Help! My Dog Is Limping

Updated May 4, 2023

This isn’t just a catalog of limping dogs. By knowing the leg problems that dogs get you have a better chance of preventing some, identifying others and taking them all seriously.

I’ve gone back through our records, found the top 20 with pictures. The list below is sorted into ‘puppy’, ‘adult’ and ‘common’ problemsVisit this page to see which problems happen in the front or back legs and how to tell which leg is sore.

Causes of Limping in Puppies

If a puppy starts limping, you may need to act fast to prevent a lifetime of problems. All these problems need to be identified and treated quickly in growing dogs. See also the common causes of limping discussed later and the cost of X-rays.


Fractures in growing dogs are a lot like breaks in children. Most of the time they are either:

  • Growth plate fractures, or
  • Greenstick fractures

Growth plates are the dark bands you see in puppy xrays where new bone is forming, and are natural weak spots. The picture shows the repair of a tibial crest avulsion in the knee, a sort of growth plate fracture. The small piece of bone that’s now fixed down was pulled off by the force of the patellar tendon.

Greenstick fractures are just like the name suggests- cracked but not fully broken, and heal very well if supported. The most common cause of both sorts of fractures is when puppies are dropped or fall from furniture.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation diagram

This is the most common cause of limping on and off in dogs, where a dog will walk normally, pull the leg up, then walk normally again. It’s caused by the kneecap slipping out of the joint, and happens due to abnormalities in the growth of the leg. Patellar luxation usually starts before a dog turns one year old.

The picture shows my dog Loki just before his surgery. You can read more about patellar surgery here.

Hip Dysplasia

hip dysplasia xray
Hip dysplasia & early remodelling

HD is still the most common and feared cause of a progressively worsening limp in a puppy. It is just as often seen as a ‘quiet’ puppy who sits a lot and appears reluctant to rise.

The xray shows the classic poor ‘fit’ between the ball and socket of the hips. If identified by 16 weeks of age hip dysplasia can be improved and sometimes even eliminated by a simple procedure called juvenile pelvic symphysiodesis.

Angular Limb Deformity

dog valgus foreleg

I see too many dogs whose owners didn’t know the seriousness of a leg that starts turning out. This is an emergency and requires rapid intervention to avoid permanent deformity. It’s caused by the fact that the forearm is made of two parallel bones: the radius and ulna. If one of the four growth plates is damaged, the other bone keeps growing and the leg starts to bow out.

Believe it or not, treatment requires us to cut the bone that stops growing so the other one can grow straight.

Elbow Dysplasia (FCP)

dog elbow fracture

Fragmented Coronoid Process is the most common of the three conditions we call elbow dysplasia. The coronoid processes are tiny shelf-like projections easily fractured in puppies. These dogs need arthroscopic surgery to avoid a rapidly worsening elbow arthritis.

Elbow dysplasia is partly genetic and is screened for in susceptible breeds, usually large dogs. It is probably made worse by overfeeding and excessive exercise in the first 12 months of life.

Ununited Anconeal Process

puppy elbow problem

UAP is the second of the elbow dysplasia conditions (more than one can occur at a time, too). In UAP, a growth plate does not fuse with the adjacent bone and leaves a loose fragment. I removed this example surgically and the dog went on to live a normal life.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans

dog OCD lesion

Although this is the third condition in the elbow dysplasia group, OCD also causes lameness and pain in other joints. The picture shows the subtle signs of osteochondrosis in the shoulder- can you see the damage? It’s the flattened area on the head of the humerus.

OCD occurs when a piece of cartilage and bone flakes off the joint surface. The loose fragment then needs to be removed and the joint surface smoothed by a vet skilled in arthroscopy.


canine enostosis panosteitis

Honourable mention must also go to panosteitis, a common cause of lameness in dogs such as German Shepherds and other young, large-breeds.

Panosteitis is characterised by limping that changes from leg to leg, comes and goes, and responds to antiinflammatories. Its cause is poorly understood, but it usually disappears by 18 months of age.

