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Health Topics  >  Musculoskeletal  >  Limping (Lameness)

How do vets diagnose a limping dog?

It’s always a good idea to take a video of your dog’s limping in action, so that your vet can clearly see what’s going on. You’ll also want to plan your trip to the veterinarian and proceed carefully, since transporting a limping dog can worsen their injuries. In the meantime, limit the amount of exercise they get and keep them comfortable at home.

In addition to a physical exam, your vet may need to run some medical tests to determine the cause and arrive at a diagnosis, such as X-rays (especially to determine any fractures or other injuries to the limbs), ultrasounds and MRI scans (if the problem isn’t bone-related, but muscle, tendons or ligament) and blood tests (to rule out potential illnesses or diseases causing the limp).

Surgery may be required if the situation doesn’t get better or if the injury returns, or if your dog has a torn tendon or ligament.

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