Causes of Limping in Dogs

Why is My Dog Limping?

A dog may start limping out of the blue, following some injury you hadn't noticed. Or a limp may develop gradually over time, for example due to the onset of arthritis. Limping in dogs can be caused by many different things. The underlying cause needs to be addressed and understood, as it may be something much different than a simple sprain.

When I worked at a veterinary hospital, and was often responsible for making "triage" decisions about what to do about an injured dog, we would give priority same-day appointment slots to dogs who wouldn't put weight on their injured leg. The most worrisome cases of limping are those where the dog refuses to put any weight on the affected limb.

Here are some steps you can follow to pinpoint the cause of limping in dogs.

1. Inspect the limb. If your dog just began limping, start by carefully inspecting the affected limb. Look for any evidence of injury such as the following:

  • Cuts
  • Splinters
  • Insect bite
  • Foreign objects stuck between the toes
  • Torn toenails
  • Swollen or misshapen foot or leg

If you see a thorn or other foreign object stuck in the paw pad, you may get some tweezers, go to a well-lit area, and try to carefully remove it. Muzzle your dog for safety! If you suspect something is stuck, but it seems to be deep under the skin, you can immerse the foot in a mixture of Epsom salts and water, and see if that helps the foreign object to work its way out.

2. Palpate the limb. Obviously, don't handle the limb if there are obvious signs of fracture (swelling, disfiguring of the limb, or protruding bones), or if you own an aggressive dog, or one that tends to bite when in pain. But otherwise, you want to gently feel the affected limb, while looking at the dog for any clue that he is feeling pain; this will help find the source of the problem. Each dog has its own way of manifesting pain: some may startle, others may whimper, and others may growl.

3. Decide whether to monitor the situation or seek veterinary advice. At this point, you should try to address your findings. If there is a thorn, you should try to remove it; if there is a cut, you want to medicate it and keep it from getting infected. If the source is not easy to identify, it is best to seek veterinary advice, including about whether you need x-rays. It's possible that the limping is not caused by any particular small problem, but by a disease affecting multiple limbs or the whole body.

Injuries Due to Accidents

Aside from evident cuts, foreign objects, or torn nails, there are still a long list of possible causes of limping. One of the most common causes is accidents. Your dog may have injured itself jumping out of your car or playing in the yard. If you witnessed the injury, then the cause of the limping will be obvious; but If you have been away and come home to a limping dog, the cause may need to be investigated.

  • Sprains. Dogs get muscle sprains just as humans do. They can result from a sudden movement while playing. Sprains and limping are especially common in working-dog breeds. Most non-serious sprains usually resolve by themselves within 48 hours. However, if the dog is in evident pain and appears uncomfortable, you should consult with the vet. He will identify the cause, and may prescribe anti-inflammatories for pain relief. Rest is key to a faster recovery.
  • Fractures. Fractures are usually pretty obvious: the leg is not bearing weight, the dog will be in obvious pain, the leg may appear deformed or swollen, and sometimes the bone may even be protruding out of the skin. The dog may have bleeding from such an injury that needs to be stopped. It is obvious the dog needs prompt veterinary attention. On the way to the vet, the dog should be restrained from moving, to the extent possible. It is helpful to carry the dog. While a fracture is most often due to an accident, bone cancer (discussed below) can also cause fractures.

Limping Caused by Problems in Growing Dogs

Large young dogs are prone to problems as they grow. These disorders often have a genetic basis. Puppies of large breeds may develop a limp between two months and two years of age, often because they grow too fast, putting extra strain on the bones, cartilage and muscle. Sometimes diet aggravates the problem: too many calories, protein intake, and incorrect proportions of calcium and phosphorus. Here are some common growth-related causes of limping.

  • Pano (panosteitis). Typically this condition shows up in dogs six to nine months of age, though it may be found in dogs up to 18 months old. Pano can be thought of as "growing pains"; the marrow found in the long bones develops abnormally for a time. Typically the dog presents with sudden limping without any known injuries. He is able to put weight on the leg, but will show obvious pain. The lameness may show up sporadically and may shift from leg to leg. Palpating the limb by pressing or squeezing the middle of the shaft of the long bone usually elicits a pain response from the dog. Treatment consists mainly of pain management and diet change. While Pano may last two to five months, the dog should recover fully.
  • HOD (hypertrophic osteodystrophy). This condition occurs mainly in puppies two to eight months old. It is the inflammation of the growth plates (the cartilage at the end of a growing bone). Typically, palpating the distal (lower) end of the long bone will elicit a pain response from the dog. The joints may feel hot and look swollen. The dog will appear lame, almost as if walking on egg shells. He also be lethargic, have a fever and lose weight.
  • OCD (osteochondrosis dissecans). This painful condition is caused by a defect in the cartilage surface of the joint. Cartilage may come detached and float around the area of the joint. OCD commonly affects the shoulder, but may affect other parts of the limb, such as the elbow, knee, hocks, or stifle. The condition is best resolved by surgery to replace the defective cartilage.

Vet Explains How to Check a Dog Limping on its Rear Leg

Other Causes of Limping in Dogs

While limping in a puppy or young dog may be related to growth, in older dogs there may be different causes. Following are some non-growth-related causes of limping, affecting the front legs and the rear legs.

Limping Affecting Only Front Legs

  • Elbow dysplasia. In this condition, the top of the ulna is not properly fused to the rear point of the elbow. The dog will appear lame and will respond to pain when its elbow is extended.

Limping Affecting Only Rear Legs

  • Hip dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a genetic disorder, and all breeding dogs should be screened before mating. In hip dysplasia, because of structural defects, the ball of the hip doesn not fit properly in its socket. Affected dogs will have trouble walking and in particular may have a hard time getting up from lying down.
  • Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. This is often seen when the dog accidentally twists on his hind leg, causing the cruciate ligament to tear. This can happen on slippery surfaces, or when a dog is hit by a car. Breeds predisposed to this problem are Newfoundland, Labrador retriever, Rottweiler, and St. Bernard. Affected dogs will typically appear lame, holding the affected rear leg off the ground. The knee may become swollen.
  • Luxating Patella. When your dog exhibits pain in the stifle or knee-cap area, he may have a luxating patella, a problem often seen in small breeds of dogs such as Yorkies, toy poodles, and dachshunds. An dog with luxating patella may skip when it runs.

Other Diseases That May Cause Limping

  • Bone Cancer. Large-breed dogs are prone to bone cancer. Affected dogs may develop severe lameness and unexplainable fractures after even a slight injury. Bone cancer is a serious condition in dogs, often requiring amputation of the leg to reduce pain.
  • Arthritis. As dogs age, the continuous friction of the joints can cause inflammation and arthritis. Affected dogs are typically middle-aged to senior, and will become reluctant to jump out of the car or climb up the stairs. They may walk more slowly, and have more pain in the mornings. Anti-inflammatory drugs may work very well. Home remedies for arthritis in dogs are also worth trying.
  • Lyme disease. This disease is carried by ticks. Affected dogs will usually develop an unexplainable limp a few months after the tick exposure. Commonly, the limp will be barely noticeable at first but then will progress up to a point where the dog may be unable to walk. Many dogs affected by Lyme disease are literally carried by the owner into the vet's office. Accompanying symptoms may be fever and lethargy. The disease is treated with antibiotics such as Doxycycline or Cephalexin.
  • Valley fever. This fungal disease found in the desert Southwest may cause a cough accompanied by limping.
  • Neurological disorders. For example, a "slipped" or out-of-place disc in the spine can put pressure on nerves in the spinal cord, cutting off the messages from the brain to the legs that allow proper movement.

The only way to know for sure what is causing a dog to limp is to have the dog seen by a veterinarian, and possibly undergo x-rays or further tests.

This article is not supposed to be used as a substitute for veterinary advice. If your puppy or dog is limping, please see your veterinarian for proper assessment and treatment.

Have questions? Discuss your dog's health with other users at Dog Health Forums. Allergies, cancer, and limping are a few of the many topics!

Dr. Greg Explains What to Check For in a Limping Dog

Does your dog see the vet for a limping problem?

  • It depends on the severity of the symptoms.
  • Of course, any limping should be addressed!
  • I try to cure it at home the best I can.
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Comments 237 comments

k-baby 6 weeks ago

About 6 weeks ago I took my Doberman to the vet to get a sedated nail grind and he had a small sore on his front leg from licking...... He got the nail grind and I had the sore checked to be sure it was not cancer........ all came back as no cancer..... and just got antibiotics..... when we were leaving.... he had a hard time getting up in the car..... but I thought he was just still a little sedated... Got home about 15 minutes later..... and he could not lift his leg to pee........ his left hip was swollen about 3- times it size.......... called the vet and took him back in......could not pee without difficulty for 3 days....... doctor said he was looking to see if he had a mast cell........... been back and forth 12-14 times.... once to twice a week.... no change in swelling, but on week two he started to not be able to get up and down without his hips going out sort of like falling occasionally.... even now very difficult going up and down stairs........ as sometimes slips.... I think he fell at the vet, and feel it is a cover-up and I'm getting more worried as time goes on......... how can know if he fell?

Tammy 7 weeks ago

We have a little "Porky" (Pom/Yorkie mix) and he got a small injury on his front leg about 2 years ago and during the time he was recovering my husband really babied him a lot. So now when he wants attention, he starts limping. I know he is faking it because I saw him coming down the hallway and as soon as he saw my husband, he started limping. he has varying degrees of this limp depending on how much attention he wants....we took him to the vert and the vet could not find anything wrong with him. The assistant vet said her dog does the same thing. Wierd huh?

Animals instinct is to hide injury, but my little guy found a way to exploit his. Too Funny

Bob 8 weeks ago

My boxer dog poops really soft a smoothly and every time sh tries to get up she falls down but it looks like someone hit her so I touched her leg and she didn't mind I was wondering what's wrong with her?

Kelley 2 months ago

I have a senior female toy yorkie who earlier today yelped in the back yard and ran to hide in the foliage on the other end of the yard. I managed to coax her out since she was well hidden. Now about 7 hours later she's limping and I don't know why. I had initially checked her over for any blood, bites, ticks, etc. She was walking just fine in the beginning. Now I don't know what to do. She's eating and drinking just fine. I did check her since she has been limping to see what the problem is and it seems to be slightly swollen on her right front leg. I'm not sure if I should at this point take her to the vet or let it ride out.

Juliette 3 months ago

Hi, I have an almost 4 yr of English lab. This morning when we took her for her morning walk she wouldn't walk or stand up. When we tryed to get her to stand, her back was arched and her back left leg was shaking. She ate all her food, so we ruled out stomach problem which she sometimes has. She will only lye on her right side so her leg is it the air. Whenever we touch it to look at it it shakes and she looks in pain. There is no visible injury, but it is hard to know for sure because she won't stand up so we cannot compare her legs. She seemed fine yesterday, the only way she could have hurt it was the 5 hour car ride we have yesterday and last night. We are really worried about her and we can't take her in to the vet until tommorow. Any help of what might be wrong would be appreciated, or if it even sounds like it is her leg. Thank you

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alexadry 3 months ago from USA Author

Corri, any fire ants in your yard?

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alexadry 3 months ago from USA Author

Corri, when you do not notice anything after an inspection of the area, it's often time for an x-ray to see what's going on internally.

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alexadry 3 months ago from USA Author

Jim, please report it to the vet that prescribed the medication. Can also be a side effect.

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alexadry 3 months ago from USA Author

Only the vet can really answer this, the pup should see the vet specifically for this problem. When dogs get their shots they are only visited quickly for any obvious problems (like a lump, growth in the mouth, swollen abdomen etc) and these more subtle problems that are seen when walking the dog or only seen at times can be missed.

corri 3 months ago

my dog has a limp but i do not see any visuals from the list and she has licked her paw on multiple times and flinches from time to time what happened?

Holly 3 months ago

I have a 12 yr old chihuahua Eddie limps on both front paws. Looking at his

paws I see a round dried hard something that herts him. he licks at it all the time. Now it is bloody and he doesn't want it touched.

Thank You,


Jim 3 months ago

Hi. My 4 month old puppy is limping and constantly twitching his hind leg after I gave him medication for mange.

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alexadry 3 months ago from USA Author

Becca, I hope your dog is feeling better now. It's very frustrating when an exact cause cannot be found.

Francel 3 months ago

hi, i have two boerbulls not related at all they got 5 babies, the pups are now about five months old, one of the owners that took one pup complained to me today that the pup seems lame in her front legs and as if there is something wrong with her tongue muscles as well, she did not always have this problem it only started lately as she is growing? this is the only owner that has a problem like this? what can be the causes of this? the pup's where checked by the vet every time they received their injections and there where no problems with them? please let me know so that I can give an answer to the owner?