X-rays of this condition, while necessary for diagnosis do not do it justice. The patchy densities arrowed are typical for an ‘average’ case.

Why Adult Dogs Limp

Once the body is fully grown, different leg problems become more common.


dog knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common cause of limping after sleeping or rest. It becomes more common with age so that by 12 most dogs experience it. The picture shows an unlucky four-year-old dog’s left knee, with the normal right knee for comparison. Read here how we treat arthritis in dogs.

Arthritis can also be caused by infection or auto-immune disease but in Adelaide, these are much less common.

Cruciate Ligament Rupture

TPLO surgery outcome
TPLO after surgery

Probably the most common cause of a middle-aged dog who suddenly starts limping on a back leg is a ruptured cruciate ligament. The loss of the ligament causes the knee to become unstable and painful when the dog attempts to put weight on it. In nearly every case these dogs require surgery to return to full function.

Pictured is the TPLO procedure we perform on dogs over 15kg in weight. Read here about cruciate problems in dogs and the options for treatment.


dog forelimb fracture

Once common, the advent of good fencing and dog control has made fractures a rare event in adult dogs. I looked back through our files and found these are now the common fractures:

  • Toe fractures, usually easily managed by a supportive dressing.
  • Metacarpal and metatarsal fractures, such as from a heavy object landing on the foot. These usually require surgical pinning.
  • Italian Greyhounds with distal radius and ulna fractures. That’s two in the picture above that we went on to repair surgically. The keen observer will note that the one on the right is actually a puppy with open growth plates.

Warning: we do still see occasional dogs hit by cars and it’s now often caused by visitors or tradespeople leaving a gate open. I keep my dogs inside when workers are in our yard just for this reason.


dog elbow dislocation

Dislocations occur when the parts of a joint become separated. It’s important to realise this usually happens together with significant damage to the supporting ligaments.

Most dislocations are as a result of trauma, but some (especially of the shoulder) can happen due to congenital laxity (looseness) of the joint. The picture shows an elbow dislocation as a result of a high-speed collision between two dogs at a dog park. The second image is the same joint after Claire ‘reduced’ (fixed) the luxation under general anaesthetic.

Bone Cancer

dog bone cancer

Tragically, not all limps are easily fixed. Bone cancer is especially common in large breed dogs from middle age and is often the main reason we will want to xray a gradually worsening lameness.

The picture shows the characteristic bone loss and new bone formation of an osteosarcoma in the humerus near the shoulder. Treatment of these dogs is primarily aimed at reducing pain levels, and improving quality of life, and occasionally chemotherapy for selected cases.

Read more about bone cancer in dogs here.

Neurological Causes

Diseases of the brain, spinal cord or nerves can look a lot like a limp. Many of these are life-threatening, like tick paralysis which is thankfully not endemic to South Australia. The video shows a dog with disc disease which I hope all dog owners will commit to memory.

You can read all about Ricky and the treatment of spinal disc rupture here. In the article are also listed the other similar neurological conditions.

Biceps Tendon Injury

dog shoulder injury

Biceps tears, avulsions or sprains are a surprisingly common cause of an ongoing limp in the foreleg. They heal badly and are prone to reinjury and relapse. The picture shows a reactive area where the biceps tendon attaches and focal calcified areas in the biceps groove.

Making the diagnosis allows us to set the correct level of exercise restriction for the right duration to allow healing to occur.  This dog went on to full recovery with rest and anti-inflammatory treatment.

Other Common Causes Of Limping

Despite this section appearing last, it’s where you’ll find the majority of limps in dogs.

Skin Problems

dog foot licking

The skin between the toes and pads is very prone to dermatitis. This can become very sore and infected especially if it is licked. A feature of these dogs is that they are usually more uncomfortable on grass than smooth floors due to the leaves pricking the soft skin above the pads.

Read more here about why dogs lick their feet.

