What if your dog is Lame?
If you dog starts limping, this could well be a structural problem. They will show weakness in the leg and generally even be in considerable pain. One of the symptoms associated with lameness could be bone or joint disease although, don’t panic as it could be a lot less serious!
Before rushing off to vets, consider what happened to make your dog limp and remember back to when you first noticed it. First, try and identify the specific leg and then examine the pads to see if these have any cuts. Then consider looking in between the toes and feeling to see if there is a foreign object in between the skin or pads. This could be grass seeds, thorns or splinters and if you feel something like a small bump in between the skin then, you need to have your vet look at it straight away.
In most cases if the lameness happens overnight, it s mostly caused by sprains, foreign objects in the feet or broken nails.
If none of these apply, then carefully and gently try to flex the leg looking for resistance. If it feels your dog is resisting then this could well be some form of joint pain. If you are uncertain, then try the same with the other leg and by doing this, you can get a comparison.
The most worrisome cases of limping are those where the dog refuses to put any weight on the affected limb. Most vets will put precedence on non-weight bearing dogs and even have time set aside daily for these cases.
Often the young large breed dogs, show signs of limping which can often be put down to being growth related. Here the limping is caused because they grow too fast putting extra strain on their growth plates. A great cure for this is swimming once a week.
Here at Quincys, we have developed something that will definitely help. Its called the ‘Spero’ harness and its designed to aid your dog should they go lame. The way in which the Spero works is simple. It allows you to take some of the weight of your dogs legs by using your own body weight. By doing this, it allows your dog to walk further and build muscles without putting the extra strain on their growth plates.
The top causes of limping are:
- Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament – this is where the dog sharply twists their leg and causes the their cruciate ligament to tear. My own Newfoundland Dog – Quincy had this and he ended up having a leg amputated through contracting MRSA when he was being operated on for the cruciate.
- Hip Displaysia – this is where there is a defect in the hips. Its where the ball doesn’t fit properly into the socket. Although generally, this is a genetic problem, it can also be caused by exercising a dog too much whilst they are still young and growing.
- Elbow dysplasia – like with hip dysplasias, this is where the ulna is not properly fused to the rear point of the elbow. The dog will appear lame and will respond to pain when their elbow is extended.
- Luxating Patella – this is where you find that your dog shows pain in the stifle or knee cap area, a problem often associated with the smaller breeds such as West highland terriers, Yorkshire terriers, toy poodles etc… A tell-tale sign is, you may notice a skip when your dog runs.
In all the above situations, why your dog could be limping, Quincys ‘Spero’ Dog Harness is ideal. Its designed to help take some of the weight of the dogs legs and this is turn helps with rebuilding the muscles. ‘Spero’ in Latin means ‘Hope’.