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The treatment for your dog’s lameness will vary depending on the cause.

Your dog’s treatment plan could be as simple as a few days of rest, or it could entail surgery, further testing, and a prolonged recovery.

Before calling to make an appointment, however, most of us want to know a little bit about the common causes of limping in dogs, what to expect from a veterinary visit, and when limping is a veterinary emergency.

There are two types of limps: gradual onset and sudden onset. Sudden limps happen quickly, like their name implies, usually after an injury or trauma.

Infections like Lyme disease can also cause joint pain and limping, which is just one more reason why it is important to have your dog on an effective tick preventative. Younger dogs, especially large breed puppies, can develop conditions such as hypertrophic osteodystrophy and panosteitis, which make walking painful.

Certain cancers, such as osteosarcoma, also affect bones and require prompt diagnosis for the best prognosis.

You can also do your own examination at home before you call the veterinarian.

However, without proper training, testing the range of motion and manipulating your dog’s leg is a bad idea and could injure your dog further.

This may seem overwhelming, but these causes can be broken down into a few categories.Sudden onset limps, on the other hand, are usually caused by an injury or trauma, like a broken bone or injured paw.Just because your dog has a gradual limp does not mean you should put off making an appointment.A sign that your dog may have something stuck in his paw is that he will lick his paw incessantly.Some conditions cause gradual wear and tear on joints and the musculoskeletal system. Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, ligament disease, intervertebral disk disease, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) all can cause limping on any of the affected limbs.

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