Nail Problems

Nail bed swelling
A swollen nailbed

In order from most to least common, nail problems include:

  • Broken or loose nails
  • Nail bed infections
  • Ingrown or over-long nails
  • Tumours of the nailbed
  • Auto-immune nail diseases

The picture shows an unusual fungal nailbed infection that required amputation to stop it spreading to the bone. Read more about nails and nail clipping here.

Pad Problems

Limping due to paw pads can be caused by:

  • Overexercise causing loss of the hard layer of the pad
  • Foreign material such as glass
  • Diseases of the foot pads, often nutritional or metabolic

Foreign Bodies

The more that people know about preventing grass seed problems, the better for their dogs. A weeping sore between the toes during spring and summer is almost always caused by a migrating grass seed awn. At this stage, the dog will require an anaesthetic to have it removed but it is very easy to check dogs’ feet after walks.


dog sprained wrist

Active dogs, especially when overweight, often suffer ongoing sprains in their forelegs. A particular culprit is the tennis ball, which I’ve written about before. The solution is reducing high impact exercise and controlling weight, plus judicious use of anti-inflammatories.

The picture shows a typical carpal (wrist) sprain, showing increased soft tissue density around the joint. Only an x-ray can distinguish this from a fracture.

Soft Tissue Injuries

dog shoulder fracture

The advantage of xrays in most cases is that they neatly separate the dogs that need intervention from the dogs that can be managed conservatively. Until dogs learn to talk, we’re going to need to use tests like these to know which dogs need help. For example, muscle tears don’t show up on x-ray and that’s fine.

The idea is simple. If a thorough radiographic study fails to identify any cause of the lameness, then 99 times out of 100 the dog will get better with rest and anti-inflammatories. However, the key word is ‘thorough’. The x-rays above are a craniocaudal view of the shoulders of a dog, an exceedingly difficult area to do well. It was almost our last image in a long series, and thanks to the diagnosis the dog went on to make a full recovery.

Now it’s your turn. Can you spot the difference and find the crack? Leave me a comment if it’s driving you crazy.

NOTE: comments are now closed, but you should be able to find answers to all the common questions in the previous replies

Have something to add? Comments (if open) will appear within 24 hours.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here. The information provided here is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet. If your pet is unwell, please seek veterinary attention.

102 Replies to “Help! My Dog Is Limping”

  1. Hi, Thanks for your great article and images. I have a 2 1/2 year old border collie mix that is 40 lbs. I adopted him at 6 months, and occasionally he would yip and lift his rear leg as if he stepped in glass. Nothing there. After the third time that happened, I took him to the vet. They said acl and recommended drugs and surgery. I went with conservative management and was doing really well until 9 months when I messed up with letting him do too much and he slipped in snow and screamed and limped again. I locked him down and the limp improved greatly quickly. It has always been this weird thing, where he is walking, will suddenly lift his rear leg up, but if I ask him to sit, he sits, and then gets up and walks normal. Have you ever heard of anything like that? Anyway, he was doing pretty good, but I got sloppy again, since he was doing better, and today he messed it up good and doesn’t want to put it down at all, which has not happened in a LONG time, over a year and a half. I’m so bummed, stem cell treatment? acupuncture? surgery and if so, what kind? I have friends who had success with their dogs surgeries, but I read so many conflicting things about it online.. thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Hi Va. it’s hard to say as it doesn’t sound exactly like any of the common causes. Cruciate disease isn’t normally intermittent so you should get a vet to take another look and perhaps X-rays too.

  2. Our 55 lb., 10 yr old rescue sheltie had left tightrope surgery Dec 2020. In July, we were told it failed. Sometime after the failure, his right ankle failed. He compensated by walking plantigrade while waiting for corrective TPLO which will be this week. We had his rt ankle measured for a custom brace instead of doing partial tarsal arthrodesis. One morning this week he could no longer walk. We were unable to have this new development assessed by the surgeon because he is booked until his surgery appt. We now worry if surgery is appropriate. Would it just prolong his pain? In spite of not being able to walk, he is eating and still interested in modified playtime. Vet put him on pain meds until his surgery.

