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My dog ​​limps when walking but not when running - Causes

Have you ever seen your dog run and play for a long time and start limping just when you are walking calmly back home? Or have you noticed that he limps after lying down for a while but then starts running without a problem? This may be somewhat worrying and disconcerting for the animal’s guardian, but the truth is that in many cases lameness occurs intermittently and there are several factors that affect its appearance.

If the animal suffers a serious injury, a fracture or has an advanced state of some osteoarticular pathology, it is likely that it will completely avoid supporting the affected limb, refuse to run or limp regardless of the situation. These cases require exhaustive veterinary intervention and follow-up, but fortunately they are not the most frequent situations and it is most likely that your dog will suffer from occasional lameness for which treatment can be applied.

My dog ​​limps when walking but not when running - Causes

Trauma

We know that some dogs can be very rough when playing with each other or a little clumsy when it comes to going on adventures and they are likely to fall or hit something hard. Just like us, many times dogs are not really aware that they are feeling pain until they «cool down», so they may continue running for a while and start to complain or limp when they have rested and get moving. walk.

In these cases, after locating the affected limb, it must be carefully palpated, gently flexing and stretching the limb to assess the degree of pain of the animal and check for inflammation or wounds.

To do?

Generally, occasional lameness caused as a result of a blow is mild and, although the animal is upset for a while, it does not usually complain too much. The usual thing is that the symptoms subside on their own after a while, but if you notice that the paw is swelling , a bruise is forming, or the pain is getting worse, you should go to a veterinarian or have them prescribe treatment.

Muscle injury or tendonitis

Animals that exercise very intensively, such as dogs that do some high-impact sports or very active dogs that go out to run and exercise daily, are more likely to suffer from muscle fiber rupture or tendonitis due to overuse . This inflammation in the tendons usually produces somewhat more pronounced lameness that, as in the previous case, may not be noticeable until the dog stops exercising and begins to walk more calmly.

To do?

Being more painful, tendinitis requires treatment with anti-inflammatories prescribed by a veterinarian. Likewise, rest is recommended for a few weeks, during which the dog can go for a walk, but must restrict strenuous physical activity, and daily application of cold to the area to help reduce inflammation. Rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises are also very helpful in speeding recovery.

My dog limps when walking but not when running - Causes - Muscle injury or tendonitis

Wounds, burns and foreign bodies

Cuts, punctures, burns on the pads, broken nails or accidents with foreign bodies are very common causes of specific and intermittent lameness. Therefore, in these cases it is common to notice that the dog limps when walking but not when running. Many injuries are not particularly painful at the time they occur and may not affect the dog’s gait until some time later. This is the case, for example, of burns on the pads, very common in cities during the summer, due to the high temperatures reached by the asphalt.

Another example is the insertion of foreign bodies at the base of the paw or between the animal’s toes. A very typical case is that of spikes, which can dig into the dog’s skin and cause no discomfort until, after a while, the wound becomes infected and inflammation and pain appear. This causes, among other symptoms, a limp when the dog walks, which may disappear when he is playing or running.

To do?

Regardless of whether or not you detect a lameness, it is important that you carefully check the legs (pads, nails, space between the toes, etc.) of your furry friend when you return from a walk, especially if it is very hot and you frequent field areas with ears of corn. There are creams and balms that can be useful for burns, grazes or wounds, especially on the pads, but in case of more serious symptoms, it should be the veterinarian who examines the animal.

My dog limps when walking but not when running - Causes - Wounds, burns and foreign bodies

Joint problems

The pain caused by osteoarthritis is another of the most common causes of lameness. As it is a degenerative inflammatory pathology, affected animals are usually those of advanced age that, along with lameness, present other typical symptoms such as difficulty getting up or jumping, excessive licking of some areas or hypersensitivity to contact. .

Dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis usually limp when they walk after lying down or resting for some time and their limp becomes less evident as they begin to exercise more . They can even run in an apparently normal way as long as the pathology is not very present. advanced. This is because, as the joint «warms up», the perceived pain is less intense and the animal can make movements more naturally.

To do?

As osteoarthritis is a chronic and degenerative problem, as soon as it is detected, palliative treatment must be administered to reduce pain and delay the onset of symptoms as much as possible. Such treatment may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, but it is also very important to control the animal’s weight, provide it with an appropriate diet and supplements, and adapt physical exercise to its needs.

Dysplasias

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are degenerative and hereditary osteoarticular pathologies that usually affect large and giant breed dogs. When the dysplasia is advanced, it causes notable mobility problems and persistent lameness, but in the initial stages, it can cause milder and intermittent lameness. Thus, it is possible for a dog with dysplasia to run and play without us being able to clearly perceive a lameness, but it becomes clearer when the animal walks or performs some type of specific movement.

Furthermore, in the case of hip dysplasia, animals, especially younger ones, tend to keep their hind legs together when they jump , so they appear to do «rabbit hops» and have a peculiar way of sitting and lying down, which can give signs that something is not right.

To do?

Dysplasia can be controlled through treatments and, in certain cases, it can be corrected with surgery .

As you can see, there are several causes that can explain why your dog limps when walking but not when running. Generally, this is a symptom of a minor problem, but in some cases, if left untreated it can become serious. Therefore, it is always advisable to go to the veterinarian.

My dog limps when walking but not when running - Causes - Dysplasias

This article is merely informative, at tecnomd.com we do not have the authority to prescribe veterinary treatments or perform any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if it has any type of condition or discomfort.

If the animal suffers a serious injury, a fracture or has an advanced state of some osteoarticular pathology, it is likely that it will completely avoid supporting the affected limb, refuse to run or limp regardless of the situation. These cases require exhaustive veterinary intervention and follow-up, but fortunately they are not the most frequent situations and it is most likely that your dog will suffer from occasional lameness for which treatment can be applied.

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