You can’t say whether your dog has banged his knee or stepped on something sharp, or pulled out a muscle somewhere. But whoever happens, your pet is limping around the house. In proper terms, we call it Lameness.
What causes Lameness?
Lameness is often caused by a sore paw or strained muscle and nothing more than that. However, the brighter side is that your dogs are likely to recover on their own within a few weeks.
But, when the problem is minor, it is easy to recover. Moreover, when the lameness becomes more than what cannot be recovered automatically, at least in my case, then you must follow certain rules recommended by vets that can save your dogs.
The same happened with my dog as he didn’t recover himself even after two weeks. And when I took him to the veterinarian, he suggested some precautions and preventive measures that I should have taken early. And, that would have saved my dog getting worse.
The better part is that my dog recovered after treatment. Moreover, I wanted to help you beforehand whenever your dogs getting lameness in limbs.
To get a leg up on lameness and keep your pet comfortable in the meantime, here’s what vets recommend:
1. Feet – The first place to check lameness:
If your animal is lame, a paw may be insured, Look for a cut footpad, broken toenails, a thorn or glass or other object stuck in the pad.
There might even be bubble gum stuck between his toes.
2. Thrones can be too dangerous:
If your pet comes limping home with a thorn, nail or piece of glass embedded in his paw, without delay, gently remove it. Leaving it for a long time can cause a septic or a deep wound in the paw.
However, situations may not be alike all the time. If the object has penetrated deeply, it may have punctured an artery deep inside. In such cases, it won’t be safe to remove on your own.
If you pull it out, it can cause bleeding. Therefore, better rush to a veterinarian.
3. If fractured, Immobilize the leg:
If you suspect his leg is fractured, it’s a good idea to get it immobilized before going to see the vet.
You can immobilize the leg in two ways:
- Making an emergency splint
- Create a large size bandage
How to make an emergency splint?
To make an emergency splint, roll a section of the newspaper into a tube. And cut it so it’s the same length as your pet’s leg. Then slip it over the injured leg, using tape to hold it snug.
How to create a large size bandage?
You can also create a large size bandage with a roll of thick first-aid cotton,
- Take a big cotton roll.
- Unroll it and wrap the leg in as much of the cotton as you can.
- Then take an Ace bandage or elastic bandage and wrap it around the cotton. You can’t use tape because it won’t stick to the cotton,
While a properly applied splint can help prevent further injury, don’t waste time if you can’t find the proper materials or you aren’t sure exactly what to do.
The most important thing, vets agree, is to get emergency help. Whether you’re using a splint or not, pick your pet up carefully. Keep the leg still and get him to a vet right away.
4. Let your dogs take rest:
If you can’t determine what’s bothering your pet, try letting him lounge around for a few days.
And, in the meantime, it is better to avoid going on your usual walks.
Resting the leg for 48 to 72 hours is often all that’s needed to help relieve pain and speed healing.
5. Strained muscles – Apply cold pack:
If you suspect your pet is limping because he’s recently strained a muscle, applying a cold pack to the area can help relieve pain and reduce swelling,
If you don’t already have a cold pack in the freezer, you can make your own using ice (or even a bag of frozen vegetables) wrapped inside a small towel. You should keep it on for five to ten minutes, four times a day at least.
If he’s still limping after two days and the area is sore to the touch, then you should take him to the vet for a checkup.
6. Heat application can be soothing:
Putting heat on a sore leg can also be very soothing. But don’t use heating pads, because they can burn your pet.
Instead of heat a gel pack, available at pharmacies, in the microwave until it’s warm. Then wrap it in a towel and place it on your pet’s sore leg.
Just be sure to read the instructions carefully so it doesn’t get too hot.
You can also use warm water inside a rubber glove, It fits well to the injured area.
To prevent burns, be sure the water’s not too hot, and place a small towel between the glove and your pet’s skin.
7. How do you know when to visit a veterinarian?
Dogs and cats are naturally enthusiastic, and most leg injuries have more to do with enthusiasm like pulling a muscle during a daring leap than any sort of underlying problem.
Any leg problem that lasts more than 48 to 72 hours, however, or that obviously involves a serious injury like a fracture or a gunshot wound. It should be seen by a vet.
In addition, while it’s not uncommon for dogs to occasionally become lame, the problem is much less common in cats, and it’s potentially more serious.
So when your kitty is suddenly stepping gingerly, you should call the vet right away.
Hence, these seven preventive steps you must follow when you find your pets having lame legs.
Firstly, It is the feet where you should look for the problem
Thorns and mostly fractures can be too serious and cause you to visit a vet.
In fractures, you can immobilize your dog’s feet by creating a large size bandage or an emergency splint. As we discussed above in detail.
Lastly, applying cold packs(for sprains) and a few days of rest can help recover your dogs soon.