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Pet Limping FAQ
When dogs and cats limp, it means something is causing them pain. Most pet owners check their pet's paw to see if a pebble or thorn is stuck between paw pads or if paw pads have been cut or scraped. Sometimes, your dog or cat may limp if a claw is damaged or a previously unseen wound is infected and seeping. Limping could also indicate a musculoskeletal problem with your pet's joints, muscles or extremity ligaments. Even if your pet is trying to use the leg on which they are limping and doesn't seem in pain, your veterinarian in Los Angeles urges you to bring your pet to our veterinary clinic for a professional examination to avoid worsening of the injury or disorder.
In addition to injured paw pads or claw, pets may limp due to dislocations, fractures, insect/snake bites, arthritis, hip dysplasia or neurological disorders such as sciatica or "pinched nerve". In rare cases, pets may limp or exhibit lameness because of severe nutritional disorders involving lack of minerals essential for musculoskeletal and neurological health. Also, pets with skin allergies may start limping because they lick their paws so frequently that painful abscesses or infections develop between their toes.
If your Los Angeles veterinarian does not find wounds or infections on your pet, he will begin palpating joints and bones to determine where areas of pain, instability or swelling may exist. Laboratory tests including radiographs, complete blood counts and urine testing can further help your vet develop an accurate diagnosis if he suspects limping is due to a systemic disease.
Your veterinarian typically applies standard wound care (antibiotic ointment and/or shots) to cuts, ripped claws and insect/animal bites. If arthritis, hip dysplasia or other joint and muscle problems are causing limping or lameness, veterinary procedures include but are not limited to surgery, medications and reducing physical activity. Corticosteroids like Prednisone may significantly reduce the inflammation and swelling of arthritis joints in pets. If a fracture is discovered through an x-ray, your Los Angeles veterinarian may need to apply a cast or splint to the affected limb.
Be aware that sudden, severe limping and lameness should be considered an emergency. Your pet may be suffering a serious disease or seizure that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Call your Los Angeles Animal Emergency Centre today to schedule an appointment if your pet is limping: (818) 760-3882 We are open 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday in case you have an emergency with your pet.