A Guide to Why Your Dog is Limping: Signs, Causes, and Treatments

It’s always a good feeling knowing that you’ll be greeted like no other by your furry best friend the second you walk in your door after a long day of work. A loving fur baby brings such joy and excitement into a paw parent’s life, helping ease your stressful day away.

Unfortunately, old age, sickness or disease can cripple you pup’s quality of life and well-being without notice. If you doggo suddenly starts walking differently, for example, it can quickly effect their usual playful energy and daily exercise routine.

When your pup starts limping it can get worrisome, fast. There are so many different things that may trigger their limp, thus, paw parents should address it quickly. If left unnoticed or unexamined, the small issue could escalate into big problems in no time. But, as a responsible paw parent, you can help get your pup into an ease of discomfort with a treatment plan in no time.

How Do I Know if my Dog is Limping?

Have you noticed that fido is licking his paws more frequently or not putting pressure on a paw when he/she walks around the house?

When walking around becoming a difficult task for your pup, they may be limping. Much like us humans, if your dog is limping they may be favoring a leg, putting more weight on one versus the other.

Your canine’s legs are made up of many many nerves, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and bones – any of which can be the source of pain.

Several other symptoms can commonly accompany limping, including:

  • Fracture or break
  • Weakness or numbness in legs or feet
  • Difficulty standing, walking up stairs, or running
  • Hip pain
  • Bunny hop gait
  • Yelping when touched or pet
  • Swelling
  • Imbalance
  • Inability to move leg, knee, or feet correctly
  • Narrow stance

If you are able to recognize, assess, and understand your pupper’s limping, you can act quickly towards a treatment plan with your vet.

Once you’ve noted how your dog has been walking and acting, you can consult with your vet for an appropriate plan of action to get your best friend feeling better faster.

A Sudden Limp vs A Gradual Limp: The Difference

When talking to your veterinarian, they’ll most likely ask you when the limping again and if any accident or injury led to the limping.

There are two different types of limps: a sudden limp and a gradual limp. Distinguishing these two will help your vet determine whether an acute injury happen or if a medical emergency or disease is developing.

If your pup was recently injured or in an accident of some sort, this may trigger them to have a sudden limp.

If you can see a physical break in their skin or fur, a visible fracture or swelling, or signs of blood, then your sweet, little friend may have been involved in an acute accident, resulting in some type of limp.

On the other hand, if your pup is developing a gradual limp, this may worsen and come on over time. It may start with occasional slowing during exercise or a slow decrease in activity. If your paw friend’s limp continues to worsen, this may be a sign of an underlying condition beginning to develop. However, not to freak out yet, this may also mean that it could go away on its own if it’s a simple ligament tear or sprain.

However, if it is more serious, a vet visit may be necessary in your near future.

Why is my Dog Limping?

There are several possibilities as to why your pup may be limping. Let’s get into it.



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