Natural Home Remedy Treatments for Lameness in Dogs

Updated on January 8, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Some dogs are prone to lameness because of their great size.
Some dogs are prone to lameness because of their great size. | Source

Why try a natural cure for your dog´s lameness? At times the cause of lameness cannot be figured out. You´ll notice the problem, wait a few days and expect it to go away, and finally take your dog in to the veterinarian. The dog is examined, the dog is palpated, the dog is x-rayed, and finally, a steroid injection may be given and some anti-inflammatories are prescribed. Maybe they will work, but sometimes they do not. What if they do not help, or help for only a short period of time? This article should give you some alternatives if your dog is lame.

Symptoms of Lameness:

Besides the obvious symptom (refusing to put weight on her leg when walking), your dog might also be reluctant to play fetch or roughhouse like she normally does, or just be hesitant about climbing the steps in your house. She may cry out in pain when the lame leg is touched, but since dogs are stoic she can be in a lot of pain before she shows you any symptoms.

Wise dogs learn that flying (actually, landing!) can lead to lameness.
Wise dogs learn that flying (actually, landing!) can lead to lameness.

Causes of Lameness:

  1. Trauma: This may seem like it can happen easily, but usually dogs put up with a lot more stress than we would be able to. If your dog has any genetic predisposition to joint problems it may happen for no apparent reason.
  2. Cancer that affects a joint: A joint or nervous cancer can cause problems, but lameness can also be from osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the bones. All of these situations need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
  3. Arthritis: The symptoms of arthritis are usually mild at first and should be picked up before they develop into lameness. You should notice a reluctance to play and bear weight on a limb, then notice a change in attitude before your dog finally starts licking his arthritic joint or going lame.

Conventional Therapy for Lameness:

  1. Steroids: If the cause of lameness cannot be determined your veterinarian may suggest a steroid injection. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory and may be effective. Side effects (weight gain, damage to the cartilage) are most often seen with continued therapy.
  2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): This drug therapy will most likely be prescribed at the first visit for lameness. NSAIDs can be effective in masking symptoms but may have serious side effects, like stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and liver damage.

Massage with oils may decrease symptoms of lameness.
Massage with oils may decrease symptoms of lameness. | Source

Natural Home Treatments for Lameness

  1. Herbs: The herbal therapy your try will be based on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to treat your dog with an anti-inflammatory that is mostly for her pain (like a muscle injury from being hit by a car), St. John´s Wort may be used as a tincture or applied locally to a sore joint. Cayenne topical cream can be used the same way, and it may even increase circulation to a painful area. Yucca is another possibility, and according to holistic veterinarians, it even produces hormones similar to the artificial steroids. If you are trying to decrease the inflammation throughout the body, as with chronic arthritis, you might want to use bromelain, parsley, or garlic.
  2. Massage: This is most effective if used with a massage gel, such as an essential oil in a neutral base. One source recommends letting the dog choose the best oil by sniffing, another source recommends selecting a warm oil like cinnamon or peppermint. There are several massage gels that cause the joint to become warm, so in cases of lameness in your dog they may be beneficial.
  3. Acupuncture: If your dog is not responding to other forms of therapy you might want to consult a veterinary acupuncturist through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. There are several forms of accupressure that you can do at home though and I do recommend you read and learn more about this subject if your dog is not responding to some of the other home treatments.
  4. Supplements: Omega fatty acids (like salmon oil) may help if an inflammatory condition is involved. Vitamin C may also be helpful, both as an anti-inflammatory and as a collagen protector, but no studies have been done to determine the exact doses in dogs. The only way to find the dose for your dog is to give him enough to cause loose bowels, and then give him a little less. Try to use a natural source if you have it available.
  5. Apple cider vinegar: May help because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
  6. An organic diet: Especially one that utilizes collagen meat sources.

Acerola, a good source of natural vitamin C.
Acerola, a good source of natural vitamin C. | Source

If your dog does have symptoms of lameness I recommend that you first consult your regular veterinarian. It may be something quite simple that can be cured easily; it may be something that will respond to heating pads and conventional therapy. If the condition continues, however, you might want to search for alternatives. The alternative, natural therapies, will take a lot longer to start showing effects than conventional therapy, (steroids, NSAIDS) so do not expect a quick cure.

If you are not able to consult your vet, or the home therapies for lameness are not making your dog feed better, you should consider finding a holistic veterinarian to make other suggestions.

You may need to try another natural cure for your dog´s lameness.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Dr Mark

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Katie I wish you would tell us why you believe that. According to a study by Araya and Ford there is no evidence that this herb causes changes in the liver´s ability to function. The only evidence of any damage is long term overdose. A lot of things cause damage if you subject your body to long term overdoses. In fact almost everything causes damage if you subject your body to long term overdoses.

      • profile image

        Katie 

        5 years ago

        Please use St. John's Wort carefully as it can cause severe liver damage....even more severe than NSAIDs

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Thanks for your kind comments. I´m glad this can be of help, as there are so many alternatives out there to be explored, and so much that we do not know much about that may be helpful. I´ll add updates to this when I find something new.

      • Mama Kim 8 profile image

        Sasha Kim 

        6 years ago

        This is wonderful and so helpful. We have a senior dog who has arthritis and yet he can't help jumping on the fence and barking (he's a grumpy old dog.. ) occasionally he comes in with a lame foot. You've given great advise to help us hopefully speed up the healing process when this happens. Thank you.

      • jcevans2009 profile image

        Judith C Evans 

        6 years ago from Boise, ID

        More and more pet owners are learning about the benefits of holistic pet care, particularly for arthritis. Thanks for including alternative medicine in this hub. Voted up and useful...and sharing!

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 

        6 years ago from Singapore

        Have a dog, Mark, that died from cancer and he was limping away. Thanks for alerting dog owners to a condition too many do not know the cause of.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)