What to do if yout dog is limping?

April 13, 2012

Dogs are highly agile and very energetic creatures. These animals are known to perform amazing feats. The Australian Kelpie for instance is a breed of shepherd dog with the signature move of running across the backs of sheep. The Azawakh and the Greyhound are swift coursing breeds. Needless to say, these breeds and all the other breeds of dogs would need to have well functioning feet. Domesticated dogs have developed into wonderful companions. Dogs have become the jogging and hiking buddies of sport enthusiast masters. However, there are instances when the dog is unable to perform its functions. A limping dog may still be able to herd stock but for sure the master would not take the limping pet to jog or to hike. Limping or not, the dog will still be loved by the family. But surely a concerned dog owner would do something to help the limping pet.

There are various reasons why the walking and the running ability of the dog will be impaired. The causes of limping can be as simple as a small rock that was stuck on the paws of the pet and as serious as broken bones, Luxating Patella, hip dysplasia and arthritis. Minor cuts and wounds, splinters and thorns can be easily dealt with at home. The hurting dog may not be very cooperative and may refuse to have the sore foot touched but it can be done if you talk calmly and gently touch the dog. After the thorn is removed the wound must be thoroughly washed with warm water. Cuts in the paws of a dog usually heal fast. You may not need to take the dog to the vet as after a day or two the limping will be gone and the dog will be its usual energetic self. However, if the foot smells bad, the wound has abscessed and the swollen leg is held at an odd position you have to take the dog to a veterinary facility stat! Obviously the wound is infected. Something else must be wrong with the foot of the dog if it is suffering from excruciating pain. The dog may have a broken bone that needs to be put in a cast. A limp that is due to arthritis would need anti-inflammatory medications. Other causes for the dog’s limping must be considered. Limping is one of the signs of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease that develops if the dog is infested with ticks. You may not be able to figure out what causes the dog to limp. In such a case you need to take the dog to the vet’s right away.

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