Sometimes, limping can be caused be a traumatic injury like a broken bone, and emergency veterinary care should be sought immediately. But other times, limping in dogs can be triggered by less obvious causes like osteoarthritis and congenital disease. If you notice your pup limping, don’t just brush it off. Make an appointment at the vet to get to the root of the problem.
Below are seven possible reasons your dog might be limping:
1. Trauma: If you notice your canine companion limping, trauma should be the first thing you look for. Dogs are curious creatures, which can sometimes get them into trouble. Lacerations, foot pad burns, claw fractures, sprains, and even broken bones can trigger a limp, obviously some more severe than others.
2. Congenital Disease: Conditions like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation can all cause lameness in a dog’s limbs.
3. Infectious Disease: Lyme disease, which is spread via ticks, is another culprit for limb lameness. Parasite protection is an important deterrent of tick-borne illness.
4. Osteoarthritis: This common disease occurs due to wear and tear on the joints over time and limping is a very common symptom. Joint supplements can sometimes help prevent joint deterioration and contribute to improved mobility.
5. Neuromuscular Disease: Some rare diseases, like myasthenia gravis, can result in lameness and limping, sometimes severe.
6. Spinal Disease: Most common in low-to-the-ground dogs like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds, Intervertebral Disc Disease can cause degeneration of the vertebrae, leading to pressure on the spinal cord. Limping will likely appear as a symptom.
7. Cancer: Tumors of the bones, nerves, muscles, and joints can all cause limping.