Top 4 Causes of Limping Dog and Possible Home Remedies | Complete Guide

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by admin

The causes of limping may be very serious and may require urgent vet treatment. However, those with mild limping are taken care of at home. You can use first-aid methods such as applying either warm or cold compresses, based on the reason, or limiting movement to help your healing.

The article will discuss the reasons for dog limping, as well as the testing procedure, the best way to deal with a limping dog in the comfort of your home, and knowing when to bring an animal to a vet.

How do you know whether a Limp Is Serious?

An abnormal gait is an initial indicator of limping that you’ll notice. The cause of the limp can be different the limp could be obvious or difficult to discern. If, for instance, it’s a mild case or limping dog, it might be able to continue using all its legs but will take smaller steps to prevent discomfort. The dog might also stumble when walking if placing the weight on the limb creates discomfort.

In more serious instances dogs may pull the limb that is injured while walking or not even put the limb down in the first place.

It is helpful if you took into consideration the frequency and timing of the limping. So, for instance, do you see your dog limp for a few minutes when it wakes up after lying down at the bottom of the stairs? Do you observe an occasional limp that has been getting worse in time?

Limping typically doesn’t require an urgent trip to the vet. But there may be circumstances where the dog is suffering discomfort, is bleeding, or has indications of fractures that appear to be.

In the event of mild limping, it is important to not ignore the sign. It is recommended to have it examined by the vet in the first instance.

How do I Examine the Limp?


In the event that your dog seems to be suffering excessive pain don’t attempt an exam. The injury could get worse when there are fractured bones or poor handling.

The dog might also scratch or bite, or become angry at you. It is important to know that this aggression is not a deliberate act but rather a response to discomfort.

If the dog is dragging its legs or not letting its leg be able to touch the ground when walking it is recommended that the exam be reserved for the vet.

If you attempt to inspect the dog, be sure to are able to have another person who is responsible for restraining the dog. After you’ve secured it you can begin by taking a look at the dog’s feet. Examine if there are foreign objects that have gotten stuck within the paw, or if the paw is burning or has blisters caused by temperatures or cold. Also, examine the nails for injuries.

Gradually work through the limb using gentle pressure. Also, flex the joints. In the event of pain, the dog might shiver when stressed and move.

Take note of any cuts, skin irritations, or pain spots. Inform the vet, who will advise you on the next steps.

How to treat a limping dog at home? Simple Methods

If you have serious injuries or joint and bone conditions, it’s advised to seek out vet treatment. In other instances of limping, according to the cause, here are some home remedies that may assist.

  1. Eliminate the painful objects
  2. Clear Nail injuries
  3. Small Wounds
  4. Strains and bruises
  5. Joint or Muscle Pain
  6. Abscess

Let’s have a detailed look…

1. Eliminate the painful objects

If the cause for the limp is a foreign body inside the paw area, determine whether it is possible to get it out safely. The first step is to restrain your pet. Then, employ a tweezer to eliminate the painful object. Then, wash the area using antibacterial soap or solution, and apply an antibacterial ointment for prevention of the spread of infection.

2. Clear nail injuries

Your dog might scratch its nails when grooming, or if it’s been involved in an accident. If your dog’s nail is bleeding apply styptic powder to stop bleeding. Baking soda can be utilized as well.

3. Small Wounds

If you have minor cuts clean the area by soaking it in warm water. Then apply an ointment, and then bandage the pet’s paw. The bandage can stop dogs from touching the area and inflicting an infection. If needed, use an E-collar.

4. Strains and bruises

If your dog has sprained its leg during playing or jumping or jumping, or there are bruises or swelling, apply cold compresses for the affected region. Cold compresses can reduce swelling, inflammation tenderness, pain, and inflammation.

5. Joint or Muscle Pain

If your dog has been diagnosed with joint problems or is suffering from joint stiffness and muscle stiffness because of aging-related issues warming compresses are a good option. They will ease stiffness in muscles and allow dogs to move quickly.

