Pet Symptom Checker


Medical name: Lameness


  • Lameness
  • Walking stiffly
  • Swollen limbs


Lameness is the dog body’s way of telling us something is amiss with the muscles, bones, joints, and nerves that normally collaborate for that upright stance and confident gait we admire so much in a healthy, pain-free dog. Is it the inflammation of arthritis in the joints, a torn ligament, or a defect in the spinal cord or vertebrae that is transmitted all the way to legs? Is some metabolic condition weakening your dog’s muscles? Let’s hope there’s not a bone tumor. Maybe, if you’re lucky, it’s just a cut in the paw or a broken toenail. Before checking with the vet, make some observations of this lame dog. Does he bob his head with each limping step? Are particular parts of his body — the elbows or hips, for instance — sore to the touch or swollen? Are there any signs of traumatic injury? Has this limping ever happened before — and if so, when, where, and why? Remember that sometimes a dog will shift weight off a sore leg — and then strain the leg that’s bearing the weight and start limping there. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can help. But until you’re ready to consult with your veterinarian, remember to never give pain medications or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory products without specific instruction from your dog’s doc.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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