Limping Dogs First Aid


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Dogs have twice as many legs as we do, and their chances of limping thus get two times higher. Your dog will limp if it gets hurt in its foot or leg. Even though the majority of limps need a visit to the veterinarian, as an owner you can also apply many first aid measures. Such procedures can quickly be done at home, and you should do so if you start to hobble.


Lameness can happen when there is an injury to single or multiple parts of the leg. Injuries can occur in the bones, ligaments, skin, nerves, or tendons. Muscles can also be injured. The reason behind a few limps is apparent with careful observation. A dislocated joint or broken bone can be easily ascertained. These two will result in swelling, and the leg could lie in an unnatural position. The cause of lameness could be a skin infection or interdigital pyoderma. This would manifest as moist and red lesions between the dog's toes.  When it comes to abscesses or deeper infections, there will be warm, movable, and soft swellings below the skin. Do be warned that external injury signs could be absent for cases where joints, ligaments, nerves, and tendons get damaged.

Examination and aid

If your dog suffers from severe pain, do not try to examine the animal. Even though it seems calm, manipulating the dislocated joints or broken bones could result in unnecessary pain. The injury could get worse due to your well-meaning actions. If you want confirmation of whether the injury is serious or not, here is the thumb rule: a grievously injured dog will not walk with a dislocated joint or a broken leg.

You can do first aid if the dog suffers from light to mild non-emergency limp. Take it to the veterinarian for other cases. If you spy a foreign object present between toes, take it away. Clean the wound with anti-bacterial soap. Put the foot in Epsom salts containing warm water to relieve the swelling. Apply antibiotic treatment after the procedure. You will aim to control the bleeding if it is a matter of broken nails and torn or cut foot pads. The bleeding must be kept under control and then treated as per instructions provided by your veterinarian.

If the canine suffers from swelling due to tendonitis, sprain, or a bruise, you should apply ice-packs to the affected area for about 15 minutes twice every day. Put the canine in a tub. Swirl water on the affected part as flowing water helps to improve circulation and reduces swelling. Healing becomes quicker. If your dog has an abscess, then apply warm compresses to the affected area or soak the area in a bath having Epsom salts.

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