Have you noticed your dog limping recently? Did it just start, or has it been gradually getting worse? Is your dog older, or is he still young? No matter the age of your dog, when you see him limping, it’s hard not to worry. Limping is a common problem for dogs, but sometimes, the underlying cause can be a serious one.
In this article, we’ll walk you through six of the most common causes of dog limping in Monroeville, PA. With this information, you can narrow down what might be going on with your pet and prepare questions to ask your veterinarian at your dog’s next visit.
Paw Pad or Toenail Issues
Sometimes, a dog may suddenly start limping but seem fine otherwise. If your dog’s limping is sudden and he doesn’t seem to have anything wrong with his leg, hip, or shoulder, then there may be something going on with his paw pad or his toenails.
Paw pads can become cut on sharp objects or rocks in some cases. Dogs may also sometimes get small pebbles stuck between their toes and paw pad. Although it’s rare, dogs’ toenails can sometimes be damaged or torn out, which can also cause limping and severe pain.
An acute injury is one of the most common causes of sudden limping in a dog. This type of injury could be an obvious outer one, such as a bite from another animal, or it could be something less noticeable. Some broken bones occur entirely internally with no breaking of the skin, so check your dog carefully if you think he might have broken his leg.
If you can’t find any other cause for sudden limping in your dog but he seems to be in pain, acute injury could still be the cause. You may want to take him to the emergency veterinarian in Monroeville, PA in this situation.
Joint Pain or Disease
Dog limping that begins happening just a little and slowly progress to significant limping may be suffering from joint pain or joint disease. The most common of these problems is arthritis, which happens often in older dogs. Dogs who have arthritis may be very stiff when they wake up after sleeping for a while, and they may have trouble being as active as they were in their younger years.
If your dog has arthritis, your vet in Monroeville, PA may prescribe pain medications or steroids to help him feel better. You will need to work with your vet to find the best treatment for your furry friend.
Bone disease is much less common in dogs than joint disease, but it can still occur and will also often lead to limping. Bone disease in dogs usually encompasses a few types of cancers which affect the bone and lead to a lot of pain.
There may not always be treatment options for advanced or serious bone disease. However, there are more and more possibilities for treatments as veterinary medicine improves, and your veterinarian in Monroeville, PA will work with you to find the best option for your pet moving forward.
Insect Bites or Stings
If your dog is bitten or stung on the paw pad, foot, or leg, he will likely develop a limp for a short time. Although a bite or sting may be very painful, it often isn’t anything too concerning, and your dog will likely stop limping in a few days when the swelling and pain subsides.
However, you should always be on the lookout for signs of a severe allergic reaction in dogs who have been bitten or stung by an insect or snake. If your dog’s face or snout starts to swell, if he has trouble breathing, if he runs a fever or if his heart rate increases, take him to the emergency vet right away.
Finally, dogs with birth defects such as hip dysplasia may be prone to dog limping as well. They may limp all the time if the dysplasia is severe, or they may just limp sometimes if they have recently done something strenuous that has aggravated the problem.
If your dog was born with a problem like hip dysplasia, it’s important to work with your vet in Monroeville, PA to figure out the best course of action for treating this issue. Your vet can help you manage your dog’s condition and ensure he lives a healthy, happy life.
If Your Dog is Limping in Monroeville, PA Talk with Your Vet
As you can see, there are several different causes that may contribute to dog limping. Some of these are acute, sudden problems, while others occur gradually and may signify an ongoing disease.
No matter which type your dog is dealing with, it’s important to take him to the vet for a full and complete checkup. Your veterinarian at Northern Pike Veterinary Hospital will be able to give you more information about your dog’s diagnosis and help you choose how to proceed with treatment as well. Give them a call at 412-373-8580 today!