Becca 4 months ago

I have a four year old English Mastiff who started out with a swollen knee.. I took him to the vet and they said they thought he tore a ligament, so gave him pain meds and anti-inflammatories... Four days later the knee was swollen and so was his leg... He was barely moving. Wouldn't put any weight on it. His leg and knee was three times the size it was suppose to be. I took him to another vet who said he did not have a torn ligament, no broken bones either. They ruled out heart disease, lime disease, heart worms, lung issues, and pretty much everything. They said they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him but they thought he had an infection of some sort. They put him on antibiotics, pain meds, and water pills. He is getting better, but still swollen. The swelling has went down some but he is still not putting any pressure on his foot/leg. I worry about what's wrong with him, because they said it could be a spider bite or a snake bite but they could not find an open wound to where the infection started. I am still worried about him and hoping he gets better soon. It is just hard not knowing what is wrong with him.

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alexadry 5 months ago from USA Author

Any arthritis? I would see a specialist when the regular vets have a hard time coming to a diagnosis. Look for a veterinarian specializing in orthopedics like a board-certified veterinary surgeon.

Kym 5 months ago

Our 7 year old birder collie which we recently inherited is limping and carrying his front left leg, Prior to getting the dog he had an operation on his paw as the first vet said there was something in the paw and there was nothing found. We have now taken him to a vet and had xrays done. There is no deformities to the bone structure and no apparent injury. The vet does not know what is wrong. Can anyone assist?

Nick 5 months ago

I have a 90 female Labrador. She has had a slight persistent limp, front right, for the last 2 wks. I put her on "bed rest" and it did improve. A significant change, a major change and likely cause of the limp is I moved and my apartment is on the 3rd story. She appears to be apprehensive of going down the stairs. Yesterday she had a lot more exercise than normal and she won't put any weight on the leg. She's severely hobbling. I suspect it's an injury to her wrist or elbow. Her forearm muscle has been noticeably tense at times. I'm suspecting it could be a torn ligament.

I'm a little tight on money at the moment and an emergency vet is out of the question. I am going to take to her regular vet on Monday and have been carrying my 90 lbs dog up and down the stairs to do her business.

She clearly is in pain when she walks. Struggles to rotate her body to get off my bed, and I have never seen a limp as severe as this before.

So, my question is what can I do to help ease her pain and condition until I see the vet?

Please help, I cancelled my Saturday night plans due to this and would appreciate any advice.

Much appreciated in advance.


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alexadry 5 months ago from USA Author

Maybe you can try doggie boots? This can prevent contact with allergens, also some socks can prevent licking.

Karen 5 months ago

I have a 13 year old American Bulldog that weights around 107. Trooper is in such severe pain when he walks, especially trying to get up & Down the steps. His feet swell so bad and break open & bleed. I was told by his vet that he is extremely allergenic to the grass. Steroids help a little but he gains so muc weight. You can tell he is in so much pain. He licks his paws & this keeps them irritated & bleeding. I have tried so many different solutions with no relief. Please give me information to help him enjoy his senior years without so much pain & where he can walk the steps again. He has about 8 to 9 steap steeps which when he gets to the top he can't catch breath for a good 10 minutes. I built Trooper a ramp but he would not use it. It was to steep. I will do anything you feel will help him in his elderly years. Thank you.

Roslyn 5 months ago

I have a 9 month Pembroke welsh corgi she has no limp but is not running around or following us she lays still unless she needs to go potty. Took her the vet on Saturday he prodded and push found no sign of pain we took X-rays and did blood work he couldn't see anything in the X-ray when she goes potty she stands for a while and has uncontoralble shakes in her hind end. I just picked up anti inflammatory this morning. I have felt her entire body I have moved her neck to the left and right there's a bit of resistance moving to the right while standing I mover her back legs one at a time stretching behind and forward did the same to her left front her right front she whimpered so I think it's in her right front although there's no limp her gate looks normal she is careful tho stepping off and on to the conceret Shes slow she hasn't reached a round to lick herself and hasn't laided on her back like she normally does. Any suggestions please.

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alexadry 21 months ago from USA Author

Only a vet visit can really tell what this is, often by doing x-rays, if it gets better and goes away in 48 hours it may just be a sprain. If it continues, it can be anything from Lyme disease, to growing pains (pano), a ligament tear, to a dislocated joint. So many possibilities!, which is why your vet needs x-rays. Since she seems in pain, I would take her to the vet sooner than later, best wishes for a speedy recovery!

adam 21 months ago

my 11 month old puppy woke up this morning and is walking with limp . its in her hips her hind legs are not close together and she is slightly hunched when she walks. . She cant run jump is reluctant to step up or down a single stair . What can this be?? Please any information will be greatly appreciated. Thankyou

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alexadry 23 months ago from USA Author

At your dog's age it could be arthritis or since it's more than one leg affected something like an immune-mediated polyarthropathy , but best to have x-rays and see what's going on.

Tonyab 23 months ago

I have a 13 yr old border collie/Aussie mix. She all of a sudden started limping on her back right leg & then shortly after wouldn't put any weight on it. The next morning she is putting very little weight on it but is now limping on the front right leg as well. She shows no sign of pain on examination. She is on Tramadol for pain. Any thoughts? She did have surgery 1 month ago & had a 2lb fatty tumor removed from the middle of her right side. She is eating & drinking just fine but does not want to get up to go outside to potty. This is a first for her & she is otherwise still an active dog. Also not in any tick area. Thank you

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alexadry 24 months ago from USA Author

Poor Joey, can't blame him, he must love hunting so much! When my dog teared her ACL I had to find ways to keep her entertained and mentally stimulated during the day so I would put her kibble in Kongs and engage her in other foraging activities. Hunting for food was one of her favorite games, I would hide the kibble around the house and she would sniff her way to them.Tiring the mind can help tons in these cases. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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ShariBerry 24 months ago from Michigan

Thank you so much for your input. Joey is 6 years old and will be 7 in March 2015. It is pheasant season here in Michigan and Joey is sadly missing his very favorite thing. Hope we can figure this out soon. We don't want to hunt him and aggravate the matter but he is definitely not happy with us :)

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alexadry 24 months ago from USA Author

A torn cruciate ligament comes to mind, but only a positive drawer test or x-rays, possibly with sedation may tell. A soft tissue injury such as a sprain can be also possible, but normally you would see improvement with that. Dislocated joints are another possibility among the many orthopedic issues dogs may have. A pinched nerve or herniated disc in the neck or back may be an issue as well. An x-ray should be helpful since there are several abnormalities that cannot be detected by simple palpation. I don't know your dog;s age, but mild arthritis is also common in middle-aged pets and they often follow a pattern of pain upon getting up and less pain upon warming up. Just throwing out common findings I used to see at the vet. I hope your vet can pinpoint the problem so appropriate treatment can be started, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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ShariBerry 24 months ago from Michigan

Strange that I should come across this Hub. We have a German Wirehaired Pointer that started limping about 5 weeks ago. At first we thought he had pulled a muscle in his rear leg but it didn't seem to get any better. So, we took him to our Vet and after he examined him found there was inflammation in his knee and put him on some meds to take care of the inflammation. He has been on Rimadyl for 3 weeks with very little improvement. The only reason I write this is because the limping only happens after he is getting up from lying down. Once up he limps or won't put any weight on that leg for several steps but once he has taken a few steps he is off and running. He plays with the dog next door running and chasing each other, he chases a ball and you would never know there was a problem. Just as you think the problem is gone he lays down and a few minutes later he does the limp thing again. I guess our next step is to have x-rays. If you have any ideas about this please let me know. By the way, there is never any wincing or crying.

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theBAT 2 years ago

Thank you for this very informative hub. "Luxating Patella" is also a common defect in the Chihuahua breed. Can it be prevented? Will it naturally result to limping? Again thanks.

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Hi Susan, if you have time, let us know what your vets' findings were, best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Susan 2 years ago

My 4 y/o doxie started walking on both distal joints of her right front foot today which causes a limp. Doesn't seem to hurt her. Can't see anything wrong. Palpates same as left foot. I will be taking her to vet in the a.m.

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Wiserworld,thanks for stopping by and commenting. It's sad when there's not much we can do to help our friends. My dogs are getting older so we have them on glucosamine.

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wiserworld 2 years ago

Used to have a Samoyed that had weak hind legs when he got older. There wasn't much we could do about it since it tends to be a genetic problem with the breed. Thanks for the article.

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Usually, minor sprains tend to get better with rest within 48 hours. Other issues may be difficult to pinpoint, which is why most vets after a physical exam will order x-rays. Many orthopedic issues cannot be pinpointed solely by visual/physical inspection and if a vet can't, as owners we can't as well.. Also, consider that rotts can be very good in hiding pain. Fact is, if a dog is limping there must be some level of pain, even though it's not evident as we would expect. A dog can have leg pain and not yelp, whine as we would expect a dog in pain will. There are more subtle signs of pain we may miss. For instance, my female Rott tore her cruciate ligament last April, and other than on and off limping, she never really yelped/whined or showed the traditional signs of discomfort we attribute to pain. She did though lick her lips and some times was panting which are more subtle signs of pain we often miss.

Shae 2 years ago

My rotti is 7 years old, in good health, she is a runt so smaller than most, and very energetic. she is also very clumsy. The other day she started limping, and we aren't sure why. I stepped on her paw and she yelped the day before, but she still runs around and acts crazy on it. Some days aren't as good as others, and some days she only limps when she's tired. She stills sits and outs weight on it, she still chases the ball and runs without limping, she just does it when she walks. And doesn't seem to be in the slightest of pain. No swelling anywhere, no issues on the leg or the paw. No licking of any areas. She did just have a very big bone she was getting the meat off of for a few days I am thinking she might have sprained something, or as it's pretty snowy and cold out right now she might have got frostbite. No other changes to her than the slight limping. Any ideas?

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Bilal Rehman 2 years ago

In which age German shaft dog's baby stand his ears

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Thanks so much Christine for adding info on this condition, kind regards!

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ChristinRK 2 years ago from Sioux Falls, SD

Thank you for your article! Well written & very informative. My dog has Leg Perthes Disease, which is another common cause of limping in dogs.

Leg Perthes Disease involves spontaneous degeneration of the head on the femur bone, located in the dog's hind leg. This results in disintegration of the hip joint (coxofemoral) and bone and joint inflammation (osteoarthritis).

The exact cause of the condition is unknown, though blood supply issues to the femoral head are usually seen in dogs suffering from Leg Perthes Disease. It is commonly seen in miniature, toy, and small-breed dogs, and has a genetic basis in Manchester terriers. Moreover, most dogs affected with Legg Perthes Disease are five to eight months in age.

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beckieland 3 years ago from Binghamton NY

My dog was limping, and when I was checking out why, I found a tick attached to her hindquarters. She was in pain. Stupid ticks - my dog had Lyme Disease when I got her so I'm glad you mentioned that the disease will cause limping. The vet said Lyme Disease never goes away so I need to be very aware of the lifelong effects.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Good to hear your dog is doing better. Licking is an instinctual way for a dog to try to ease pain. Don't hesitate to see the vet though if the limping persists, best wishes for a speedy recovery!

sethbest 3 years ago

Thanks Alexadry!

He's still limping but is looking much better today, guess it was a sprain. No more whimpering and occasionally he's even been walking normally. I'll wait another day before trying to walk again.

He's been licking the bad arm oddly enough, I suppose that's instinctual.

Anyways, your info helped keep me from getting too worked up, I can be a little overprotective of the old dog.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

In general, minor sprains tend to improve within 48 hours with rest, but we always made priority appointments though for dogs who couldn't put weight on the leg. You may see improvement because you are giving caprofen which works for pain and inflammation, so it's hard to see if he's getting better or not because of the med or because it was a minor injury. I would play it safe and see a vet if he doesn't put weight on it.

sethbest 3 years ago

I have a 10 year old greyhound who has chronic issues with one of his back hips, but its mostly under control. Just yesterday though he was sprinting around the yard and hurt his front leg. He was fine on his walk afterwards but when we got home he started limping. By the night time he wouldn't put any weight on the front leg.

He's been whimpering when he has to get up from his dog bed and is having trouble getting up and down. Palpating the leg I found that it hurts him when the leg is straightened and when i press into the shoulder joint from underneath.

Hes on fish oil, glucosamine, and special hip treats, and I've been giving him the Carpofen the vet prescribed for when his hip acts up since the injury. It's only been 12 hours so far I'm trying to decide how long I should wait for improvement before bringing him in.

Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Unfortunately, this is something only your vet can tell by taking some x-rays of the leg. At times, old injuries may re-surface if the dog puts strain again on an injured leg and this could explain why you are seeing symptoms again. It could be that leg simply never healed properly. Is this a torn cruciate ligament? If so she shouldn't be allowed to run and slipping can make the injury worse. Only the x-ray may ultimately give your vet an idea of what may be going on and what can be done to make that leg better again. I hope your pup gets better soon, best wishes!

shivali24 3 years ago

We happen to live in North India. We brought a stray 1 month old puppy home after she met with an accident. She was in extreme pain and was unable to move . She was given painkiller for 5 days, due to which she started feeling better but for few days we could see her limping on her right back leg . A month after her accident, we noticed that she was perfectly fine. The she was vaccinated for 3 months in a row . When she was about 6 months old she again started limping and since then the situation is same. Now she is 9 months old. I am confused as to why she started limping again when she was fine for 3-4 months after accident. Please be noted that she doesn't allow us to touch the hip area or leg but it seems that pain is mild. She even runs fast but sometimes unable to maintain balance and slips .Why is she limping and can her limping problem be cured without surgery? Kindly advise .

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Any lump, please see your vet. Even the vet cannot tell you exactly what it is if it's a lump until he does a fine needle aspiration. Just as in humans, all lumps need to be checked unfortunately, best wishes!

scott.l 3 years ago

please help my dog has a lump on her front left leg which she keeps licking and bitingt. The lump is about 1 cm wide its dark round the edges with pink in the middle like raw skin.she has now started limping and im getting worried.i dont know if she has been bitten by a tik and shes bitten it off.has anyone had the same problem? I would be very greatful if you could reply thanks.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

If he recovered completely after 3 days it could have been a simple sprain. However, if it continues see your vet as it can be something more that needs attention. I don't like the fact that he can't put his weight on it.

EmmaP 3 years ago

Hi, My dog is a small mongrel about 6 and 1/2yrs old. Over the last month when we have taken him for a walk, shortly after we get home he has started limping to the point where he won't put any weight on his back leg. The following day he is back to normal again, depending on how vigarous the walk was, my step mum took him out the other day whilst we were at work and it took him 3 days of not going out to recover. Do you know why this could be? Thanks

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Christ thanks for stopping by. It's true, several times a minor limping may go away on its own, but dog limping is one of the first signs of osteosarcoma and can be also a sign of a systemic disease such as valley fever, so it never hurts to be safe than sorry.

Chris 4 years ago

Great, concise article and it hits on all the key points. Our corgi when 4 yrs old started to limp really badly. We took him to several doctors then finally to the specialist clinic for an MRI. The doc said save your money this dog will get better. It took three months but he was right...the dog healed completely. Now 3 years later every once in awhile after playing fetch, he will limp. We have to be careful with him. But I don't freak out over it like I did when it first happened. Not playing fetch is not an option, this little guy lives for this game.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

You are welcome, I hope all turns out OK with the dog limping problem.

fly2cin 4 years ago

thanks a ton for your prompt response...will follow your instructions and keep you informed on the updates.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

In the case of fractious dogs, you can get a muzzle and get him used to it. Make sure several hours ahead the appointment you feed him treats through the muzzle and gradually slip it on as you feed. When you take the muzzle off no more treats. Do this several times until he is comfortable wearing it. With a muzzle on your vet should be able to safely draw blood from him and you can help hold him if necessary. Perhaps the vet may want to do an x-ray too. This sounds something that needs to be seen. Best wishes.

fly2cin 4 years ago

Hii...I want your advice..I have a doberman breed male dog of 8 years old, he had fever 2 weeks back. So when i gave medicine fever is cured..then this Monday he started limping..his rear right feet is not touching the i gave a painkiller (diclofenac) then next day was ok..he was touching his feet on ground..then next day again he not keeping his leg on ground and has swelling on his feet from the ankle to the bottom of paw..since my dog is not so friendly and not listens to me its difficult to take him to vet...I gone and met vet so he said he needs see the dog and he wants to do a blood test since he fears bcos of age dog may have got any bold clot inside so Vet want to do a blood test. So i suggested him that I will give sleeping pills to dog and bring to the clinic to which he said when given any medicine the blood test will not be now he gave a topical analgesic spray and one oral suspension of meloxicam..but now the swelling increased and there is more swelling rite at the ankle..can you suggest what to do?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

If this is just a sprain, it gets better generally better within 48 hours. I would follow the vet's advice and keep an eye on her. Any signs of limping after a few days despite rest and medication, deserves attention for further investigation. It is hard to say what this could be without doing x-rays, which is why the vet suggested this if the limping continues .I hope this helps, best wishes!

angie 4 years ago


we have a 4 year old lhasa apso. she's had both of her luxating patellas fixed about 2 years ago and seemed to be doing great. yesterday out of nowhere she started limping on her rear left leg.. i took her to the vet immediately and as soon as she went it, she started running around and not limping at all.. the vet examined her and said her knees and her hips are fine, that it's most likely a sprain so she put her on metacam for a week. she said to wait 3-4 days to see if she gets better, and if not, to bring her in for exrays. this happened yesterday, and today i didn't notice any limping at all. do you think i should take her in again next week regardless or leave it alone if she doesn't limp anymore? is it possible that it's her ACL? she didn't seem to mind at all when the vet was examining her leg. it literally happened out of the blue.. she's not a very active dog, kinda lazy actually.. and we live in canada.. any advice would be appreciated

KitKat 4 years ago


We have a black lab (around 8 years old, unsure because he was a rescued dog many years ago) whose limping on his rear right leg. One day we just noticed that he was limping after playing fetch and taking walks but we hoped it would wear off. Now he still continues to limp but it's worse. He has a hard time standing up and doesn't even use the leg, he hops using his three good legs. We never saw him get injured or anything. What could be the problem?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Happy to hear he is doing better. Good you found a way to compromise: smaller doses but yet enough to help him feel better.

Avery2011 4 years ago

He was completely fine today. I felt so bad for him. I just gave him a fourth of the pain med the vet prescribed him.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Vets as doctors have different approaches when it comes to treatment plans. Some are very conservative and try to avoid prescribing pills when deemed unnecessary, others seem to prescribe something for even the smallest issue. On one hand, consider the potential for side effects. Google Rimadyl kills or previcox kills and you may see pain killers for dogs from a different perspective. Yet, it is also true that there hundreds of dogs on these drugs doing just fine. Another consideration is that you want a certain level of pain so to prevent your dog from overusing the legs affected. If you put your dog on pain killers, with no pain your dog may overexert himself yielding to more pain after ward. So to treat or not to treat? The good thing is that pano eventually resolves on its own even without treatment. The use of meds is mainly to help the dog cope with pain. It is up to you if you want to give him relief or if you think the pain is bearable and does not affect much your dog's enjoyment of life. It is really a personal choice as "should I treat my headache or make it run its course?

Avery2011 4 years ago

I have a Golden Retriever, Avery, that is 13 months old. The vet told me that he had pano after I noticed him limping around 6months old. He switches from leg to leg. Last night, he was so bad off that he could barely get up. Earlier that day, I took him outside and we went for a walk and played fetch and he seemed fine. I have never seen it this bad and am wondering if I should take him back to the vet or if that is normal with pano. Instead of him limping on just one leg, it seemed like he was limping on two- one front and one back leg. I got advice from two different vets after the first diagnosed him and they all had different solutions. One was pushing pills down Avery's throat every day while the other said not to give him any medicine at all. What do you think I should do?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Sorry, there are no home remedies for broken limbs! the dog should see a vet, any chances you can borrow some money from friends/family?

Selina 4 years ago

My Cocker Spaniel jumped out the bed and now she wont put weight on her hind right leg. I think it may be broke, and I can't afford to take her to the vet. Any suggestions

altaangel 4 years ago

no they haven't. we are going to let him rest and if it continues, we will take him in and get X-rays done.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Did the vet do x-rays? this is the first thing I would recommend.

Angel 4 years ago

Thank you for posting this article, it was very informative but I still am unsure what to do with my dog. My dog is a 5 1/2 year old Lab mix. He has been limping periodically on his back left leg. My vet a few months back told me his knee was swollen and gave me a prescriiption for Rimadyl and told me to have him take it easy for a while. We didn't take him on walks and he was not happy about it and would whine to go. After a while we took him out again and he seemed ok. He gets around fine, he goes upstairs on the bed, runs and plays with the other dogs, and runs through the forest. He seems fine and doesn't complain or back down. After he will rest as usual but when he gets up he will limp for a bit but eventually will put weight back on his leg. Sometimes after a lot of activity he seems more hesitant to jump on the bed but he does it anyways. He doesn't wimpier at all and I just don't know if he wants to play and have attention so much, he just ignores the pain. I feel like I want to put a brace on his knee for support like a human but I don't know if there is such a thing or if it would help. For now we are going to keep him in for a while. I don't know what is wrong and I am afraid the vet is going to tell me he needs some expensive surgery. Does his symptoms sound familiar? Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

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LifeStylePets 4 years ago from Florida

Very informative Hub! Do you think any of this could relate to a cat also?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Generally, yes.. sprains tend to get better in 48 hours, keep an eye in your dog and have him see the vet if it does not get better or gets worse, best wishes!

Germanyguy 4 years ago

my gsd has been limping but getting better, is this mean it was just a sprain?

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dogbox 4 years ago from Woodson, IL 62695

Good Article.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

If rest and medication did not bring relief I would suggest going to the vet and having it x-rayed. Rubbing helps determine if there are painful areas, but the whole weight being put on the leg cannot be mimicked by rubbing. Therefore rubbing is self-limiting when trying to make a diagnosis.

Gayle 4 years ago

We have a rescued Bermese and Some type of cattle dog mix. He is about a year old and a few months ago started limping on a front leg. He is healthy besides this limp. We put him in a crate for a few weeks with limited mobility and had him on asprin. No improvement. He seems worse when is getting up after laying down for a while. We have rubbed all over the leg and no signs at all of pain?? we are at a loss. DO you think this is growing pains?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Hello, nice to hear you are from Naples, I was in Naples several years ago to visit Pompei and surrounding areas! The symptoms you list sound like distemper, distemper causes hyperkeratosis(thickening of skin) of foot pads and the tooth enamel issues. Your vet should do a urine test or a skin biopsy of the pads to confirm distemper. I am afraid the walking on the knees may be a neurological sign part of the "seizuring part" of this devastating can read more here:

Treatment for this is mainly supportive for the pups that survive but recovery may be possible. Thank you for taking care of this pup, I really hope she makes an uneventful recovery, kind regards and best wishes.

Joyce 4 years ago

We found a starving German Shorthaired Pointer on the streets here in Naples, Italy. She is a young dog and she does have some pretty significant pad damage on both front feet. However, the vet thinks she might be a distemper survivor due to a lack of enamel on her teeth and some abnormal plaque build up for a one year old (approx) dog. She frequently will stand on her knees and has a very hard time bearing weight on her front legs. She walks with a very strange gait, and is hesitant to come out of her kennel even when it is feeding time. She likes to be near me so she will walk around the house with me and walk outside...but I am at a loss. Can you help me know what tests might need to be done on her. She is the sweetest dog, very gentle and loving.

Karen 4 years ago

Thank you for your help. :) He seems less stiff today, will keep a close watch and try to slow him down!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Generally, at the vet's hospital we used to recommend clients (who wished to wait) to give up to 48 hours for sprains to get better. Of course, affected dogs had to be put on a rest regimen -I know easier said than done!- Of course, a prompt vet visit is best if this is more than a casual sprain... which is almost impossible to know in many cases! So I really cannot say what the best course of action would be simply because we do not know exactly what the problem is.

Karen 4 years ago

Hi alexadry,

My 6 year old Springer Spaniel limped for the first time after his usual (typical for him and most springers) manic lead free run around, catching frisbee, swimming, he was probably out for about 1 hour total. That 1st time, the limp disappeared more or less overnight.

He went out again for a walk yesterday and was noticed limping again. Frisbee was not thrown anymore and he was just left to own devices, no active playing, he also swam a little. Upon return his limp had reduced but within an hour or so had become much worse. He now won't put all his weight on his front right leg. I have touched and squeezed his shoulder, and all down his leg, he is fine with this, except he doesn't like me to touch in-between his two middle toes. No cuts or foreign bodies as far as I can see/feel. Nothing stuck in fur. Nails look ok, although they were trimmed a few days ago - could this be related? Could I have hurt his toe by exerting pressure to cut the nail?

He *will* still walk but seems to dip his head as he does, it looks to me as a novice as though it's a sprain but obviously his toe hurts too. I have bathed the paw in salt solution, he is not licking it, so doubt there is something stuck in it, he usually bites/licks to death any minor cuts.

We were planning on leaving him to rest (just short lead walk to poo - stubborn so and so won't use our garden!) and then taking him to the vet after the weekend if limp is still there - would this be leaving it too late?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Lonni, my male Rottweiler had valley fever, he was limping and coughing, was on fluconazole for almost a year and now is healthy as a horse. Not saying all dogs do the same, but when caught early and treatment is started fast it doesn't mean a death sentence. Keep me updated on the diagnosis, if it is Valley fever, keep in touch and I will tell you where you can purchase cheaper flucanazole. I even wrote a hub about this here it is: best wishes!

