Is Your Dog Limping? Tips To Help Ease Their Pain
Your furry canine is one of the best companions you have in your lifetime. No one can beat their loyalty and emotional fulfillment. They are truly “man’s best friend.” Because of this, you’ll need to look after their health and wellness just as you would your own because they can’t take care of themselves without help.
Unfortunately, limping in dogs is common. As social and energetic creatures, dogs love to play around. With minor pain or harm, it’ll eventually fade. However, more intense pain can cause discomfort, and it may take a little time to see your pet suffering from limb damage called lameness.
What Is Lameness or Dog Limping?
Dog limping or lameness is a health condition in dogs accompanied by abnormal walking on one or more limbs. This results in a variety of bone, muscle, joint, or nerve impairment. Typically, pet owners only realize the issues in their dogs once their canine exhibits the physical manifestations of these injuries, which is the limping.
Generally, there’s two types of limping in dogs: the sudden limping and the gradual onset. Their name perhaps suggests how they show in dogs. Sudden limps happen immediately after trauma or injury, while gradual onset occurs more intricately because of underlying health conditions.
Whichever type your canine is currently experiencing, it needs immediate treatment. Upon finding the limp, it’s best to evaluate the situation first as the pet owner. You can find here how to assess your dog’s limping situation. The next best step is to bring them to the veterinarian.
Along with a veterinarian’s diagnosis, treatment, and prescription, it’s best to know how you can help your dog ease their pain and make them feel that you’re sharing this struggle with them. Enumerated below are some tips to help in soothing and relieving the pain of limps.
Maintain Your Dog’s Best Weight
Even in humans, obesity is not healthy and has to be addressed quickly. Since dogs don’t know anything about weight and how they should maintain theirs, you’ll have to monitor and encourage them to maintain a healthy weight. Extreme weight gain in dogs can put too much pressure on bones, joints, and ligaments due to their four-legged structure.
According to Canine Arthritis Management, 1 out of 5 dogs are a victim of osteoarthritis, which is the leading cause of your canine’s chronic pain. Larger and heavier dogs are more vulnerable to develop dog arthritis. The chronic pain, unbearable stress due to load, and cartilage damage can all cause limping.
While your canine is still young, help them stick to a healthy diet and avoid excessive eating to keep their bodies healthy. Think about how gradual development of limping caused by dog arthritis can affect their lifestyle.
Steer Clear From Excessive and Compressed Workouts
Because of busy schedules, people tend to suffer from the Weekend Warrior Syndrome. This is characterized by excessive workouts during the weekend due to lack of time and physical involvement on the weekdays. During weekends, spend time with your dog, but stay away from too much exercise all in one burst.
While your dog is experiencing and recovering from limps, minimize the level of difficulty and amount of exercise to what your dog can handle. After all, your dog can’t tell you if they’re in pain or not.
Simultaneously, keep the physical activity going. Simple 15-minute leash walks daily can help build muscle joints while keeping them in their comfort zone.
Put Textured Surfaces In Your Home
Some floors and surface areas are slippery for dogs to walk on. Dogs are prone to slipping, tripping, and falling on floors made of hardwood or those which have glossy finishes. Having glossy surfaces means higher chances of injuries.
Whether your dog has lameness or not, it’s important to create traction and grip on your home’s surfaces. Since renovating your floor isn’t the quickest and most convenient option, you can invest in non-slip mats, carpet tiles, yoga mats, runners, or any surface that your dog can safely walk on.
By establishing traction and grip, you can still let your dog have fun, and play without any further injuries that could aggravate the limping.
Consider The Art Of Acupuncture
The utilization of small needles being inserted in problematic parts of your body is widely used around the world. If these forms of traditional medicine work well on humans, acupuncture and acupressure can be a viable option for relieving pain for your pets.
Through acupuncture and acupressure, the pressure induced by the needles or fingers can improve blood circulation around your dog’s legs, which subsequently relaxes the muscles and promote overall comfort. Instead of administering anti-inflammatory and pain medications to your dog, an alternative method can be safer as drugs can affect organ function.
Take a look at acupuncture and acupressure to reduce your pet’s pain while experiencing limps. Although they won’t completely heal your dog in one session, it will make a huge difference. However, make sure to use a licensed veterinary acupuncturist.
Ask Your Vet About Giving Supplements
Including joint-friendly foods and supplements into your dog’s diet can significantly make a difference in their pain management. Along with therapeutic activities for stiff and painful joints, consider adding supplements into their routines, such as fish oil supplements, chondroitin, and glucosamine.
Since joint supplements for dogs aren’t strictly regulated, consult your veterinarian first about the best joint supplements. Even after your dog recovers from limping, giving them joint supplements can give them enhanced comfort and mobility.
Never Administer OTC Medications
You might have been curious about this but no, you can’t give over-the-counter (OTC) medications for humans to your dog.
Human pain killers such as aspirin and ibuprofen are toxic to canines. Before administering any kind of pain medication to your dog, it should be under your vet’s prescription.
Fun Fact: Canines Can Fake Their Injuries
Did you know dogs can fake injuries? Sharing this experience with them is actually fun. You can witness a new playful side of your canine. But why would this occur?
If your dog has experienced limping in the past and you’ve taken extra care of them, this will create a connection in their memory. Dogs are undoubtedly intelligent creatures that love attention from their human parents. Thus, knowing their owners will take care of them, and spoil them when they limp, might cause them to inherently fake a limp to get your attention.
To confirm if your dog has a limp, try looking at them during their blind moments and see if they’re really struggling with pain, or they’re only acting playful.
Limping-induced pain is a huge burden to your canine’s quality of life. The pain and discomfort can affect almost all their activities: eating, urination, defecation, walking, and even when sleeping. To help your dog alleviate pain from limping and associated conditions, do the tips discussed, and most importantly, don’t forget to have regular vet visits to monitor and conquer your canine’s condition.