6. Abscess

Abscesses that have been ruptured will continue to leak pus. The wound cannot be bandaged and you must to ensure that the wound is clean throughout the day and continue cleansing the pus. It is best to treat abscesses at home after consulting with your vet.

If the abscess isn’t yet ruptured Applying warm compresses and gentle pressure may help speed the process. When the abscess has ruptured the pus begins draining. In certain instances, there may be pus in the middle that needs to be cleared.

It is possible to apply a sterile saline solution to cleanse the abscess. It is also necessary to apply an ointment for wounds every day.

It is still necessary to see a vet for your dog since it must be administered antibiotics.

Top 4 causes a dog to Limp?


1. Injury while Playing or accidents

2. Seasonale Infections or Wounds that are not visible

3. Age factor that leads to Joint Disease

4. Food Calorie deficiency that leads to Bone Disease

There could be a variety of reasons for the dog’s limp. It could be a result of an injury caused by a foreign object or infection, joint pain, or bone disease. Let’s take a look at the reasons:

1. Injury while Playing or accidents


The dog could injure its paws if it walks on sharp objects, such as broken glass. Small sharp stones or thorns could get stuck inside the dog’s paw while walking. The presence of foreign objects can cause pain or discomfort when walking.

The hot concrete floor can cause burns to the paws. Similar to walking on roads packed with ice salts may be a source of irritation, injury, or even burn your dog’s paws during winter.

Nail injuries can cause pain for dogs. When trimming the dog’s nails, you could accidentally scratch the nails quickly, which could cause bleeding and discomfort.

You then suffer injuries to your muscles, tendons, and bones. As an example that your dog will overextend its leg muscles when performing a jump or run, and the dog may result in an injury such as a strain. A lot of physical activity can trigger problems like:

  • Torn cranial cruciate ligament
  • Fragments
  • Dislocation of Joints
  • Meniscal tears
  • Joint injuries

2. Seasonal Infections or Wounds that are not visible

Skin infections may be inflamed or itchy and can cause discharge. For instance, pyoderma can be an inflammation of the skin that is translated to ‘pus on the skin. It is possible to notice spots of skin redness, blisters, crusts, and scabs when the dog suffers from the condition. All parts of the body may be affected, but the area surrounding the toes and knees is the most susceptible.

Abscesses may develop beneath the skin. There could be visible swelling on the skin or pus accumulation.

3. Age factor that leads to Joint Disease

Certain joint disorders become more common over the course of time because of wear and tear. Other causes may be genetics or problems at the beginning of growth. Certain joint problems that could cause dog limping include:

  • Arthritis
  • A disease of the ligament
  • Hip dysplasia
  • The disease of the intervertebral disk
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Luxating patella

4. Food Calorie deficiency that leads to Bone Disease


Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is an illness that affects dogs during their first stages of development. Particularly for large breed puppies, which can last for two months old, this condition is characterized by the dog to limp, limp, and swelling of joints.

Then there are cancers, such as osteosarcoma which can affect dogs’ bones, causing symptoms such as swelling and breathing problems, limping, and neurological indications.

What not to do when Your Dog is Limping?

If there is a huge foreign object lodged in the dog’s leg like fragments of glass broken the wound needs to be treated by a vet. In the case of more severe wounds, stitches may be required.

In the event of a dislocation don’t attempt to reposition the bone by yourself. The situation may be painful for the pet. There may also be swelling that is hot when the pet is touched.

If your dog has been injured excessively, it’ll shake, cry, or scream out in the pain. Being a pet owner suffering from such a situation is not easy however the most option is to take your pet to the vet. Don’t, in any situation, offer your dog prescription pain medication.

Concerning medications, it’s recommended to follow the veterinarian’s suggestion. There are a variety of medications available, including aspirin and Ibuprofen to ease pain, however, do not use them on your pets. They could cause harm to dogs, deter treatment, and may even cause harm in some instances.

When is the best time to take a limping Dog to the Vet?

You’ve tried treating your dog’s limp at home but you aren’t seeing any improvement. In these instances, it is recommended to wait for at least 24 hours before going to a vet.

