January 17, 2018

Dog First Aid – Limping

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There are various reasons why a dog would limp. Walking without putting weight on one limb is one of the tricks that can be learned by the pet. Injuries that can result to the limping of the dog can happen because these animals are very active. A sprain, a stone that was lodged between the dog’s toes, a thorn that was embedded on the dog’s paws would make walking difficult for the pet. The pain caused by a broken nail would make a dog limp. Limping that is caused by these conditions is not serious so that the dog will be able to walk normally even without treatment.

Treatment though would be necessary for some kinds of limping. The reason why the dog is limping may be serious enough to warrant urgent medical attention lest it results to permanent walking disability. Limping is a condition most common in large breeds because it is quite easy for the paw, foot and legs to get injured because of the considerable weight of the body. Even the normal activities of playing and running can result to cuts, sprains and torn ligaments.

Proper first aid for these injuries would alleviate the pet’s discomfort and also prevent the dog’s condition from worsening. As with any kind of injury, immediate treatment makes for speedy recovery. First aid treatments would stabilize the condition and save the pet from immense pain. Fortunately, unlike other injuries that would not be easily apparent, limping would be easily noticed by the owner.

The dog owner has to evaluate the injury of the pet. As the dog is limping, the feet and the legs will be examined. Stones that were stuck between the toes will be removed. It is necessary to manipulate the toes and the joints of the foot. The dog would yelp if the sprained foot is manipulated. Dogs have the inclination to wander so that the limping is often caused by a cut paw.

To prevent infection, antibacterial soap must be used to thoroughly wash the dog’s wound. Apply antibiotic ointment and bandage the affected foot or paw with sterile gauze. A limping dog may have fractures or dislocated bones. Never try to set the bone or realign the dislocated joints. Treatment methods for these kinds of injuries must be performed only by vets. As a first aid measure the dog owner can splint the foot with rolled newspaper. Wrapping the makeshift splint with a piece of cloth will prevent further damage to the injured foot as it is immobilized.

Learn more about limping as well as first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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