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What to do if the dog is limping

Updated on July 9, 2009

A dog in boots! Is the dog owner trying to make a fashion statement or are the boots used to protect the paws of the pet? Dogs have feet that are naturally suited to running and walking barefoot. Humans can’t walk (at least not comfortably) without any foot covering. Dogs don’t need shoes to scale rocky outcroppings, to run in harsh terrain, to walk on hot pavement and over snow.  Dogs though are not indestructible. These energetic and agile animals would one day come home favoring a leg. What causes a dog to limp?

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Dogs are agile and energetic animals that always have the inclination to roam. Would it be surprising for the dog to have thorns, splinters and rocks embedded on its paws? Dogs have thickly padded paws but these protections would be no match for broken glass and serrated tins that the dog would encounter while roaming

Broken bones

Some breeds of dogs are dubbed as great escape artists by their masters. These dogs would easily scale 6 foot fence. Dogs are agile animals but accidents happen. Broken bones are often the outcome of the dog’s high jumping adventure.

Tick infestation

Would you believe that a tick infestation can cause the dog to limp?  A dog that is bitten by ticks can develop Lyme Disease and rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Sore muscles and achy joints are symptoms of these diseases.


The energy level of a dog wanes as it gets older. The dog may no longer love to chase butterflies and to play catch ball with the kids. The dog may walk and run slowly, may refuse to climb stairs, walk with a permanent limp and seem as if suffering from excruciating pain. This is your cue to lessen the strenuous activity of the dog. Your pet is not only getting old but it is suffering from arthritis as well.

Helping the limping dog

You love your dog. You may want to carry the limping dog wherever it wants to go but of course this will not be possible all the time. The best thing to do to help the pet is to examine the feet it is favoring. Both you and the dog would be very lucky if the cause of the limping is nothing but a small stone embedded between the toes of the pet. However, the dog may have splinters or thorns that need to be removed and wounds that need to be cleaned and treated. A broken bone needs professional help and so is arthritis. To help the pet you have to bring it ASAP to a vet. 

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    • jackinabox profile image

      jackinabox 6 years ago

      To be on the safe side. Get a vet to check him out.

    • profile image

      ???? 6 years ago

      My dog is a Jack Russell and he is limping on his left hind leg and his leg is really hurting and he is also shaking! and he is eleven and he won't let me pick him up!:(