Lonni 4 years ago

Oh, and yesterday the sneezing started.... could she have it in her lungs AND the disseminated strain? OMG I've been crying for days now...

Lonni 4 years ago

Can anyone tell me what my 5 1/2 lb 10 month old pomeranian's chances are with Valley Fever? She has been COMPLETELY lethargic for approximately 8 days. I took her to the vet 4 days into this the tests began. Vet sent us home with eye drops and Fluconazole and orbax. I see NO improvement yet. She is eating boiled hamburger w/ground up puppy food and drinking some but she appears to be very weak!

HELP! The vet sent some blood to be tested for VF but I need to know what her prognosis is.....

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

v, if it does not go away with rest, a vet's attention should be sought as there may be an underlying cause that needs attention.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Natalie, it could be a sprain but I would not give medications without asking your vet first. It is hard to know what may have happened exactly if your dog has been out of your sight. Best to have your vet suggest the best course of action. This hub covers the topic of aspirin and its risks:

Best wishes!

4 years ago

I have a 19 month old choc lab and he limps after a good romp with a black lab (same age) My lab is a solid lad were the other is a slim fellow and i would of thought he one be the one to limp after play. I then rest my lab for a few days but even then it does not always work. any ideas?

great advice though!!

Natalie 4 years ago

Hi-thank you so much for all the I formation on why dogs limp and I have bookmarked it for my precocious pets, but it really doesn't answer why my Brittany Spainel is limping and quite badly at that! He had been fine all day hs usual prancing self when a few hours later I couldn't find him in the house. This is usually a clue as he is our little accident waiting to happen ie bee stings, broken nails (only when we're showing the house :p), hot sauce in the eye. So of course I went looking and found him unwilling to bear weight on his front left leg after an extensive check of nails, pads, all the way up to his shoulder I see nothing that indicates a reason for this but lo and behold this morning he s still limping really badly we are going to the vet but was wondering if you might have any additional info and we won't be seeing the vet till this afternoon. He is a crate trained dog so he naturally is just hanging in there but you mentioned aspirin or rimadyl both of which we have in the house fr our chocolate lab. What would e the dozing strength fr a Brittany? Thank you again you this fabulous hub and in advance for any wisdom you might be able to share with me before our vet visit!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Try to keep him off the bed for a few days. It could be that his weight upon landing from getting off the bed is what is causing pain. It may be something as simple as a sprain. I do not want to underestimate the issue, but if it happens only upon jumping off the bed a sprain would be the most common issue. However, I am wondering if the vets are suspecting this pain is associated with the fever and other symptoms you observed. In this, case perhaps they are wondering something systemic going on. Did they run a lyme test? Try your best to keep him quiet for a few days and see if he improves. A Lyme test and an x-ray of the paw may be reasonable for a proper diagnosis, best wishes! Here is a link about lymes:

Elizabeth 4 years ago

I forgot to add that full blood work was done and everything came back as excellent except for an elevated white blood cell count and elevated levels of protein in his urine, but vet said he saw absolutely nothing that alarmed him.

Elizabeth 4 years ago

Hi. I have a 6 year old Doberman Pinscher who up until last week has been in immaculate health. Last Monday, he had an upset stomach and was quite lethargic with shallow breathing so I took him to the Vet. He had a 104.5 degree temperature and was diagnosed with an infection so he was prescribed antibiotics and given a non-steroid anti-inflammatory to bring the fever down. Once home he was much more like himself and seemed to respond quite well to the antibiotics. I thought we had it figured out but upon waking on Tuesday Yurman cried out when he jumped off the bed. He's never shown any signs of discomfort or achiness before so I assumed he may have just slept on something wrong so I watched him for the remainder of the day with no signs of improvement. I was concerned it could be the beginning of bloat (apparently very common in Dobes) so we took him to the emergency vet who, after extensive examination, could elicit no pain from anywhere on his body. Bloat was ruled out and the vet concluded it may just be gas pains from the digestive upset that came with the infection.

Now I find myself here a week later and while he is totally normal in every other sense (very active, spins and jumps up and down, no lameness, healthy appetite) he still cries out when his front legs hit the ground when jumping off the bed. The vet has made suggestions that it could be laryngeal paralysis or even Wobbler's which frightens me terribly but Yurman shows no discomfort or impairment when he's moving around on all four legs or even when he jumps up on the bed, has no difficulty breathing or trouble eating or drinking. He also shows no signs of any sort of neurological impairment so I am at a loss as to what it could be and I have a hard time believing he has developed a serious condition like the two suggested out of the blue with no other symptoms. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could be dealing with or any plan of action I should take? This dog is everything to me and I would literally die for him. It kills me to see him in discomfort and for me have no way of relieving his pain.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Jonaysnote1, I got your message but did not approve it because you posted your e-mail and anybody can see it and use it in a bad way. Did you put her on a resting regimen? It is hard for a dog to recover if it is allowed to romp and continue to jump on beds, etc. She should be kept in a quiet room to recover. If you are already doing this, did your vet prescribe any pain relievers? These may help speed up the recovery. Again, with pain relievers you want to allow rest. Ask your vet if it is ok to give baby aspirin if she seems in a lot of pain, many vets will give you a dosage to give with instructions. In such case, they do not need to see her again. If it does not get better say in another few days, I would consider another visit or another vet's opinion. Best wishes!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Rob, it could be a sprain but generally you should see it getting better with rest. If she is up in her years, it may be the beginning of arthritis, especially if you see it more upon getting up in the morning. Worth checking by a vet's diagnosis so you can start her on glucosamine supplements. I hope she gets better, but if there are no signs of getting better an x-ray may be your best bet. Best wishes!

Rob 4 years ago

1st I want to say to Alexadry how awesome you are for doing your best to answer so many peoples questions. I haven't even asked my question but I just want to extend a thanks to you for doing what you are doing. I have a toy poodle, limping on one of her back legs. I looked between her toes and at her pads and nothing. Gave them a little squeeze and nothing. Bend her leg, put a little pressure on it all and she doesn't wince, growl or whine. The limping started 4 days ago. I'm guessing based on your article that it's possibly a sprain. She really doesn't show any sign of discomfort, just doesn't really put much weight on it. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. Just looking for some thoughts, thanks again.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Yes, this type of injury is related to growing. Growth plates are softer than other regions of the bones, and therefore are more prone to injury.

skiee 4 years ago

So we took beau to the vet he said beau dislocated his growth plate in the knee... And he was to be bed riddin until today well know he is limping on other leg and has been bed riddin could it just possibly be him growing he is a lab/pit mix

somya 4 years ago

since today morning my 2 year old labrador is not able to stand or move even. he is having trouble in sitting too. its the left hind limb that is causing trouble. what shoul i do now??

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Shanks, There is not much I can do than hope for some of your friends and relatives to be generous enough to help out and loan some money. If she is feverish and limping this may be a sign of eclampsia, which requires IMMEDIATE CARE, please take her ASAP to the vet, when you come home you can read more about this here:

Shanks 4 years ago

My germn Shepard had puppies two weeks ago. Three dys ago I noticed her not putting weight on her back leg. Now it is swollen and feverish and she is not eating. I know this can't be good for the puppies and I also noticed she regurgitated what little food I got her to ear this morning. My husband just lost his job and I cannot afford an expensive vet visit. Please help!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Chitra, it is hard for some dogs to recover especially when they are active. If your dog jumps, runs and all the like, it could be that paw was never allowed to rest, prolonging recovery times. A crate may be helpful for a few days, however, it may be worth it to do some x-rays just to rule other things out.

Chitra 4 years ago

My German Shepherd -golden retriever mix dog is 15 months old. He injured his front left leg about 3 months ago while climbing on to the fence. He started limping. I took him to the vet and as there was no visible injury or swelling , he prescribed a mild dose of aspirin for a few days. His limping reduced and he was fine. But again in the last 3 weeks he has started limping, he doesn't apply weight on his left front paw, when sometimes bends the paw. I have taken him more than 3 times to the vet and he seems to think it should go away with rest. But it hasn't. The dog does not have any pain. He still jumps, runs around, climbs stairs, etc. He only limps when we take him out for a walk. I have to keep him tied to give him rest

skiee 4 years ago

Good news well kind of my puppy broke his growth plate its common in larger breed puppies I guess but my vet said no need for a splint or cast? Isn't that a little odd

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Ebony, it is hard to say if the new limping you are seeing is correlated with the stepping on the toenail episode or if it is a whole new injury from jumping off the bed. If it is a sprain generally, it would get better within 48 hours.If she appears to be in pain from touching that toenail perhaps it may help to soak her paw in a mix of betadine (one spoon) and Epsom salts with warm water. Soak the troubled paw for 15 minutes in the solution. Then you can apply some neosporin cream and wrap the paw with some gauze and bandage tape, not too tight, but enough to keep it in place and allow the neosporin to be absorbed. This will prevent her from licking the paw and possibly getting it further injured from jumping off the bed. Let the paw get some air though when she is likely to stay inactive. Split or cracked toenails are very painful to dogs. Best wishes!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Tammy, this sounds like a sprain especially since it happened after romping at the dog park, if so, it should get better within 48 hours. Of course, there is no way to know for sure though.

Ebony 4 years ago

My pom Pryncess is limping again. We live in Atlanta.

A cpl months ago, when i was coming in from a night club in my dark apartment, she was right there waiting for me. Bc the light wasn't on, i stepped on her paw with my 6inch heels. She yelped and cried sooooo loud and it scared me so bad. I took off my shoes, got the light switch then turned it on. There was blood on the floor and coming from her paw. I was in tears bc I hurt my baby.. I picked her up, went to the sink, washed her paw, put peroxide on it and kept her right up under me the next few days. I barely let her walk or do anything bc she wld limp. After two weeks of staying off of her paw, she cld finally walk again with no pain or limping. I looked at her paw and it seems I had stepped on her toenail which was healing really well. Last night, Pryncess started limping again out of no where but only after she jumped off my bed. I inspected her paw and it seems she yelps when u touch the same toenail I had stepped on a few months back. I'm worried but cannot afford a Vet appt. I now carry her to and from the bathroom and dont let her do anything but lay in bed. Is there something more I can do?

Tammy 4 years ago

I own a pitbull shes about a year and a half old yesterday my husband and I took her to our neighborhood park and afte r playing she began limping when we got home. She licks her paw but she also walks on it if the mood strikes her but she doesn't apply alot of her weight and then her paw goes right back up..could this just be a sprain

SheilA 4 years ago

Thanks for your suggestions. Hopefully the vets can figure it out. So far they have ruled out pano and lymes but after reading much literature including the great Dane ladys articles I have to wonder why! Thank u again

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Sheila, lyme disease tends to cause pain from one leg to another, indeed, for this reason it is often referred to as ''“shifting-leg lameness,” however if it was lyme it should have gotten better when on the doxy, generally within 48 hours. Pano also has the shifting leg characteristic, but there are many other possible conditions that can be confirmed or ruled out through diagnostic tests. To learn more about orthopedic diseases Great Danes are prone to, the GreatDaneLady may be a good resource:

Sheila 4 years ago

If it was lymes would the symptoms get better? He seems to have good and bad days with mobility. It does seem to switch between legs, it's so hard to tell. He was lame and not eating, now he's eating and wants to play. Would lymes present so up and down?

Sheila 4 years ago

Im not sure, the vet said she specifically tested for lymes. She said it was a very sensitive test and if he had lymes it would show. I'm going to call today to try and find out

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Did your vet ever run an IDEXX “Snap-3 Dx test” or “Snap-4 Dx test?

