I enjoy writing about experiences from my own life so that my tips may help others.
There are many reasons why dogs may limp, from minor issues like a thorn in their paw to more serious problems like broken or dislocated joints. In dogs, strained or torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles are the most common causes of limping. In some cases, limps are due to injuries sustained in accidents or traumas that require emergency veterinary treatment.
If your dog starts limping for no apparent reason and this lasts for more than a day or two, it's time to visit the vet. In the meantime, find out how to car for your limping dog at home with some safe home remedies.
How to Care for Limping Dog at Home
While some limping will go away on its own, it's always a good idea to call your veterinarian before figuring out how to treat a limping dog at home.
If he suspects a sprain, strain, arthritis, or another minor issue, rest and medication will be the first steps of treatment to lessen pain and inflammation. Orally or topically delivering pain relief can help at home, but it's crucial to first make sure that each approach is safe for dogs.
1. Talk to Your Vet About Safe Pain Relievers
What can I give my dog for limping? When learning how to treat a limping dog at home, you might be curious about whether you could give your dog a human painkiller. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In general, many human painkillers are dangerous for dogs, particularly over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Amantadine, however, is one of the safest analgesics for dogs and can effectively reduce discomfort and swelling. You can get a prescription from your vet.
Talk to Your Vet About a Topical Cream
To reduce swelling, gently soak your dog's foot and leg in warm water containing plain Epsom salts. The water's motion will aid in promoting healing by enhancing circulation. After using a towel to gently dry it, apply some antibiotic ointment to the leg. Neomycin or bacitracin-containing creams may be good options for dog antibiotic creams. You should speak with your vet before using either of these.
Applying ice packs to the area for 15 minutes twice a day on the lame leg can also be very effective if your dog has swelling brought on by a sprain, bruise, or tendonitis.
How Can I Comfort My Dog in Pain?
By giving your dog a soft couch or bed covered in cozy blankets, you can ensure his maximum comfort level. Give your dog lots of fuss and attention, as well as his preferred food and toys.
You may want to avoid giving him too many treats though to keep your dog as healthy as possible while he heals—remember to give him a balanced diet. And as much as he'll likely want to go out walking, it may be best to keep exercise to a minimum for a couple of days while focusing on reducing pain and inflammation.
How Can You Tell if Your Dog’s Limp Is Serious?
Call your vet or go to the closest emergency vet if the limp doesn't start to go away on its own in a few days, is getting worse, or is accompanied by whining or yelping. Your dog's pain can be more effectively diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian because they have the education and experience needed to do so.
If you notice that your dog is limping on one or more of his legs for no apparent reason, it may be due to something minor such as a thorn stuck in his paw, or a minor muscle sprain.
While a sprain is more serious than a simple strain, most dogs make a full recovery from a sprained leg. If you're in any way concerned about the severity of his limping then don't hesitate to call your vet for advice. Otherwise, follow these tips to learn how to treat a limping dog at home by making him comfortable and by reducing his pain and inflammation using safe methods.
Possibly the biggest challenge you could face as a pet owner is convincing your dog to take it easy for a few weeks while he recovers.
Sources and Further Reading
- What Can You Give a Dog for Pain? | PetMD
Dr. Amanda Simonson talks about whether human pain meds are safe for dogs and safe options for helping your dog with pain.
- First Aid for Limping Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital
Although most limps need veterinary attention, there are a few first aid measures you can perform at home if your dog is hobbling around.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2022 Louise