Your assessment results for:

Limping or Lameness

Urgency level: High priority

Contact your regular veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact your regular animal hospital ASAP and take a video of your dog’s limp

  • If your regular veterinary hospital is open, contact them now. If they are closed, it is probably safe to wait until morning.
  • Monitor your dog closely for any new symptoms or changes in behavior. If your dog can’t move around at all, shows signs of severe pain or refuses to put any weight on the affected leg, contact an emergency veterinary hospital right away.
  • Be careful when handling your dog – the affected area is likely painful and they may bite.
  • Make note of as many details as you can for your vet, as this will help them diagnose the situation:
    • Which leg(s) are limping, and what specific area?
    • Is it always the same leg, or different legs?
    • Are there specific situations where they limp more?
  • Taking a video of your dog’s limp is always a good idea – especially if the limp is intermittent.


Why it’s high priority

Persistent and painful limping should be seen by a veterinarian for proper healing

  • Lameness frequently requires veterinary attention. Based on the symptoms you’ve selected, your dog could have a condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Some of the conditions we are worried about include minor fracture, muscle/tendon sprain, and skin lesion.
  • Though not necessarily life threatening, early intervention is critical for proper healing in cases of fracture.
  • There are often internal injuries involved with a limp, which requires a physical exam and sometimes other diagnostic tests to determine.


Home care tips

Use an ice pack and don’t give your dog human pain medication

  • Do not give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) to your dog – they are toxic to dogs.
  • Keep your dog quiet and calm – you want to prevent your dog from further aggravating the injury.
  • Wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold it gently on the affected area to ease pain and reduce swelling.
  • Learn more about limping (lameness) in dogs


Talk to a veterinarian now

Worried about your dog or not sure what to do next?

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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.