Sheila 4 years ago

Hi there, I have a senario. I have a 15 month old Dane who I brought home when he was a puppy last October. In the winter (live in Ontario) after playing in an orchard I found bullseye type marks on his belly. I took him to a local vet who said it looks like a bug bite but it's impossible in the winter. He gave me a cortisone cream and send me home. The spots cleared up the next day. In the sping I found a tick on my dane, it was on his leg NOT under the skin. A month or so later I took my Dane to a holistic vet as I noticed a behaviour change ( he was being destructive in the house). Note he was 8 months. The vet believed he had lymes disease. She told be if I went for a second opinion it would be negative on blood work. She gave us a prescription for doxy. After a few weeks of taking the doxy my Dane seemed not well from the doxy and I took him for a second opinion. Blood work was normal and vet urged me to take my Dane of the doxy as the holistic vet is know for diagnosing every dog with lymes. Months past with no notable issues. Now at around 5 months post lymes diagnosis from holistic vet my Dane is having on and off difficultly with transitioning from sitting to standing. It seems to be his rear end nothing him, so went to see a few vets who aren't sure of the issue. It's seems to get better for a day or two with rest and natural anti-inflammatories, but back to square one after exercise. His parents and bloodlines are all hip/ elbow cert, never any hip dysplagia. They are waiting to see if this improves before they do x-rays as he has recently been under twice (neuter, front pad repair from a cut). Could this be lymes? His most recent blood work was normal, alittle low on the white blood cell count an anemia ( which I was told in young male dogs). I asked if it could be pano the vet said no he's not reacting to deep touch in his long bones of rear legs. All I seem to go back to is maybe its the lymes. I just don't want to make the mistake of not treating it ASAP if it could be that. We see a physio/ vet tomorrow for acupuncture/ laser treatment. Any advise or I sight would be beyond appreciated

Hayden 4 years ago

Hi I have a 5 year old golden retriever and she runs and walks normally but when she has been resting and sleeping for a long period of time she gets up with a limp she does not have any pain on the affected leg when I touch it any ideas of what it could be??

skiee 4 years ago

Not skinny just how he is standing he stands like sideways he can now go up and down stairs its just that right back leg really bothering him I gave him asprin and the next day after it was worn off he whined

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Skiee, it sounds like your dog should see the vet, especially since you mention he looks sick and is skinny and you have to force feed him.

skiee 4 years ago

My 13 week old puppy began limping 2 days ago and he will walk on his limp let (back right) but when jw stands jw looks sick skinny but he has not dropped any weight. But we have to force feed him he acts as if its to much work to eat he also is getting rash under his arm pits but I think that's from laying around. Please help I love my little guy

Chris 4 years ago

Thanks so much for this info, helped me out alot.

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LifeStylePets 4 years ago from Florida

Greatly detailed Hub! Thanks for the information!

joe 4 years ago

check for lymes full blood panel just to be safe

suruh 4 years ago

Tomorrow im bringing my dog to another vet. at first she would whimper but could walk fine. i took her three days after her noticeable symptoms, because she would lay in her bed and shake. it hurt her to get up. We walked into the vet and she was acting okay and they sent me home with an antiinflammetory and said to have her on bed rest. It has been over a week and she is just at an all time low. She cant go to the restroom, she can hardly walk, then stops and falls crying. When she turns she makes a huge uturn to turn around because her back left leg seems like it cant move at all. She is okay laying down but once she moves or trys to get up she crys and falls down.

will this be very expensive to fix?

she isn't a special breed she is a mutt and found her and had her for over two years.

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Cat R 4 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

Great article!

We seem to often forget that if we work them like atheletes, we have to treat them like atheletes!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Different muscles and ligaments are used to climb upstairs and come back down. If you say he ''gallops'' down stairs he may be able to lift slightly his back legs when coming down to have less strain. If he is an older dog I would think he may have arthritis, anyhow I would recommend a vet visit to see what the problem exactly is.

Hugh 4 years ago


our cocker/springer spaniel is a great dog whos struggles going upstairs bu can gallop down. any ideas ?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

It is hard to say. You can inspect the nails for cracks. However, the fact he does not show pain upon palpating does not exclude other types of pain such as the pain deriving from putting weight on the leg. If he is putting little weight I recommend a vet visit and possibly x-rays.

Tiffany 4 years ago

I have a 14 month old golden retriever he started limping a couple days ago on his right front leg. I can touch his paw and leg and he does not cry its getting worse he will not put it on the ground at all could it be from a cracked nail?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

The possibilities are many, but this does not sound normal at all. Can it be Lyme disease? Are there ticks in your area? Pano can be painful but it should not be as debilitating as what you describe. Look for a low cost clinic in your area, a healthy lab should not be acting this way, this warrants a vet visit. Best wishes.

adam 4 years ago

we have a lab and he just started like laying around all the time lately he wont get up run aroun nothing he barely moves but when we get him up to go outside he seems fine will walk poop pee all normall we can not fig out what is going on wthhim hes not his happy jumpy self it gos from his back legs to his left front then right front we are very concerned and the vets want a small fortune hes only 1 so we weren't thinking arthrites but we cat seem to fig it out wasn't sure if it is his dieat something he ate our what? he wont really move much not even to eat our drink either but when we take him out he acts normal but there is deff something wrong he just lyes in the sam spot al day u used to jump up bark when someone came to the door now he justlyesthere he wont even jumpon the couch our anything we though maybe pano but were notsure anyinsite would be awsome thank you very much!!!!!1

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

It could the infection has a strain of bacteria resistant to a certain type of antibiotics and another type may be necessary. Another possibility is that there is an underlying cause for the infection that needs treated, for instance, many times abscesses under the eye may be tooth related. Has the vet checked your dog for tooth root abscesses? At this age teeth problem are very common. Ask the vet to check the teeth.

Here is an article that may interest you, scroll down to see Cindy's case:

Rashmi 4 years ago

Sir i hv a white pomeralian dog hving completd 11 yrs recently.A few months ago there was a sudden swelling just below her right eye..dat burst out aftr 2-3 days wid pus n blood..

We wipd it off wid dettol n luke warm water thinking it wud heal now..aftr healing swelling appeared again aftr few weeks n d process continued til nw..we went 2 d pet doctor 2..and applied d cream n pills recommended by him..but its not healing at all..we r helples nw n cant see hr pain dis way..pls help us sir gving d reasn n remedy of dis wound..

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I would suggest having it x-rayed. Do you happen to live in the southwest? valley fever may cause paw deformations.

Naz 4 years ago

I have a 8 week old pitbull puppy his left foot looks deformed an its been so for 2 weeks he doesn't show any pain an Stil plays what can i do wil his paw stay that way its my first puppy

CAM 5 years ago

Hi I have a 7 week old poodle puppy and well she fell off the bed and started acting weird. She was walking around like shes drunk and she cant move her limbs right, she is limp most of the time when I pick her up sometimes. Her eyes are red which could mean brain trauma but she responds well when I talk to her. She did get bitten by a bunch of ants and when I took her to the vet they told me that there was probably something toxic in her system causing her to act drunk. I don't know what to do, everything happened right after she fell off the bed, but she had had the ant bites for maybe 2 days before that...

Michelle 5 years ago

I have a mixed breed rescue dog that we think is german shep and possibly Dane or even possibly a Rodisian (sp?) Ridgeback. Last year about this same time (October) he started limping and not putting any pressure on his right back leg (he was licking his hock a lot too). We took him to the vet and they did x-rays, painkillers, etc... nothing, and he was fine an hour after going to the vet. - he's doing it again this year and I can't afford to go through all that we went through last year for it to be nothing again. Any advice? Could it be a weather shift thing and/or do dogs exaggerate these things for some extra attention? Thanks for anything you can come up with!!!

lauren 5 years ago

i am really worried about my dog he has two sore back legs and he isn't play full any more .

Margie 5 years ago

On a walk last night, the dog sort of collapsed in on the right side when smelling a yard. She started walking again but was favoring a side. This morning she wouldn't put her left paw down. She will occasionally because she can't limp well on the hard floor. Inspected her paw and saw no problem. Moved and felt her leg bones and joints. She expressed no discomfort. She did yelp when her left shoulder area was rubbed so I am thinking a sprain. Am I on the right track?

Ben Ayres 5 years ago

We have a 5 month old cocker spaniel who has developed a limp. She runs around fine when we have walked her and plays with other dogs but then we bring her home and after about 30-60 minutes after getting home she can barely put any weight on her back right leg. I did find and remove a tick from her eye but from memory this was less than 2 months ago. She does seem to be very lethargic of late. Can some one help? What shall I do? Take her to the vets? Which I would rather avoid because of cost? But will do it if needs be. She is insured. Any suggestions or help would be great?!?

aakriti 5 years ago

hello, its a little urgent can u please dog cannot get up, there is something wrong with his front right paw, he was ok till morning he went for a walk with me, but then when i came back in the afternoon he was lying down and is crying, he is dragging himself but cannot get up. ...

donna 5 years ago

My 8yr old pug suddenly started limping and not eating.he wobbles like a duck and has a hard time getting up and down.was fine this morning and of course the vet is closed.what can I do till vet opens he also had some small bumps on skin thatwent away and are now dry patches one spot is perfectly round and open and red.any relation???

Jessica 5 years ago

I have a 1 year old pomeranian named Bear and this morning when i woke up he was on the ground in a ball ( unusual because he sleeps right next to mw. when i called him he unsteadily stood up and just stood there and cried. i went and picked him up and noticed he wouldn't hardly bare weight on his hind leg, but it alternates which leg he holds up. there is no swelling but he is in obvious pain when you pick him up or try to stand him up. i was able to palpate his leg earlier this morning with no yelping now i cant touch it. because hes alternating legs im scared its a hip or back injury and not just a sprain in his leg. because its sunday night i would have to wait til tomorrow to get a vet appt. anyways so i was wondering what you think

nat 5 years ago


i have a 8yr old malamute who cant put any weight on his left back leg and drags it. i taken 2 vet they gave pills that didn't really help.the pain is getting worse because now he will move a lttle b4 lying down

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

If he is limping when walking he likely feels pain when he puts weight on the leg. This may explain why you do not get a pain response upon palpating the leg. Usually sprains like this get better within 48 hours. Cold ice applied (not directly, keep a towel in between leg and ice) may help reduce any swelling. If he cannot put weight on the leg, keeps it lifted and whines from pain have him seen immediately. Same if the area swells. Best wishes!

Vishnu 5 years ago

I have forgotten to say above that my puppy is able to scratch itself with its back right leg as earlier.

please advise me as earlier as possible

Vishnu 5 years ago


We have a 50 days old Pomeranian puppy. Yesterday evening he fell down from one & half feet high furniture. He cried after falling down but later he stopped. I think his back right leg got hurt. He is limping and sometimes he can walk with right leg also but not good as earlier. I palpitrated his leg. There is no sign of pain from him. His leg is also not swollen, but he is limping slightly. I am unable to understand whether it is a sprain or any other. Please help me. Please suggest me. We don't have a Vet in near by area. We live in India.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

As a general rule of thumb, if dogs are limping and not getting better in 48 hours they should be seen by a vet. Dogs not putting weight on the leg at all and with visible swellings and considerable pain should also be seen immediately.

Tiffany, you should not be giving Motrin to a dog! The only over the counter medication for pain that is safe for dogs under the guidance of a vet is aspirin. You can read about the dangers of Ibuprofen to dogs here;

Ang 5 years ago

Hi there I have a mixed bullmastiff bulldog and we noticed her limping a week ago. We went to bed she was fine and when we woke up she was limping. It gets better sometimes and it seems ok when she's playing with her brother who is a lab but worse after shes been resting or laying down for a while. She's only a year and a half so I don't think it is due to age but she is fairly husky/ thick. Ive given her some glucosamine but I don't know if that's helping. Also on the same side as her back leg that is limping she has a little bump. I noticed it a month ago shortly after she got her yearly vaccine and I called the vet and they said it could just be a reaction to the vaccine. But now since she's limping im worried they are related. Do you have any ideas? I'm very worried and I guess I'll just take her in but I really dont want bad news. So anyway the little bump is still there near her back right hip and now she is limping. Called the vet about the limp too and they said monitor it but I think it's time to take her in. I've examined it and there's nothing there other then the bump. Any ideas or help would be appreciated. Thanks

Tiffany 5 years ago

My puppy is about 6 months old. I believe she has retriever in her. She was a stray when we found her, just a baby. A few weeks ago she began to show discomfort in her hind end. It has gotten so that now she has trouble getting up. Although, she can still summon up enough energy to play with the other dogs, but it is only in short bursts, and she is in a bit of pain afterwards. She wimpers even when she sleeps. I have had to carry her to bed sometimes. When Ipick her up she wimpers when I handler her hind end. When she walks, it is as if she is pigeon-toed in her back legs. I feel so bad for her. We have been giving her childrens motrin and that seeems to help. Do you have any suggestions as to what the cause may be or what we should/could do to help her more?

Alan 5 years ago

I have a 7 month old Arctic Wolf and i noticed her favoring her back right leg a day ago. So i examined her and never really found a spot with pain but she is still favoring it and its not a limp but u can tell she is putting less pressure on it than her left back leg and she jumps no problem but she still favors it so im wondering if its anything serious or maybe she just strained a muscle playing in the yard.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Ellafam, if it is a sprain it generally gets better within 48 hours, hoping that's all it is to it, sending best wishes your way. Have her seen if she does not get better. GSD are prone to pano and other health related issues.

EllaFlam 5 years ago

We discovered our 5 month old 47 lb GSD limping on front right leg this morning. After reading this great article, I have targeted the area and it appears to be internal, right above her paw on the backside. She walks with a limp and almost as if she is on egg shells when taking a full stride. She is eating/drinking and playful when prompted, but is mostly fatigued. Does this sound like a sprain? She played a ton yesterday, a lot of running and swimming, so I'm thinking/hoping this is what it is...

