Here are some reasons you may find your dog or puppy limping to easily detect the problem and immediately seek for help.
1. Elbow Dysplasia – Elbow dysplasia may first be noticed as lameness in one or both front legs and must be diagnosed by a veterinarian through radiographs. Like hip dysplasia, many dogs will live their entire lives without symptoms while others will become lame early on.
2. Bone Cancer – Lameness in any leg can be the result of osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. Tumors can be very painful growths and sometimes too small to see outside of a radiograph. Veterinary care is imperative as these cancers can and do spread quickly.
3. Broken Nail – Broken nails can be very painful for dogs and will cause limping if the pain is severe enough. Nails can be torn off or broken by getting caught on just about anything, so it’s important to make sure your dog’s nails are kept adequately short to prevent this from happening. A broken nail can become infected so it’s a good idea to seek veterinary care rather than ignore the issue.
4. Panosteitis – Panosteitis, or Pano, is a condition in many larger breed dogs and puppies that happens as they grow, typically between 5 and 18 months of age. Pano is a type of bone inflammation and the cause is not entirely known.
5. Hip Dysplasia – Many dogs with hip dysplasia will go their entire lives without pain, but others may start showing signs of lameness early on. Hip dysplasia can only be diagnosed by radiograph and your veterinarian will offer solutions to pain depending on the severity of the dysplasia.
6. Torn Pad – Torn paw pads are one of the most common reasons dogs may be limping. Dogs can tear pads walking on rough terrain, making sharp turns or even walking too long on a surface their feet aren’t used to, such as dirt or sand. Active dogs often tear pads chasing balls and other toys or wrestling with each other.
7. Broken Bone – Broken bones are a very serious issue that need immediate veterinary attention. Some breaks are so bad they are very obvious, while others may be tiny fractures that go unnoticed except for lameness in the leg. Either way, have the pain checked out to rule out any serious ailments.
8. Muscle Sprain or tear – One of the most common injuries in dogs is a CCL tear (Cranial Cruciate Ligament). These injuries are very common and most often happen in overweight dogs playing around and chasing toys or other dogs. Canine athletes, like agility dogs, also seen to have these injuries quite often.
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