    1. Hi Dee. While I can’t give specific advice, in general the TPLO is a very forgiving surgery with fast recovery. I have done over 60 in dogs of all states of health, age and infirmity and it has so far helped them all greatly. It sounds like if you don’t do it you have to accept the status quo, and so I would continue on the plan. Arthodesis can be performed later if the brace isn’t sufficient.

  3. I have a 4 yo Doberman who started limping last week. It is intermittent. Although is very obvious after he has been resting. He seemed to “walk it off” mostly, but the last few days he hasn’t been as lucky. He still runs, eats, etc. I have thourougly checked paws, between paw pads, nails & applied pressure from his shoulders to his paws without any obvious pain caused. He has been sleeping a lot more than usual (started a week before the limp started) and been whining more than normal. Everything I have read, points towards osteosarcoma, maybe osteoarthritis. Am I overreacting? Is this an emergency situation? My husband lost 90% his eye sight in both eyes last year, so $ is stretched thin. I cannot afford a vet visit of $300+ for 2 more weeks. Can this wait that long? It is a front leg bothering him. He has also been holding the leg up in the air to avoid any weight put on it, but I have only seen him doing this once, yesterday. I am completely devestated, he is my sweet boy & he is still only 4. He us half euro, half american. He is “well loved” & about 10 pounds overweight, which I understand 10 lbs. is a lot for a dog. He is about 110 lbs.

    1. Hi Michelle. Your situation is the same as many other dog owners: until they get their dog checked they’ve done a bit of googling and have a horrible diagnosis in their mind. I can’t understand why it will cost you $300 to get your dog checked over (it’s $70 in our clinic), and most of the time this should be sufficient for a tentative diagnosis. That’s what must be done before trying to decide what the problem could be.

  4. Sadly, my 6-year-old large dog is having trouble with feeling and movement in her lower front legs and the vets here are stumped. Nothing in the bloodwork, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories not working.

    X-rays show a small lesion on or near the spine, but we can’t get an appointment (or afford) an MRI for at least six months. We’re paying extra to have a radiologist review it more, but that may be months as well.

    We’re really getting concerned. She’s lost a little weight since this started a month or so ago, and we help her with a harness on the stairs and keep her inactive otherwise as best we can.

    No idea what else to look into — not knowing is hard. 🙁

    1. Hi Ken. You are in a difficult situation without an MRI. However, you shouldn’t have to wait long for a radiologist review – even in Covid times, they usually work from home and provide rapid turnarounds. If there’s a high degree of suspicion of a spinal lesion, it’s possible that a CSF tap would assist with the diagnosis, but in many cases the results are inconclusive.
      Please also look at the list of possibilities on our page on hind limb weakness, as many of these are also relevant to the forelimbs.

  5. My 20 month old cavoodle had a recent sore on his left hind leg which got a bit infected. Got him anti-biotics and seems to be going really well. Now he is limping on his left hind leg and I v any find a skin lesion like I could on his left side. Wondering if there’s anything systemic I should be worrying about here or something more serious? He definitely has some bad mats so I wonder if this could be the problem.

    1. Hi Troy. Unless is sore is on a weightbearing surface, it’s unlikely to be a cause of limping. I’m sure it will all make sense when your vet takes a look.

  6. Hi Andrew
    I’ve just found your article online after googling hind leg weakness. My six year old pug has quite suddenly stopped climbing the stairs or jumping into the sofa and his gait is very different. He’s always had a funny little trot but for the past couple of days his back right leg has been swinging inward when he walks. He hasn’t run at all and is reluctant to even walk but doesn’t appear to be in any pain. He’s let me take a good look and I can neither see nor feel anything unusual in either of his back legs.
    Your advice would be very much appreciated.
    Kindest Regards,

    1. Hi Charlotte. There’s no obvious pattern here, so I’m sorry I can’t give you much idea what this could be. Pugs are known for IVDD, so it’s possible there is a disk putting pressure on the spinal-cord but that’s the best I can come up with. If you can, post back once your vets have worked it out.