EllaFlam 5 years ago

We discovered our 5 month old 47 lb GSD limping on front right leg this morning. After reading this great article, I have targeted the area and it appears to be internal, right above her paw on the backside. She walks with a limp and almost as if she is on egg shells when taking a full stride. She is eating/drinking and playful when prompted, but is mostly fatigued. Does this sound like a sprain? She played a ton yesterday, a lot of running and swimming, so I'm thinking/hoping this is what it is...

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Unfortunately, I can only point out possibilities and they are listed in the article, there is no way I can say what is the problem over the internet and I am not a vet. The only way is to have a vet palpate the leg and get x-rays. Best wishes to all.

Shannon 5 years ago

We just got a Brittany pup from a pet store a couple of weeks ago she is now 12 weeks old and is increasingly getting clumsier. At first we thought it was the collar since she was always scratching at it, now I wonder if it was the 2-3 weeks she was in a little cage at the store not using her legs, but I just don't know! She doesn't seem to be in pain, but there is something not right about her legs. We also pulled 3 ticks off of her the day we got her 2 weeks tomorrow.

Holly 5 years ago

A few months ago my 3 year old male boxer' chest and shoulders started to tremor he would tremor while sleeping and when walking or relaxing just about anytime. After about a month or so after a mile or so walk to rough playing with our younger boxer he started to limp on his front legs he would drag his paw so that the tops of his feet scrapped the ground. Now he still tremors but he walks very clumsy with a limp and really drags his front legs. He even stumbles and falls down on his shoulders. Blood work was done initially and nothing was wrong, he was given NSAIDs for a week that didn't help, last week the doctor gave him a shot of cortisone in his lower neck and put him on 20mg of predniose but we have not seen any improvement. When he was 12 weeks old he had many problems - puppy strangles, mange, closed tear ducts he was treated with antibiotics and steriods, he was very sick. The vet attributed his problems to his mother perhaps being breed to soon between pregnancies. We are worried he may developed cancer since his immune system was compromised as a puppy. We are worried what could this be?

Amit 5 years ago

I have 16 months old rottweiler, since last few days he is limping (favoring his front right leg). I got him checked and vet said it could be the skin infection he has (there are white flaky spots on his elbows). Its been one week since his medication is undergoing but I have not seen any improvement in his limping. He does not limp all the time. While on walk when start running or power walking he starts limping. On slow walks his stance is ok. He shows no sign of pain. Kindly suggest what could be wrong with him.

The vet has prescribed him:

Cephalexin tablets IP (600mg)

sarah 5 years ago

my 11yr old lab who is slim and fit began limping this afternoon.took him to vet but because he gets excited when he goes out he walked fine infront of vet!!!got him home and he is limping again!!!

Sarah 5 years ago

My 13 week old pit puppy babies her hind legs, she was fine when she was born and walked fine! She is the runt of our litter, and very healthy except for her walking, she looks like a baby deer when she does get up. She doesn't act like she is in pain either.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I do not think it is lyme's disease since it takes an average of 3-4 weeks up to several months for the first symptoms to show. However, if he possibly had a tick on him before, to answer your question, yes, there are still chances a dog vaccinated against lyme may get the disease even if remote. Since this has been going on for 5 days I would see the vet, normally sprains get better within 48 hours, best wishes.

Lara 5 years ago

My dog, a 5 year old American Foxhound, started limping about 5 days ago. It is his front right leg that is bothering him. He seems to be limping after he gets up from laying down but is putting weight on the leg and is fine when we go walking. I checked both his legs and found nothing. He did give a little cry when I put pressure on his elbow in that leg. I did find a tick on him last week. His is vaccinated for Lyme's Disease. Could he still get it? Should I take him to the vet? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Usually a sprain goes away if the leg was allowed to properly rest within a week or so. Are there ticks in your area? the limping may not be correlated to the past injury he sustained. I would have him tested for lyme disease just in case, and possibly, have x-rays done.

Jaz 5 years ago

My dog (german shepherd) is limping on his front right paw. He hurt himself previously and was bleeding and I did take him to the vet. However after a couple of months he is still limping. How concerned should I be? Should I take him back to the vet.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Dogs are often quite stoic, they may hide their pain for several weeks or even months.. it could be now the pain has become more significant. Did the vet do an x-ray? this should rule out any micro-fractures or other orthopedic problems...

Kelly 5 years ago

I have a female basset hound who will be ten in september. She has been healthy and happy. Yesterday morning we woke up and she had difficulty walking, just out of the blue. Still today she has been limping on her back legs, shaking, and occasionaly yelping when petting her. We took her to the vet and tested her for lymes disease; the results were negative. The vet believes it to be arthritis....could this severe trouble walking that has suddenly appeared out of the blue really be arthritis?

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~Christina 5 years ago from Northern Virginia

Great informative Hub. My collie had a limp that our vet first diagnosed as arthritis and blamed on her breed... but we later realized was related to Lymes. After a couple of months on medication, the limp completely went away. Wish I'd read this hub back then, maybe we could have saved her a few months of pain.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I an not sure why the vets were unable to provide -or at least try to provide- an interpretation of the x-rays, were any abnormalities detected? valley fever is a possibility but my vet diagnosed it no problem by seeing an x-ray of my dog's front paw, this condition causes characteristic bone deterioration that is visible on x-rays..he then x-rayed my dog's chest and found confirmation of the disease by looking at lungs..

How old is your dog? are there ticks in your area? did they test her for Lyme disease? if she is older it could be arthritis and many dogs feel better with glucosamine supplements and pain relievers..

Panting is a sign of if she is in pain her panting will worsen. The fact you could move her leg no problems does not necessarily mean there are no problems, it could just be that some particular bone, muscle or tendon hurts only when she puts weight on it in a certain way which is hard to mimic by handling the leg..

I find it odd though that you say she cries at night..if she is really old it could be a sign of canine cognitive dysfunction which causes night time anxiety, you can read more about it here:

I hope I have not confused you much, there are certainly many possibilities and her excessive drinking may also require tests, perhaps a second opinion from another vet may be a good very best wishes

alex 5 years ago

I have a german shep. who is exhibiting some troubling symptoms. It started out with me coming home from work to find her whimpering and crying, and unable (or at least unwilling) to walk on her left hind-leg. She cried all night and early the next morning my father and I managed to carry her to the car and then to the vet. Xrays were taken, but nothing definitive was said. My father feels good about the fact that she is kinda walking around again,and while this is a vast improvement from screaming at the slightest move, I remain unconvinced. And worried. I moved her leg around in depth and got no reaction, hip, paw- all of it! Doesn't make sense for how painful moving was for her. I am up much later at night and have noticed a few things. She still cries as night, just not as loudly. Also, she breathes and pants faster and faster, and then eventually slows down and gets back to her normal sleep-breathing, the sound of which is so familiar. Minutes later, full speed again. Her stomach also makes noises. This could mean nothing, as she eats something she shouldn't have just about no-monthly and gets sick, ensuing fast, etc. She drinks a lot of water but still has a lacking appetite. She has always had what is assumed to be bad allergies, and it always very itchy. Years passed without solution, so she takes prednisone and that's that.

Since we live in az, could this be valley fever? Haven't noticed any cough, but when I had it yrs ago, it was certainly painful enuf to justify those howls! The article on renal failure seemed to fit, and she's certainly getting old and gray. And she drinks a ton of water. I'm just worried aboutblosing her and I can't afford more uninformative trips to the vet. Any thoughts would be appreciated. It's heartbreaking to know she's in pain and have no idea what's wrong, let alone how to fix it. Oh btw, she's on tramadol since seeing the vet. Thank you for your time!

Mareedee 5 years ago

I have a 9 mo. old German Shepherd. 2 weeks ago, he was hospitalized for a bad reaction to a steroid. An I.V. was placed in his leg, & fluids were administered for a 24 hours. The dog has been limping on that leg intermittently, since that I.V. was placed. The leg is not draining, swollen, red, or hot to the touch. He is going back to the vet tomorrow for a re-check. How long does soreness from an I.V. take to heal? I'm also concerned it may be phlebitis, which the vet with either confirm or deny. Any suggestions?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

It sounds unlikely that this may be cancer, due to the dog's young age, even though cancer can virtually affect a dog of any age..Only way to see what may be going on for sure is to have x-rays done. Any ticks in your area? Lyme disease is known for causing limping..

Edie 5 years ago

My 1 year old beagle mix has been limping for 2 weeks(right front). It started on the way home from the dog park. I rested her for a few days, but it came back when we went to the park. She can put weight on it and shows no pain. I have tried examining, moving and sqeezing but she doesn't respond. It is only noticable because of the change in her gate. It comes and goes with exercise, but has become more frequent. Is there a serious concern like bone cancer?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Generally, at the vet's office I worked at, we told clients to have a dog seen if the dog did not put any weight on the leg, or if the limping did not improve within 48 hours.

CATHY FROBERG 5 years ago

my great dane dexter 4 yrs. old is limping. IT looks like top leg muscle pulled up to his back. is this serious he puts minimal weight on.enough to get around i have been messageing it not better should i worry

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Your vet is the best source for discussing this, what vaccination did she get? The rabies vaccine is the one most commonly given in the right rear leg but this is usually given at 12 weeks at age. I doubt she would die if the symptoms are localized only to the rear leg. Severe vaccine reactions causing anaphylactic death generally involve vomiting, trouble breathing, facial swelling etc and generally take place immediately or within a day or two at the most. Call your vet as soon as you can and ask if you can give some aspirin. Applying some ice wrapped up in cloth to the area may be helpful. My best wishes.

Here is a link about aspirin which must be given with food:

Emilylynn 5 years ago

We have 8 week old lab puppies who got their vaccinations on Tuesday (today is Saturday) A black female pup who is our brightest and has been perfect until now has been having trouble with her rear left leg. It started out being just irritated seeming but is now to the point where she doesn't want to put any weight on it ( but can ). Were worried that she may end up dying from a reaction to the shots as this keeps worsening? Any ideas

Mandee  5 years ago

Hello, we have a 7 year old lab. Almost two years ago, he started limping on his left front leg. He was still using it at that time however. Gradually, it got worse and worse. He has been to multiple vets. They have done X-Rays, and still don't know what is wrong with him. They thought it was bone cancer, but the results of the biopsy turned out to be negative. Ever since his biopsy though, he started licking the spot where they sampled from. If we are not home to watch him, he has a cone on full time or else he will lick until he bleeds. He bears absolutely no pressure on his leg and it has deteriorated tremendously. It has no muscle in it whatsoever. On a possibly unrelated note- his left eye droops (and it never used to before his leg problem) and he gets ear infections like no other. It's really sad to watch him (though he is as happy as ever), and I was wondering if anybody has any possible ideas as to what happened since the vets seem to be clueless. I doubt he will ever use his leg again, and I fear if he did, it would snap since it is literally just skin and bone. We don't know what else to do for him!

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

If this limping has been going on for more than 48 hours without improving, it could be you are dealing with arthritis. It does not hurt to see a vet, there are always those slim chances it could be osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bones, that you may want to rule out for safety's sake. Arthritis can improve with glucosamine and chondroitin supplements or prescriptions NSAID'S. Some dogs have also improved with prescription Hill's food J/D. Having some x-rays done is the best way to have a glimpse of what may be going on. Best wishes!

Jimbo 5 years ago

I have a 6-year old Akita who is 97 Lbs (and has been for the past 3 years). Lately, he has developed a fear and unwillingness to jump off the bed at times. A few times he really hesitated to come off the bed, trying to slowly step off one foot at a time. But when he touched the floor, he cried a little whimper.Yet when I take him out he walks fine. When I take him to the park for a good walk, 2 miles or so, he sometimes comes home and favors his left front leg. Usually he is fine by the next morning, back to leaping up on the bed and jumping off again. My wife seems to suspect arthritis in his shoulders, because he tends to hunch his neck and shoulders after fearing to climb off the bed. He is not over weight. Any ideas?

otats 5 years ago

. .hello, i need an advice. i have a siberian puppy. nearly 2 months old. he can walk but would always fall and he is hardened up on walking. comparing to his siblings who now can run and play. he still has a good apetite. when i move his legs he doesn't howl or show any sign of pain.. What's the problem with my puppy?? please help......

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

An x-ray I believe is your best bet as it will give your vet the best input on what may be going on. Another problem may be if your dog was supposed to rest and instead was allowed to run and act hyper. It is often hard to give a dog complete rest after an injury. Have you crated your dog and kept her on a leash when going out to potty the week after the injury? Some injuries seem to never heal simply because some dogs are too hyper!

