Many conditions can cause limping in pets. Some conditions are chronic and some are very acute but both require medical attention. Ongoing lameness requires an examination to determine what is causing the lameness and if medications or surgical intervention is necessary. Acute lameness especially if your pet is not weight bearing should be treated as a medical emergency. Left untreated conditions such as dislocations/luxations and fractures can be more difficult to repair. Many people assume that if their older pet is limping it’s just “old age”. Limping is a sign of pain and older pets with chronic arthritis can have their lives improved with pain relief medications and dietary supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin. Small dogs are often born with significant abnormalities of the knee and knee cap, surgical repair of this condition at an early stage can prevent further changes to the joint that may cause pain and lameness. Large dogs often suffer with hip, knee and shoulder problems. If your pet appears painful and has been limping it is important to schedule an appointment for evaluation as quickly as possible.
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