There are many reasons why dogs can limp, from minor problems like a thorn in the paw to more serious problems like broken or dislocated joints. In dogs, strained or torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles are the most common causes of lameness. In some cases, lameness is due to injuries sustained in accidents or trauma that require emergency veterinary treatment.
If your dog starts limping for no apparent reason and this lasts for more than a day or two, it’s time to visit the vet. In the meantime, find out how to care for your lame dog at home with some safe home remedies.
How to care for a lame dog at home
While some limping will go away on its own, it’s always a good idea to call your vet before figuring out how to treat a limping dog at home.
If you suspect a sprain, strain, arthritis, or other minor problem, rest and medication will be the first steps in treatment to reduce pain and inflammation. Oral or topical pain relief can help at home, but it’s crucial to first ensure that each method is safe for dogs.
1. Talk to your vet about safe pain relievers
What can I give my dog for lameness? When learning how to treat a limping dog at home, you may be curious if you could give your dog a humane pain reliever. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In general, many human pain relievers are dangerous for dogs, particularly over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Amantadine, however, is one of the safest pain relievers for dogs and can effectively reduce discomfort and swelling. You can get a prescription from your vet.
Talk to your vet about a topical cream
To reduce swelling, gently soak your dog’s paw and foot in warm water containing Epsom salts. The movement of the water will help promote healing by improving circulation. After using a towel to gently dry it, apply some antibiotic ointment to the leg. Creams that contain neomycin or bacitracin may be good choices for antibiotic creams for dogs. You should speak to your vet before using any of these.
Applying ice packs to the area for 15 minutes twice a day on the soft leg can also be very effective if your dog has swelling from a sprain, bruise, or tendinitis.
How can I comfort my dog in pain?
By giving your dog a soft sofa or bed covered with cozy blankets, you can ensure his maximum level of comfort. Give your dog lots of pampering and attention, as well as his favorite food and toys.
However, you may want to avoid giving too many treats to keep your dog as healthy as possible while he heals; remember to give him a balanced diet. And as much as you want to go for a walk, it may be best to keep exercise to a minimum for a couple of days while you focus on reducing pain and inflammation.
How can you tell if your dog’s lameness is serious?
Call your vet or go to the nearest emergency vet if the lameness doesn’t start to go away on its own in a few days, gets worse, or is accompanied by whining or howling. Your dog’s pain can be most effectively diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian because he has the necessary education and experience to do so.
If you notice your dog limping on one or more of his legs for no apparent reason, it may be due to something minor, such as a thorn in his paw or a minor muscle sprain.
While a sprain is more serious than a simple strain, most dogs make a full recovery from a sprained leg. If you are concerned about the severity of your lameness, don’t hesitate to call your vet for advice. If not, follow these tips to learn how to treat a limping dog at home by making him comfortable and reducing pain and inflammation with safe methods.
Possibly the biggest challenge you could face as a pet owner is convincing your dog to take it easy for a few weeks while he recovers.