My dog ​​is limping: what could be the causes?


There are many causes to lameness in dogs. In any case, it is a problem that should not be allowed to persist and it is necessary to know its origin so that the animal can be treated. In some cases, negligence can lead to serious complications and lameness can even justify an emergency consultation. Here are the different causes of lameness in dogs and what to do next.

Lameness in dogs: the causes

When a dog limps, it can be for a benign reason or, alas, for a more serious or even extremely serious cause. Indeed, the origin of the limp varies considerably, namely:

  • A foreign body that has entered the foot such as a spikelet, a splinter or gravel,
  • A wound on a pad or at the level of a paw such as irritation, blister, cut, prick, crevice following the cold for example,
  • A digestive problem, even if it seems quite surprising, but the postural nervous system is linked to the digestive sphere,
  • A behavioral disorder that can be linked to stress sometimes leading to untimely and frantic licking, or even self-mutilation such as amputation of a finger,
  • Trauma: muscle tear, strain, dislocation, tendonitis, sprain, muscle strain, rupture of the cruciate ligaments, fracture …
  • A growth disorder: panosteitis, dysplasia, osteo-dystrophy, osteochondrosis,
  • A pathology, knowing that many diseases lead to lameness: neurological disease, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, leishmaniasis, borreliosis also called Lyme disease, bone cancer …

It is also possible that a dog will start limping by trick or at least to escape a situation that scares him like jumping an obstacle on which he has already been injured. Ethologists sometimes speak of ” lameness of a comedian “. But it is quite easy not to be confused with other types of limping because the dog only limps in a very special situation and it stops as soon as he escapes it.

My dog ​​limps: what to do

The first thing to do when you notice a limp in your dog is toinspect the animal in order to check for the presence of a foreign body, blister, crevice or other wound. The examination of the dog should always be carried out with caution, even if it is carried out by the owner of the animal, because in the event of strong pain a bite is always to be feared. Ideally, you start by equipping your dog with a muzzle. You must then be as gentle as possible so as not to increase your suffering and in no case to force on a member.

In the absence of any visible sign, it is necessary leave your animal to rest and ensure that it is comfortably seated. To avoid unnecessary efforts, place its water bowl and bowl in the immediate vicinity. Then you have to contact the vet in order to get an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, if the dog seems to be in great pain, it is possible to relieve it with a hot water bottle, but to do this, it is still necessary to have been able to locate the seat of the pain such as a joint. However, the master should not play the sorcerer’s apprentice. Self-medication is banned.

A urgent consultation is absolutely necessary if the dog is vomiting, behaving abnormally, and / or if he appears extremely dejected.

Lameness in dogs: consult the veterinarian

It is strongly recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian’s office or to a veterinary clinic if he is limping for more than 48 hours, or even without delay when a serious problem is suspected and / or if the dog is in excruciating pain. Thus, a thorough examination of the animal by the specialist makes it possible to obtain a diagnostic reliable and fast. Once the cause of the lameness has been identified, the animal can then benefit from a treatment adapted to its case.

Diagnosis may require Additional tests such as radiography, scanner, ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), arthroscopy, samples (blood test, joint puncture, etc.). Support sometimes involves a surgical intervention performed under general anesthesia followed if necessary by re-education. These examinations are of course reimbursed by dog ​​health insurance, either partially or totally according to the formula chosen by the owner of the animal at the time of subscription.