Quinster 5 years ago

Hi, my 7 year old lab cross had an accident about 2 month ago where she jumped over a wall whilst chasing a squirrel, the wall was 3ft on one side but had a 6ft drop on the other. When she landed she helped in pain and obviously limped towards me. Vets gave her painkiller to make her comfortable but said to rest her and she should make a recovery in a week or so. We went back to vets 4 weeks after and she's still limping but the vets don't think it's of any concern. 2 months on she is still limping and walking with her front leg (injured leg) very straight, with no bend in it, limping and with the paw outwards. She is no less active and still plays and chases the other dog I have but she doesn't seem to be gettin any better??? Any ideas anyone??? Vets say my next step would be an X-ray but I don't really want to put her through this if it's unnecessary.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Michelle & Molly

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

to Champ: sounds like a medical mystery and it also sounds like you already did a lot of testing. Has your dog by any chance been in any regions of the Southwest, even just vacation? Valley fever is often not recognized, but I would think its lesions would have showed up in an x-ray..

Sometimes, it is easier to try to treat than diagnose..I am surprised the Rimadyl is not working since it is one of the strongest pain relievers and anti-inflammatory for dogs with joint/bone/muscle problems..

Other options that come to mind but you must ask your vet, is adding the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin or trying a prescription diet for joint problems like Hills' J/D.

You can read about them here:

On potential causes, a torn ACL comes to mind, which is common in the breed and obesity may play a role,the symptoms also seem to match. This can be difficult to diagnose if the dog is tense or in pain. I will supply you with a link:

Hope this helps a bit, best wishes!

Babjuah 5 years ago

Hi all,

This information has been extremely helpful, however, most solutions or causes have already been tested negative or non applicable for my dog. I have a 3 year old 80 pound yellow lab who has been limping, his front left leg, for about 6 weeks. He limps maybe 20% of the time, especially after he gets up from a nap or we get back from a walk. My vet advised he lose 5 to 7 pounds and we are working on that right now, however, in the mean time, I can't seem to get him to be comfortable. He is not crying or whining in pain, but you can tell some is there. At the advice and direction of my vet, these steps have been take thus far: Heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia test = negative, x-ray of front left shoulder and front left elbow (1 xray of each area) negative for lesions, arthritis, breaks, fractures or dysplasia, we completed the first of two separate 2-week treatments of the anti-inflammatory/pain pill Rimadyl and are in the middle of the second 2 week treatment with no progress made. I even took him and his x-rays to an orthopaedic surgeon who found nothing wrong with him and reaffirmed the 5-7 pounds of weightloss he should have. They don't believe his weight has anyting to do with his limp, but it it always beneficial for them not to carry any extra weight no matter how big or small. I hve shipoped him to my parents house to get the rest and calmness the vet recommended (Gramma and Bumpa couldn't be happier to have their grand-dog!) we live with a very active boxer (my roommates) and it was recommended he not play, run around the yard, jump on or off furniture or having the other dog jumping on him as well for added pressure and it seemed to be the best solution, however, I am not seeing any improvement at all. He still limps when he awakes from his naps, he still can't go for walks, he still holds his paw up every once in-awhile in a non-weight bearing fashion, but never once has he made a peep about being in pain. If given the opportunity, he would walk our 5 mile walk every day and he would fetch in the yard and run like a crazy man with the boxer, and he wouldn't flinch or take a break , but after he sits for a few minutes, he is immediately sore/stiff..... Please, I am desparately searching for answers and I am not sure what other conservative measures I can take. I prefer not doing any exploratory surgery when absolutely nothing was found by the vet or the surgeon and I don't want the risk of his being put out for that and have any adverse effects to it when it doesn't seem to be a solid option. I will check back to see if anyone can offer me any help and since there are many feeds going on right now, please address to to Champ!

thanks so much in advance!

Tara 5 years ago

Hi thanks for the info. My puppy is a Golden/ Collie X and is the apple of my eye. She was fine and with the last hour or so she can barely put any weight on her right paw. I gave her some baby aspirin (she is 11 years old and sometimes has a little stiffness when getting up! But 2 days ago she was prancing and jumping around the yard. I try to get close to her and she gets up and moves away or goes deep into her kennel. She was eating a some today and I did give her water and she drank it. So I am waiting till tomorrow to see if it gets better...anything else anyone has to say I would love advice.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

It is hard to say, I think in this case a vet visit is a must to play it safe. It could be a touch of arthritis but with the eye problem I would want to see a vet. A geriatric check up in any case is recommended twice a year for pet over the age of 6.

Sam 5 years ago

I have an 8year old cross staff and boxer. He has been limping on his back right leg you can touch it he is in no pain. Then noticed his right eye had drpped n both where blood shot that seems to have gone now. Could it have been sumfink serious?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Melanie, being a large breed, there are chances of uneven growth patterns in the bone.. this is often due to feeding foods that let puppies grow too fast..whereas the bone plates require time to correctly can read more about this here:

However, consider that an x-ray is the only way for certain to determine what is going wishes..

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Nicolas Simons 5 years ago from San Francisco

Good to know what causes limping in dogs. Very useful article. Thanks for sharing.

randy johnson 5 years ago

this did help one bit and its disapointting because i had to put my dog down because i did know what elese to do i guess thats how stupid iam

Randy johnson

Melanie 5 years ago

I have a 17 week old Rottie named Bob. We took him in at 8 weeks because his previous owner was to be deployed suddenly. Anyway, for the last 2 weeks, he has had a limp that is really starting to alarm me. It started 2 days after his final 5-way vaccine. i thought at first it was pain associated with the shot. At first it seemed like pain originating in his shoulder (front rt leg) and i'd notice an occasional spell or two where he would actually flip his paw over and keep it that way for a bit. Not right at all, a dog should right his foot immediately. I kept him crated most of the time, hoping that rest would help. As time has gone on, i now see joint stiffness and some bony swelling in the ankle joint, and more and more of the paw flipping over topside down. He plays and acts like a normal pain-free puppy when allowed, but his foot completely gives out from ankle down more than i can stand. He will actually stand (with not much pressure)sometimes with his paw topside to the ground. He doesn't seem to be in pain as he walks, but if you apply pressure to the joint, it is obvious he'd rather you not. Eating and drinking great, no fever or lethargy. If you compare his two front legs, his left foot (from paw to elbow) is practically concave when compared to his right, which looks like it is actually popping forward at the joint, like he can't straighten it all the way. Finances are extremely limited, this is why i am writing to you, to see if you had any input whatsoever. Hope to hear back. Thank you

Firewhirrrl 5 years ago

I believe elbow disPlaysia was ruled out for two reasons. Her age as well as physical exam did not show any pain or sensitivity reaction when extended.

My vet did call.

Because of the thread I asked about lymes. He did not rule it out, but says it's a bit off season.

He will prescribe ( if I want) medicine for two weeks as a treatment just in case.

He is also wanting to give ( by way of free samples) a non-steroid medicine.

I will tell you, nothing as good as a damn good vet/).

Thank you.

I also learned how to splint and comPletely isolate her shoulder, I will be showing him a picture and see if I should do this to force complete non movement-usage for a week or so.

( thanks for giving me a language to talk to him with.)

I'll let you know.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I know, it can be very expensive, after spending 1000 for my male Rottie I have pet insurance which pays 80% of office visits. I am wondering if they ruled out elbow displaysia.

Firewhirrrl 5 years ago

Ticks: yes definitely. I inspect her often and have found a few( none since last winter)

Maybe I need to bring her back in. It's just so expensive :(


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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Did they have x-rays done? Usually, this is the best way to assess the limping and its causes. A week is a little bit more than the time frame you would expect with a normal sprain healing. Usually, the average sprain takes about 48 to start getting better. If there are no signs of it getting better despite rest, I think you should have her seen again to have a more in depth evaluation of what may be going on. Do you live in the southwest, like Arizona, Texas or California? Exposure to ticks?

nancypolaska profile image

nancypolaska 5 years ago from Oxford Road

A useful article for those who have pets at their home. First i felt that limping is caused in them only due to fractures or sprains.

Firewhirrrl 5 years ago

I have a 3 yr Saint Bernard.

She started limping. I am not super certain when. It ALMOST seemed gradual. It was not that bad at first and wot worse over the next few days.

There is no pain to the palpation. I actually thought she had a split nail.

I took her to the vet and he determined there was clicking in her elbow.

He told me rest and ice.

She is also worse her first few steps when she gets up.

It has been a week or so and it has not gotten better. It has not bottom worse either. But short of X-rays and surgery, what else can I do?

He thought it was possible soft tissue.

How long does this last? I know a person might be lame for months with soft tissue injuries, and I don't mind waititng, but I also don't want to be negligent and have her sit around when there is a piece Of cartilage needing surgery. Any way to tell??

John 5 years ago

Don't forget to look for Split toenails, this made our dog limp with no weight.

paul 5 years ago

I have a 1 and a half year old stray mixed with german shepard and something else that me and the wife cant figure out. She shows a limp in back left leg but also had dried blood near where the leg meets the torse. no cuts were found and no pain exhibited by dog wen limb was manually inspected. I have read both hubs on dogs in heat and limps but cant find something that fits both. We also have a male pug who has not shown any signs that the female dog is in heat. Im just lookin for some information on wat it could possibly be before i go and take her to the vets for xray and bloodwork.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

It's hard to say. Did you ever have x-rays done? This is the only way to have an idea of what may be going on. Most of the time, they can be done without anesthesia. I think this would be the best approach, best wishes!

catrina 5 years ago

My 5 year old dog is randomly limping, usually in the mornings or after she has been running outside, she is a rescue dog so we are not sure of her breed. She looks like a Black Mouth Cur. When she was a puppy she was hit by a car backing out of the driveway. We took her to the vet and she had no serious injuries and healed quickly after wrapping her leg andlots of rest. It is the same leg that was hurt that she now limps on. It is not all of the time that she limps but I am a little concerned. Do you think her limp could be related to her accident or just a coincidence? Should I take her to the vet?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Could be her paw pad and leg got stuck somewhere in the kennel in an attempt to get out? What did the vet do? x-rays? I would think it may take perhaps a little closer to 4-5 days to get better if the leg was swollen and she can't put weight on it. Keep an eye on the leg and report to your vet if it doesn't get better. Also check her behavior when she is in the kennel and you are not around. Try to make a video tape of what she does in your absence. Sometimes things dogs do may be surprising!

Alisha 5 years ago

I have an 11 wk old great Dane. And I took her out yesterday morning and she was walking fine well when I went back a couple hours later to get her out of her kennel she had a swollen leg and her paw pad is extremely inflamed. I took her to the vet and he said it wasrnt broke but he didn't know what was wrong with it. She will put weight on it but very very little. Today is the 2nd day its been like this. Any ideas on whatnot possibly could be?

Cynthia 5 years ago

I have a 2 year old 110 lb rescued German Shepherd who had a total hip replacement done approximately 5 months ago. He started limping on his left hind leg 3 weeks ago. Recently, he started limping on his right hind leg as well. Our vet did the drawer test and many x-rays. The THR looks fine. He may have a partially torn CCL (left knee). Our vet is unsure since the knee seems tight. However, the x-ray showed a cloudy appearance around the left knee. He stands with his right leg slightly bent and his paw turned outward. At times, he leans towards his left side. I found 2 ticks on him in November. He gets the lyme vaccine. Any clue why he is limping? Any help would be deeply appreciated.

steve 5 years ago

Great hub! If your dog is in pain take it to the vet stop being cheap. If you were in pain you would get it looked at.

Christine 5 years ago

i have a 6month female rotti... and i just noticed her limping on her fount foot. i hope for her and my sake that its just growing pains

sriley profile image

sriley 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you for the informative post.

My 18-month old Boxer, Chief, has been limping off and on again for close to a month and I'm not sure why. It appears to be his back right leg. Sometimes he has a very slight limp (usually when he moves after a period of rest) and other times, you'd never know there was anything wrong. I've checked his entire leg and foot over as I thought he had initially done something to his foot, but there are no signs of trauma. I've taken him to the vet twice for assessment. During the first visit, the vet thought it may be the tissue around his knee, but Chief doesn't react when you manipulate the leg, so I'm a bit baffled. The vet couldn't detect anything wrong with his right hip, foot, or the actual knee joint. He said there was no popping or grinding when he manipulated the leg and mentioned something about the knee joint not producing any heat which I understand is a good thing. He wasn't overly concerned and thought he had possibly tore or pulled a muscle. At times, he will stand with his right leg slightly more outstretched to the side than the left. Sometimes he'll point his right toe like he doesn't want to put much weight on the rear of the foot and it seems like he's putting more weight on the left side. He doesn't whine like he's in pain. I've tried to limit his activity, but with another Boxer in the house to keep Chief company, it's next to impossible to keep two knuckleheads from wrestling! If it weren't for the slight limp from time to time, you'd never know there was anything wrong. I should also note that I asked the vet about lyme disease (even though I've never found a tick on Chief), but ticks aren't a problem in my immediate geographic location and the vet tells me that Chief's limping wouldn't be localized to one leg if he did have lyme disease.

