Dog Limping in Peoria, IL: Causes And Treatments

Have you noticed that your dog has a limp? While it is a sign that they may be experiencing some pain, it is hard for us to know how intensely they are hurting or where the pain is located. Sometimes a limp will happen right after a dog suffers an injury, like a fall or a slip. Once the pain fades, the limp may go away.

Dog limping in Peoria, IL

However, there may be an instance in which you do not know what has caused your dog to start limping. In this case you will want to make an appointment with your veterinarian in Peoria, IL to pinpoint the cause of your dog’s discomfort.

Types of Dog Limps in Peoria, IL

When you make the appointment, one of the things the veterinary office may ask you is if your dog’s limp was sudden or if it had been getting worse over time. Knowing this will help your vet to narrow down the list of what is causing your dog’s limping and can help determine the type of limp it is.

The two different kind of dog limps are:

Sudden Limps

Sudden limps are typically associated with an injury or trauma. As their name suggests, they happen suddenly. Depending on the injury or trauma, you may need to seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Gradual Onset Limps

Limps that worsen over time are called gradual onset limps. Typically, these limps are related to underlying issues, chronic conditions, or degenerative diseases. Because many of these conditions are best treated if they are found early, do not wait until your dog’s limping worsens to seek medical attention.

Any of the following symptoms are signs that you should get immediate emergency care for your dog’s limp:

  • Dangling/dislocated limbs
  • Swollen limbs
  • Limbs hot to the touch
  • Visible breaks or irregular angles

When it comes to your dog’s mobility, it is better to play it safe than sorry. Go ahead and make that appointment with your veterinarian in Peoria just have your dog checked out, and ensure they are okay.

Common Reasons For Your Dog’s Limping in Peoria, IL

If you have not witnessed an injury or a traumatic event, figuring out what is causing your dog’s limping can be a challenge. However, there are clues that you can look for to help you better understand the situation.

Common reasons that your dog is limping include:

Hurt Paw

If your dog is limping, take a look at their paws. If you have ever stepped on broken glass, a nail, or any other sharp object you know that it can be painful. If it gets deep enough to become stuck, it can get infected. The same is true for dogs.

Because they are always walking around on bare paws, it is easy for foreign objects like glass, sticks, or thorns to get stuck in their paws. Dogs are also at risk for being bitten and stung by insects on the ground. Broken toenails, burns, and cuts can also be common problems with your dog’s paws.

If your dog’s paw is injured, get advice from your veterinarian. Even if no medical treatment is needed, your veterinarian can give you advice on how to best treat the wound.

Joint Diseases

Conditions like osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia, cause excessive wear and tear on your dog’s joints, which can lead to limping. Other joint issues that could lead to limping in dogs include intervertebral disk disease, and even infections like Lyme disease that can cause joint pain.

Should a join disease be determined to be the cause of your dog’s limping, your veterinarian in Peoria may prescribe a supplement. Those supplements include veterinarian-grade glucosamine and chondroitin. Some supplements have even been found to help reduce the symptoms of diseases such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia.

Bone Diseases

Certain cancers, if left untreated for too long, can affect your dog’s bones, and cause limping. Younger dogs, especially those of larger breeds, can develop conditions that making walking painful. These types of issues require an immediate diagnosis. The sooner you are able to begin treatments, the better chances your dog may have of recovering.

If the cause of your dog’s limping is not obvious, such as a broken bone or a cut on the paw, your veterinarian will likely want to run some tests. Some of the common tests include radiographs, biopsies, and collection of joint fluid.

Radiographs can help to spot broken bones, joint disease, and other issues that could point to abnormalities in your dog’s bones.

Biopsies and the collection of joint fluid can determine if there are underlying issues, like cancer.

Blood testing may also be done to figure out if there are infectious diseases or immune-related issues that could be contributing to your dog’s limp.

Of course, these tests will follow a thorough physical examination by your veterinarian in Peoria, in which they will look for several things, including tenderness of the affected limb, pain level, and range of motion.

There are also things you can do at home to help give you an idea of what is causing your dog’s pain. Checking for swelling, tenderness, and temperature can all be done by running your hand along your dog’s legs and paws. Doing this before you call your vet may also give them information they need on how critical your dog’s condition may be.

Treating Your Dog’s Limp in Peoria, IL

As you might expect, the treatment plan given to you for your dog’s limp will vary depending on the cause. In minor cases, your dog’s treatment could involve something as simple as a few days of rest. Of course, with dogs that is often much easier said than done.

For more serious causes, your dog’s limp may require more surgical intervention, which would mean a longer recovery period. It can be scary, not only for your dog, but for you. However, the sooner you can get your dog to a veterinarian for medical attention, the better chance they have to recover from their injury.

At Whitney Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s wellbeing is always our number one priority. Dog limping can have a variety of causes, ranging in severity. Our team will find the underlying cause of your dog’s condition and development the best treatment plan to help them heal. Call our team in Peoria today to schedule an appointment at (309) 685-4707.