When your dog suddenly starts limping noticeably, it's important that you call us right away to schedule an appointment. Because dogs are good at compensating for low-grade chronic pain, you may not become aware of the limping until the underlying condition has progressed to a more acutely painful stage. Serious limping and lameness indicates an animal in real distress, and we need to determine what's creating it and alleviate the discomfort. Contrary to popular belief, pets rarely cry when in pain. The most common signs of pain in pets are limping or stiffness, decreased energy/activity, decreased social behavior, and decreased appetite. Shaking, aggression, and excessive licking or scratching of a specific area are other common signs. 

What Can Cause A Dog To Limp?

Possible causes can include injury such as arthritis, strains and sprains, foot infections, fractures, or a torn nail. Hidden structures such as bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and blood vessels can be damaged. Check the dog's feet for signs of infection, bleeding, swelling, or anything else that looks abnormal. There may be other associated symptoms as well. Often, a dog in pain will resist playing and exercising, exhibit problems standing, lying down, jumping, and going up or down stairs, or difficulty maintaining balance.

What Are The Treatment Options?

Once we find what's causing the limping, we can give you a number of treatments to employ. They can include anti-inflammatory medication or CBD oil to relieve pain, instructions for the proper application of heating pads or ice packs, a regimen of enforced rest (such as confinement to a crate), or possibly recuperative physical therapy. We may recommend blood work and x-rays as well, depending on exam findings. Before we can develop an effective treatment plan, it will be important for us to know whether the limp began suddenly or developed over time.

At our Staten Island veterinary hospital, we specialize in treating dogs, cats, small mammals (including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats), reptile medicine, and other exotic pet care. Our experienced veterinarians provide the highest level of medical care, and we use only state-of-the-art medical equipment. Other services include on-site pet boarding and house calls.