Why My Dog Is Limping? Here Are The 5 Main Causes And Solutions!

    Why my dog is limping? Read on to get your answer.

    Limping is a health condition that arises when our furry friends unintentionally harm their legs. As a consequence of it, pain arises — ultimately leading to limping. There can be many reasons causing limping, but the most common are injury, trauma, infections, and foreign bodies.

    When your dog is limping, it’s essential to take the right action. And, so, here we will discuss the same. Keep reading to know how to aid your dog when he’s limping.

    How To Know If Your Pup’s Limping Is Serious Or Not?

    Knowing when a dog limping is worth worrying about can help to determine what should be done.

    According to American Kennel Club, there are two types of limping that can occur. Their names are pretty self-explanatory.

    • Gradual onset limping – It builds up at a slow pace.
    • Sudden onset limping – It occurs suddenly, mostly after a trauma or an injury.

    Generally, the gradual onset limping is not considered severe. But, if it lasts for a longer time, then it might be a serious case. Immediate care is required, so it doesn’t turn out to be horrible.

    If it’s sudden onset limping caused by any accident, injury, or dislocated joints, then it’s a serious case. Take no time to take your pup to the vet so that treatment can begin at the right time.

    The following signs are an indication of a serious threat; keep an eye out for them as well.

    • Swelling
    • Dangling limb, which is caused by joint dislocation
    • Unnatural angle
    • Obvious break
    • Hot limb

    What Causes Limping?

    my dog is limping
    Photo by Alice Cullen on Unsplash

    Here is the list of the most common causes of limping.


    Trauma caused by a car accident, injury, or while interacting with other animals can be a reason for limping. If your dog is limping because of a trauma — don’t move him much. It can worsen the pain. The best option, in this case, is to provide your dog with emergency care.

    ALSO READ:  DIY Guinea Pig Cages

    To prevent traumas like car accidents or injuries, keep your dog in a safe area. Keep an eye on him and don’t let him reach the streets or roads.

    Remember – If your dog causes an accident, then you will be held guilty. You will have to pay for the damages during the accident. Be alert, and don’t let this happen to you.

    Foreign Bodies

    While your dog is freely walking or running on the grass, he may step on any foreign bodies like glass, stick thorn, plant matter, etc., which can lead to limping.

    An insect bite can be another reason for your dog limping. Swelling and redness can occur in the affected area. You may also notice your dog licking his paw.


    Obesity is a by-product of overeating and lack of physical activity. It can produce many health problems in your dog, including limping. When weight is more than normal, it becomes an unnecessary burden on the joints — putting extra pressure on them, which leads to joint problems.

    To avoid such kinds of issues, feed your pup a well-balanced diet and engage him in physical activities for at least 1 hour.


    Infections like Lyme disease can be another reason why your dog is limping. The following signs can be seen:

    • Swelling joints
    • Discomfort and pain
    • Reduced energy
    • Fever

    Joint Disease

    Many joint diseases like Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament disease, and intervertebral disk disease can lead to joint problems.

    Some other bone diseases can also negatively affect your pup’s bones and joints, which includes:

    • Penostatis
    • Osteochondrosis
    • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy

    According to the experts, proper diet, supplements and exercise can help maintain bone health and prevent diseases. Appropriate treatment after any bone injury also plays a major role.

    What Can You Do At Home To Treat Your Dog Limping?

    My dog is limping
    Photo by Leohoho on Unsplash

    If the cause of your dog limping is mild, then it can be treated at home easily. Here’s what you need to follow.

    ALSO READ:  How Do Lobsters Communicate And 30 Astounding Facts

    If your dog has a broken nail or injured paw – In this case, bleeding can take place. To control it, put pressure on that area using a clean towel. You can also apply ice to stop the bleeding. Probably, bleeding will stop within 10-15 minutes, but if it doesn’t, visit your vet.

    If a foreign body is stuck in the paw – While walking on the grass or streets, your pup may confront a foreign body. If you notice it in your dog’s paw, here are the steps to follow:

    • First, try removing it completely.
    • Clean the affected area using an antibacterial soap
    • If the foot is swelling, soak it in warm water containing Epsom salt.
    • After a few minutes, wipe the affected area using a clean towel.
    • Now, apply antibiotic ointment. It is an oil-based preparation that fights the bacteria on the skin.

    If the foreign body is not removed, even after trying so many times, it can be a serious case and demands immediate care. Take your dog to the vet before the condition turns more serious.

    If the dog has swollen joint inflammation – Use an ice pack on the affected area. Your dog may get relief within 24 hours, but if it doesn’t, reach out to your vet.

    If limping is caused by any trauma, fracture, dislocation, or other serious condition, visiting a vet seems to be the only and best option.

    When To Visit a Vet?

    If you notice your dog is limping, observe him for some time. Your dog may recover on its own within a few minutes. But, if pain persists, visit your vet.

    In some cases of limping, the dog may behave normally and have very mild pain. In this case, you can wait for some hours and see if the pain goes away or not. If it does, well and good, your vet trip has been canceled. But if it doesn’t, you will have to visit a vet.

    ALSO READ:  Low-Maintenance Dogs - 25 Best Breeds To Welcome!

    If your pup’s bone is broken or joint is dislocated, no need to wait — visit your vet ASAP.

    What To Expect At Vet Visit?

    My dog is limping
    Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

    The vet will perform a few tests to find out the exact cause—for example, radiography, ultrasound, x-rays, or MRI.

    These tests are important and shouldn’t be missed. They not only detect the cause but also determine how the treatment should be done.

    Things To Keep In Mind

    • Never give any over-the-counter medication when your dog is limping. It can lead to more complications if side effects emerge.
    • If limping is caused by a dislocated joint or broken leg, or any trauma, visit your vet immediately to begin treatment at the right time.
    • Avoid physical activities until your pup is fully recovered. However, light exercise can be performed, but a big no-no to intense exercises. Talk to your vet about how you should exercise your furry friend after the recovery.

    Frequently Asked Questions | Why My Dog Is Limping?

    Apart from “why my dog is limping?” there are many other questions pet parents have asked. You may also have some in your mind, have a look.

    What Does It Mean If My Dog Is Limping But Show No Pain?

    It can be a sign of an underlying health issue. It’s recommended to visit your vet to know the cause and get the treatment.

    My Dog Is Limping, Should I Walk Him?

    It’s best not to engage your pup in any physical activity for some days. Allowing him to rest and have proper sleep can help in enhancing his recovery.

    However, at least five minutes of walk is considered to be safe. Talk to your vet to know how exercise should be done in this stage.

    How Long Does It Take For a Limping Dog To Heal?

    It depends on how severe the condition is. If your pup has mild limping, it can be cured in a few days. But, if severe, it can take months.

    Conclusion | Why My Dog Is Limping?

    Dog limping is known to be a common health problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious. It can be an indication of an underlying issue. If the actions are taken rightly, the issue can be resolved without any significant problem. You can use the remedies that we mention above. Most likely, they will be pretty helpful. But if not, visit your vet and help your pup to get back on his legs.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here