A dog injury can be serious or nothing to worry about. What should you do if you detect
your dog limping due to a possible injury. The most prudent advice is to take your dog
to the veterinarian for a checkup. However, this could be an expensive route if the vet
doesn't find anything that requires his attention. You still have to pay the bill for
the exam. You should think twice before calling the vet every time you believe your dog
has sustained an injury.
A dog's limp or whatever can be the result of active play or exercise where the dog
got a slight bruise and doesn't warrant attention from the vet. The problem is trying
to determine if the limp is due to a serious medical condition. As the dog's owner, you
need to try and pinpoint where the pain or apparent injury is located. If you do this
then you have a better chance at deciding whether medical attention is needed. The following
four steps can help you make this determination.
1. Dog Standing
With your dog standing relatively still, look closely at your dog from different angles.
A dog will tend to lean away from an injured leg and put more pressure on the leg that is
stronger and not injured. As an example, your dog will lean towards the right side if the
left leg is hurting and vice versa.
2. Dog Walking
How does your dog walk? Look for signs as the dog walks. Your dog will probably take
shorter steps on an injured leg when compared to the other legs. Does the head move up
and down while he is walking? This is a sign that there is an injury with that leg because
the dog is attempting to take pressure away from the injury.
3. Dog Massage
Try to locate the source of the injury. If you can't see the source, then gently massage
the dog's body with your hands and try to find out where the pain is located. If your pet
dog cries out or winces then you probably have found the source of the pain.
4. Dog's Skin
Observe the dog's skin if you can see beyond the hairy coat. Do you see any skin
discoloration? Do you see any swelling?
5. Veterinarian Visit?
After you locate the spot of the dog's injury you need to make a determination if a
visit to the veterinarian is required. This can be a hard decision because most people
are not qualified to make this type of decision. You may decide against a visit to the
vet if the injury appears to be a slight strain or bruise. To be on the safe side, you
may want to call your veterinarian and see what the vet advises.