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How to Tell if Your Dog is Hurt or Injured

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It’s natural to feel concerned when your dog appears to be in pain. Often the first sign of a leg injury is limping. Some injuries are minor and will heal on their own, while others require a visit to your veterinarian. It’s important to determine where the problem is, whether it’s serious and if the limp is bad enough to prevent your dog from bearing any weight on its affected limb.

Locate the injury

When your dog is injured it can be difficult to determine which limb is affected. Typically, your dog will come down heavier on their healthy legs and avoid putting too much weight on the one that is hurt. If you watch your dog walk, you will probably notice that their head goes up each time the uncomfortable leg is on the ground. If the limping lasts for more than a day, or if it recurs, you should take your dog to your veterinarian for an evaluation.

Once you’ve determined which limb is affected you should examine it to see if you can figure out where the problem is coming from. It might be helpful to examine an uninjured leg first to see how your dog responds to pressure. Start with the toes and gently work your way up to the body.

Check your dog’s toenails for cracking and splitting, which can cause pain when walking. Examine each toe for injury. Check the pads of the feet and the webbing between toes for cuts and foreign objects. Inspect the joints and legs for discomfort, swelling and loss of range of motion.

Sprains and strains in dogs

Sprains and strains are both common injuries for dogs. Warning signs for both include limping or a leg that is suddenly lame. A strain is an injury to the tendons that link muscles to bones. These occur when dogs slip, fall or jump during play. Common sites for strains include the hips and thighs. Sprains are injuries to the ligaments that connect bones. Sprains often occur as a result of jumping, falling and stepping in holes. Common joints affected include the wrists and knees.

Treating leg injuries

Treatment for leg injuries include rest, physical therapy and the use of a quality brace or support to hold your dog’s muscle or joint in place. DogLeggs offers a variety of supports and braces for a number of conditions. Our high-quality products are an excellent alternative to traditional bandages. DogLeggs always recommends you consult your veterinarian for their professional opinion when treating your dog. For more information about our innovative products, please contact us today.