Why is my Dog Limping?


If you have a dog, you’re probably very in tune with your pet’s health and wellness. Of course, this also means you’ll notice the moment something goes wrong with your canine companion. Limping is one of the many issues dogs may face that cause a lot of alarm for their owners. If you notice your dog limping, do what you can to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible. Check out the article below for more information on causes of limping in dogs.

dog limping

Causes of Dog Limping

Listed below are the main causes of dog limping:

Acute Injury

Acute injury refers to any type of injury that happens suddenly to your dog. This type of injury could range from something as simple as a cut on the paw pad to something as serious as being struck by a vehicle. In many cases, a sudden injury will cause your dog to limp due to pain or inability to move one or more legs.

If you know what happened to your dog, you can judge whether or not to take her to the veterinarian based on the severity of the problem. If not, however, you should take her to the vet to rule out serious causes of her limp and her pain.


Arthritis is a common cause of limping, especially in older dogs. Many dog owners mistakenly believe a loss of mobility is due to old age in their pets, but the problem is typically arthritis. This inflammatory condition affects the joints and makes pets feel stiff when they move.

Dogs with arthritis may need pain medication to help them manage. They may also get some relief from the use of a supportive bed, or gentle physical therapy. Work with your vet to choose the right management option for your dog’s arthritis.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a serious, chronic health problem that can affect dogs. It is carried by ticks and transmitted to dogs when these ticks bite and break the skin. Take time to check your dog thoroughly for ticks and remove them immediately if she’s been outside, especially in tall grass.

Lyme disease has a wide range of symptoms that may occur, but some dogs will be asymptomatic. Stiffness in the joints and difficulty walking can be related to Lyme disease, so it’s important to have your dog tested for this condition if she is limping and you live in a Lyme-prone location. As a precaution, ensure your pet is on tick prevention.

Bite or Sting

If an insect or snake bites or stings your dog, it is most likely to do so on the foot or leg. This is simply because these are the parts of your dog’s body that are likely to be closest to biting and stinging creatures outdoors. A bite or sting on the foot or leg will cause your dog to limp for a while. Because dogs can have allergic reactions that can put their lives in danger as a consequence of insect or snake bites, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

A broken or torn toenail can be very painful to a dog. If your dog damages one or more of her toenails, she may limp because it hurts to put weight on the affected foot. It’s important to get this problem taken care of quickly, as damaged toenails can commonly lead to infection. Your veterinairan will help you determine the right treatment for your dog’s damaged toenail. With proper veterinary care, the wound should recover and your dog will be able to walk normally again in a few weeks.

Pulled Muscle

If your dog enjoys a lot of strenuous play or is very active in general, she may risk pulling a muscle. Just like humans, dogs can easily overexert their muscles and cause them to hurt. A pulled muscle will recover in a few days to a few weeks if your dog is encouraged to rest. However, if the pulled muscle is causing a lot of pain, you may need to see a vet for some pain medication to help your dog recover more easily.

Contact a Veterinarian if Your Dog is Limping

Limping is a serious concern in most instances. Even though the underlying cause of the limp is usually not life-threatening, a limp that lasts for a long time can lead to major health complications later in a dog’s life. By working with a trusted vet, you can help your dog recover from her limp or work to manage the underlying problem. Your vet can help you make the right decision for your pet’s future healthcare based on her specific health needs. For more information, contact Orlando Vets by calling one of our locations or schedule an appointment online. Your pet’s health is very important to us and we will be there for your fur baby and you every step of the way.

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