During our second visit to the vet, Chief was sedated so that a series of x-rays could be taken. The x-rays came back normal and the cause of his lameness is still unknown. A drawer test was performed while Chief was sedated and was negative indicating that his knee joint is healthy and all is well, so an acl or ccl tear is not the issue (thankfully!). The vet tells me that Chief's ligaments, tendons, and cartilage surrounding his knee are perfectly normal. There are no signs of arthritis on any of Chief's x-rays (his hips, right leg, and spine were x-rayed). The vet also told me that two different vets performed an ortolani test on Chief's hips while he was sedated and the test was negative which, from what I understand, means that he does not have hip dysplasia (again, thankfully!).

I was told that Chief pulled a muscle and would take plenty of rest and about 3 weeks to heal. That was close to a month ago and while he hasn't gotten any worse, he isn't any better either. From my description, does this sound like it might be pano? I'm taking Chief for foot x-rays tomorrow and we're seeing an animal Chiropractor on Jan. 6th. If you have any advice or can provide me with additional insight, I would be most grateful. Many thanks and happy holidays.

Nikki 5 years ago

I have a 4 yr. old male Weimaraner who started limping a few days ago on left front leg. Nothing in pad/no cuts/etc...Seems fever-ish. Is still eating normally & going outside. Now his left back leg is swollen around joints & he is favoring it. Left front leg is better now?? What is going on? I cannot afford a vet visit right now. I have started him on Rimadyl & a baby aspirin. Please help. Thanks!!

From Florida...haven't seen any ticks.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Is he putting weight at all on that limb? Did he jump high trying to catch the ball? Here are some helpful links I have found:

Carpal hyper-extension this is quite severe though, perhaps a bit unlikely!

or more likely it can be an ordinary sprain

Only a vet can tell what happened for sure. For now you can help out applying ice and resting the leg for at least 48 hours, or take him to a vet if he appears to be in pain and not bearing weight on the leg.

Here is a guide;

Best wishes! Gotta love those Rotties! I have two!

chris 5 years ago

I have a rottweiler and on his first throw of the ball at the dog park today he came back pimping on his front leg. I left soon after and examined it when we got home. Nothing in his paws in between, I felt his leg up and down and his elbow putting a little pressure as I was moving up and down in between muscles. When I got to what I think chould be a ligament a little above his front paw I would say practically directly behind where his wrist is. If I touch it, even softly, he pulls away. its just a small area if I move alone what I think may be the same ligament just an inch higher on the leg there is no reaction. I cant find anything on it online but maybe im just not serching right.What do you think this could be. Thank you for any help at all.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I really wished I could help, if dealing with a sprain it will get better within 48 hours usually. If the dog is not bearing weight on that leg a vet visit is imperative. We used to ask this when giving priority to appointments, those not able to keep the leg down were given priority. Those still able to put weight on the leg were given later appointments.

Darren, I am not aware of limping typical in springer spaniels but they may be prone to pano as well.

Gemma Howell 5 years ago


I got home from work today and found my lab x reteriver was limping on his back right leg. He could hardly put any pressure onto it... He has only just turned 3 and this is the first time we have seen him limp... Do you think it could be something serious and do you think a trip to the vet would be best just incase??


Darren 5 years ago

hi - my 10 month old springer spaniel bitch started limpimng about a month ago.

i,ve rested her and she seemed to recover , a few days ago she started to limp again.

i cant find any cause for this , she will happily run round like a mad dog , then suddenly start limping and drags her back foot a little not wanting to put weight on it.

with in a few hours shes ok again till the next time.

i,ve been told that some dogs are prone to unexplained limping especially springer spaniels.

is there any truth in this.

thank you

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craigb182 5 years ago from Glasgow, Scotland

Nice informative piece.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

It can be anything from growing pains, to sprains etc. If she is dragging the leg it means she is in pain. Usually, sprains get better within 48 hours if the dog is allowed to rest.

hannah 5 years ago

she was also draging her leg tonight and ive not seen her to that befor.

Hannah 5 years ago

My dog Saya is a boxer mix shes one, she has been limping on and off sense she was 5 months old. some days it is worse than most. I have no idea what it could be she has not hurt herself by playing or anything. i was walking her tonight and it looks like it might be getting worse. i dont feel anything in her leg. and she doesn't act like shes in any pain other than the fact shes limping. im taking her to the vet i hope its nothing serious. do you have any idea?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

That does not make sense to me. If your dog is in pain I cannot see why they refuse doing an x-ray. Yes, being overweight can put more strain on the legs, but I cannot see why put her on a diet before an x-ray to clarify the cause of this. Usually, an x-ray is done first and then diet recommendations should be given later after coming with a diagnosis. Did they provide any explanations? Is your dog upper in age and they feared anesthetic risks? I would seek the opinion of another vet immediately. How old is this dog?

Barbara Straughn 5 years ago


Can you please explain to me why the vet insists that my dog be put on a diet for yet another month before she can have an x ray. She is about 5kg overweight, but can only walk about 20 yards at most without crying and then we return home (by car) we can't pavement walk her because her front paws get very sore and bleed and her back legs are really bad, really stiff. We are to buy another bulk load of diet food and virtually starve her for a month then have her weighed again before they will consider xraying her, but if they are only xraying her legs why can't they do it now? it is terrible to see her in pain, she is nearly 4 years old and a rescue rottweiler.

njoyaditya 5 years ago

I agree with alexadry. thanks for your contribution

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

I really cannot answer this without knowing exactly what has caused the limping in the first place. If this was a sprain as you think it may be, she needs some rest and you can walk her on a leash to take her out to potty. Putting her in a crate or in a separate room from her brother should encourage her to rest. Her brother must stay separated as he will instigate her to play which will make the sprain worse and recovery longer. Do not worry about the whining, it will eventually stop. If you allow her to rest, expect a little bit of improvement in 48 hours. If she does not put weight on her front leg a vet visit is in order. Best wishes!

Debz 6 years ago

hi,i have a 4year old g.s.d she started limping 4 days ago on her front leg.think she sprained it running like a looney with her brother.i live on my own,and they NEED exercise as they tend to take it out on the house other wise.cant leave 1 without the other,so my question is is it ok to lead walk her?any advice would be appreciated,many thanks

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alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

You are very welcome. My dog is free of this disease right now but it took him more than a year before his blood test showed him being clear. His limping though got better after a few days. The price you are paying for the fluconazole is very reasonable compared to the price my vet wanted to charge me. I then used to get a 90 day supply from Pet Health Pharmacy shipped to my home, I think it was about $53.00 but almost a couple of years ago. Here is their website if you need to shop around. Best wishes!

zoni67 6 years ago

Thank you SO much for the info. I know because of her age this will probably take longer for her, but it is just so sad to see an otherwise healthy dog having such a hard time. I do live in Arizona, have always lived here as has my dog. I will be buying fluconazola at Costco the next time she needs it, right now I have only a 21 days supply and it cost $27.00. But I am ALWAYS interested in finding a better price. We have been treating her for some time for what we thought was arthritis, so this disease has a real head start. Thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate it.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

My dog had valley fever. Here is my link with his story:

I can also tell you where to buy cheaper flucanazole if interested.

zoni67 6 years ago

My 11 year old Catahoula mix has valley fever. She has only been on fluconazole for 2 weeks but I don't see any difference in her front (very) swollen leg. Has any one else had this problem with their dog? If so how long until I see some improvement? She puts no weight at all on her leg, just drags it. She is still eating VERY well. She is also on pain meds, but she has a very soft cry most of the day.......any suggestions anyone, please?

She is also on an anti-inflamatory drug.

mypekinese 6 years ago

i have an older pekinese. He started the week with diahrea which cleared after 3 days. But, at the same time he started a severe allergic reaction with hives all over the stomach. Went to the vet which gave him pregnasone and benadryl. The allergy clears about 2 day later then started to limp with a lame front right leg. Back to the vet again. No fever, still eating and drinking, normal biological functions. Seem to be slower and weaker though. Doctor spend much time with him and could not determine the cause. If it continues will see a neurologist. Any clue the cause ?

Cynclaire 6 years ago

Our pom began limping and we took him to the vet where we live and again at my mom's when visiting. They could find no break or where the pain came from. He just went into the vet and was going to need an insignificant procedure and they took normal blood tests that came back with low white & red blood cells and platelets. Further tests show Ehrlichia from a tick bite and he isn't expected to make it bc he is now in the chronic stage. Had it been caught when we first noticed the limping which is a symptom of Ehrlichia too (arthritis like symptoms) the outcome might be different. I feel this was preventable and we are sad beyond words. So if there is a limp but no apparent cause take a blood test to rule out tick bites.

paddler1000 6 years ago


My lab is 6 years old, normal weight and otherwise very healthy, except for limping on the same rear leg after strenuous activity. She will run, swim for an hour with no sign of discomfort but within a short time after will start to limp with no or partial weight. Aspirin helps, we give her glucosamine but it seems different from the dogs i've seen with hip problems. Could this be muscular, like a damaged tendon or something? Vet was not very helpful, just shrugged and said she must have a hip problem but she is ok otherwise, this seems different. Any clues? Thanks

carl 6 years ago


I have a 7 months old pitbull 52 lbs, very healthy and she doesn't look to fat or anything, just a normal dog. The other day she's was playing and suddenly she was limping. Two days went by and no sign of recovery so I took her to the vet, he said that she was suffering from growing pains. He said change nothing the pain will go away in a couple of weeks or months, also he said that she will grow to be around 100 lbs which is not likely both parent were around 75lbs and pits not supposed to be big. I feed her EVO she loves it but, is it too high in protein 42%, could this be the reason of her growing pains? What else could you suggest?

Thank you so much.

pizzy 6 years ago

my friend has a 6 week old bassethound pup that was fine up til a week ago, it cannot put any weight on its fron can move its front legs, but cannot bare weight so it scoots around.

its so hard to watch!

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

Sorry the answer came a bit late.. I have been out of town as well. It sounds a bit unlikely to me to be arthritis because he is such a young dog and is also of a small size. Arthritis is much likely in older dogs of large breeds. Has your dog visited any South west regions? I usually recommend a vet visit if the limping last more than 48 hours and immediately if the dog cannot put weight on the leg.

Suzanne 6 years ago

I have a Pomeranian that is going to turn 4 this November. He started limping about a week ago. It is usually right after he gets up from lying down. The second I let him into the yard he sprints and plays normally. He also runs up and down the stairs normally and plays often. He doesn't have a fever and he doesn't show any sign of pain when I put pressure on his leg. I am out of the state and want to wait a while so I can take him to his normal vet. Suggestions? Do you think it could be developing arthritis?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

Do you happen to live near the desert? Valley fever often causes limping. I own rottweilers as well, and can tell they are very stoic when it comes to pain.. they hide it very well. Licking however is often a sign of discomfort. Since its the hock bothering him you may be dealing with a case of ACL something rotties are prone to read below for more info:

Peter McCarthy 6 years ago

Noticed my dog a two-year old Rottie starting to limp. He's just recovering from a bout of Hotspot contacted about two months ago. He shows no signs of pain and runs without discomfort, which is baffling?. I have pretty much exhausted my funds on him, as less than a year ago he had an operation on his eye, which cost a fortune 9and is still not right), so I am at my wits end both financially and mentally. I have checked for any lumps or bumps, but cannot locate anything, though he constantly licks the hock, indicating or seems to be where the problem may lie? also when checking he showns no sign of pain whatsoever, but I'm not sure if he's in pain or just naturally showing a very low pain threshold. Any ideas?

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alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

Consider that the incubation time for dog lyme disease to strike is generally a few months (generally 2 to 5) so if you saw these ticks on him just a few days ago, it may not be lyme, however, he may have had ticks months ago, even if it wasn't really full tick season yet. If this is a large breed dog growing fast Pano may likely be the cause, see what the vet says, keep me posted if you wish!

mario 6 years ago

im not sure what my dog has but he was the runt and he has been growimg like pretty sure that ot is pano, but i have found 2 ticks on him, so im afraid that he may have lyme disease...I'm getting him looked at by a vet next wed but its been like this for 2 months and its starting to get worse

Daisy 6 years ago

I've been looking all over for just any REAL information and found it here! Thanks so much!!

kim 6 years ago

that was really hopeful information. thanks

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Cool_Hubber 6 years ago

Nice coverage of why dogs limp. I find the information here really useful.

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annmarie1 6 years ago from Arizona

Very informative! My dog has Arthritis and sometimes she has a hard time walking. Thanks for the hub!

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Lanieniven 7 years ago from Sunny Scotland

Great Hub, we recently had the first case of HOD in our breed.

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    Adrienne Janet Farricelli (alexadry)1,687 Followers
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    Adrienne Farricelli is a former veterinary hospital assistant and now a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, and author of dog books.

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