The details of when you noticed that you were swelling, the leg affected and any skin irritations, as well as photos of the blisters or wound, could be useful. Based on the signs the vet will notify you whether it is necessary to make an emergency visit.

If your dog is showing additional signs and symptoms as well as limping, it’s best to see a veterinarian immediately.

These signs include:

  1. Starts swelling
  2. Movement issues
  3. A major wound or excessive bleeding
  4. Starts Vomiting
  5. Lethargy
  6. Having Fever

If you notice that your dog is no longer using its hind legs, and is instead walking around it could be an indication of spinal pain that requires urgent vet attention.

How can you transport your pet safely dog that is limping Dog for a visit to the Vet?

It is recommended that you were cautious when bringing an animal suffering from discomfort to the veterinarian. It is possible to make the situation worse through mistakes such as not walking to the car without taking care to secure your pet. Additionally, your dog could be aggressive and attack you if you inadvertently harm it. This is true even if your dog is the most gentle soul on earth.

Set up the car seat in which you’ll lay the dog. The first step is to cover it with a blanket. Then, cover it using a stronger material such as cardboard. The seat acts as a stretcher and will aid in placing the pet in a straight position.

If your dog isn’t big then you can transport it on your shoulders to the car. When you lay your dog down, make sure that it’s not putting the entire weight of its body on one leg.

If dogs of larger size aren’t suffering from pain, help the dog while walking and assist them to walk into the car. If your dog is in pain, put them in a sling, or two people can grip the opposite side of a blanket, and then take the dog inside it.

If you’re on your own or not sure if you are able to transport your pet safely contact the veterinarian’s office to discuss further instructions.

What can the vet do to help a limping Dog?

A vet may ask initial questions about when the limping began and the dog’s daily routine eating habits, the diet of the dog as well as medical history, any recent activities, and if there was an accident. The vet will then conduct an examination of the body to determine the affected leg and determine the possibility of the cause behind the limping.

Tests such as radiographs, ultrasounds, and blood tests are used to identify the reason.

If the reason for the injury is a leg The wounds will be treated and then stitched. If there are fractures that are present, the dog’s leg is splinted using plaster or a cast could be put in place. In the case of severe injuries, the vet may decide to use a surgical method to repair the bone.

If joint dislocations occur the doctor may recommend an open reduction, where the joint is replaced in its place. The joint will be bolstered with slings and bandages to speed up the process of healing. If a closed reduction isn’t feasible, the doctor will need to operate for opening the joint to then replace it in its original location.

In the event of infection in dogs, they must be treated with the course of antibiotics. Additionally, you’ll need to apply ointments to the area affected several times throughout the day.

For arthritis-related conditions that are chronic, such as arthritis, your vet may prescribe NSAIDs or other pain relief medications to treat the symptoms. Physiotherapy in dogs is also recommended to allow the pet to have a good quality of life.

How long do limbs last in Dogs?

The answer will depend on the reason for limping. For instance, if you suspect that your pet’s limping is the result of cuts or burns on the paws, it will stop after receiving treatment and the skin is been healed.

The healing time can be as long as four weeks however, for adult dogs it could take up to eight weeks.

If a dislocation occurs, when it’s an open reduction, recovery is quicker.

If it’s an open reduction the dog will require longer-term care and time to recover.

You might need to alter your lifestyle to protect your pet from osteoporosis and joint pain. For instance, a vet may recommend a life-long supplementation in the diet of your dog, for example, omega-3 and glucosamine.


How do you treat an animal that is limping at home? It depends on the cause of the limp. Limping is a typical issue that is observed in canines. It may be the result of injuries in the leg area, burned infections or foreign objects, fractures, foreign objects dislocations, joint problems, dislocations, and bone-related diseases.

In minor cases of limping, you can get rid of any foreign objects, such as thorns, and scrub the region with an antibacterial product. Cold compresses are a good option to treat bruises and sprains, and warm compresses ease muscle soreness and joint stiffness. The restriction of movement for dogs throughout the duration of treatment will aid in healing.

If your dog is experiencing discomfort or has excessive bleeding, swelling or vomiting, limb dragging, or difficulty moving, consult your veterinarian.

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