Dog First Aid – Limping

Posted April 18th, 2011 by gemainz

There are various reasons why a dog would limp. Limping can be a trick learned by the dog to entertain the family. But we are aware that dogs are very active animals and they also have high prey drives thus injuries that would cause the dog to limp can happen. A sprain, a stone that was lodged between the dog’s toes, a thorn that was embedded on the dog’s paws would make walking difficult for the pet. The limping of the dog can be due to a broken nail. Limping that is caused by these conditions is not serious so that the dog will be able to walk normally even without treatment.

Treatment though would be necessary for some kinds of limping. Urgent treatment may be necessary to prevent further damage that can cause permanent lameness. Limping can happen to all dogs but this condition is more common in large breeds because the legs and the feet are encumbered by the body weight. Even the normal activities of playing and running can result to cuts, sprains and torn ligaments.

A dog owner has to have first aid knowledge as emergency care will be needed to help the pet. As with any kind of injury, immediate treatment makes for speedy recovery. Emergency care can save the pet from the pain as well. A dog owner that see the dog limping will know at once that the pet has an injury.

The first reaction of a caring dog owner is to see what is wrong with the pet. The paw, foot and leg must be thoroughly examined for cuts, swelling and other abnormalities. Debris and foreign objects stuck between the toes must be removed. The toes and the joints of the feet must be examined for signs of sprain. A sprain would make the dog yelp. Dogs have the inclination to wander so that the limping is often caused by a cut paw.

A wound or a broken nail must be washed thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with sterile gauze to prevent dirt from getting into the wound. The dog’s limping can be due to fractures or dislocation. Never try to set the bone or realign the dislocated joints. Only vets and qualified people can manage these kinds of injuries. However, the dog owner can prevent further damage by splinting the injured foot with rolled newspaper or with a flexible wire that can be bent into the shape of the dog’s foot. Wrapped in gauze or a strip of cloth, the splint will immobilize the injured foot to prevent further damage.

Learn more about limping as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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