bone fragments are displaced far apart, they will never heal correctly.

Some fractures require surgery (pins, bone plates, etc..). Some require splints for about 6-8 weeks.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My last question is hhow long should I wait to see if it heals on it's own since I do not have much money. How can I tell if she is in pain I guess she needs to see a vet and have xrays taken it has been2 weeks since it happened and it does seem a little better sorry if I have too many questions. Thanks a lot. Is baby aspirin better or adult aspirin
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 6 years ago.

If a pet is limping, they are in discomfort.

Even if the x-rays are not performed, at least initially, it is worth getting the better drugs. A good anti-inflammatory could help with comfort while trying to heal.

Baby or adult. It just depends on your dog's weight. A medium to large breed dog likely needs adult aspirin since it is more milligram per pill.

With any persistent limp of even just a few days, examination is strongly recommended.

Dr. Andy

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