  7. My giant breed puppy is making me very worried he may have developed a musculoskeletal health issue/disorder. Roosevelt is a great pyrenees/Lab mix, he is ~125lbs(lean) and will be 11 months old tomorrow.

    1. Hi Kyle. It’s not easy to narrow down the choices except to say that at this age it’s important to get a vet to have a close look as soon as possible.

  8. Really helpful site – thank you. I have a 5 year old Labrador who has been limping for 8 months, worse on hard ground. Detailled scan of foot/paw was unremarkable. Pain responses are inconsistent – sometimes toes, sometime shoulder. Anti-inflammatory medication helps. The paw in question (front left) is flat compared to others – confusing…
    Can a flat paw cause a shoulder injury?
    Can a shoulder injury cause a flat paw?
    What usually causes a flat paw?
    Can a flat paw cause pain in a variety of toes?
    Any thoughts would be very welcome please.

    1. Hi Nicola. I’m not really sure of the significance of a flat paw. It sounds very tricky and I don’t have much else to add as you’ve done a lot of good work already. Good luck.

  9. Hi I have an approx 5yo x breed rescue about the size of a whippet, (in profile whippet proportions but wider chest and head). He isn’t overweight.. He has always dished/daisy cut with his front legs and is bow legged a bit at the rear. He has started to walk oddly, his hock seems to over straightens and looks like it clonks just before lifting it for the next stride. he’s not lame except going up stairs he favours it very slightly. There is no swelling or heat and it doesn’t appear to trouble him if I maniputate it (and he would let me know if it hurts). When he stands up on just his hind legs they have always been dead straight from hip to floor. The rear tendon from stifle to hock on this leg seems softer? than the other leg. Any advice would be appricated thank you.

    1. Hi Alison. It’s very hard to say, but the loose tendon is probably secondary to reduced weight bearing on the leg, not the primary problem. Hock diseases are rare and it’s possible the real issue is in another joint.

  10. We have a 1 year old Australian Shepherd my son purchased as a puppy. After about 3 months he started to hold his right paw up after he would run and play with our other 2 dogs. We thought it was an injury. We recently had him x rayed and the results were, Osteochondrosis of the right humeral head with mild right shoulder osteoarthritis, equivocal mild left shoulder osteochondrosis. They are recommending we seek an orthopedic consult. My concern is quality of life will surgery fix the problem or create new ones and are there other alternatives.

    1. Hi Mike. My experience is that OCD treated promptly via arthroscopy has a much better outcome than any other treatment.

  11. Hello,

    I have an 11-month-old female (not spayed yet) Rottweiler. She is about 92 pounds which my vet thinks is OK for her build (not overweight). She has been favoring her back left leg for a week. We think she took a bad fall while playing but when it didn’t get better with limited activity for 2-3 days (no running, no jumping, out in the yard on a leash to do her business and then back inside) we took her to the vet. They couldn’t do X-rays because she wasn’t calm but said she had fluid on the joint and sent us home with anti-inflammatories, which seemed to help, but today while in the yard to do her business she yelped loudly and now the leg is worse than before. There were no sudden turns, we were not going fast, nothing wrong with her paw that we can see. Seems to be the result of an injury rather than a slowly developing condition. Any thoughts? (We are making a vet appointment as soon as they open Monday morning for X-rays under sedation.)

    1. Hi RB. The history of an initial injury suddenly worsening is typical of cruciate ligament rupture in dogs, but yours is far younger than I would expect. Therefore the answer is probably something else so please post back once you have it.

  12. My husband tripped over our 7 year old yorkie o New Year’s Eve and she sort of flipped on our tile. She didn’t Yelp or show any signs she was hurt. She was fine all Christmas Day. Then today she started holding up her front right leg periodically. She still puts it down and walks on it. She is eating, going up and down stairs etc. If I didn’t see her put her front right leg up I would not know anything is wrong. I can’t decide if I should wait or have her seen. I am hoping she just sprained something since I see her put weight on it and no other signs of distress

    1. Hi Em. I’m not aware of a specific reason for a delayed onset lameness so it may just be any of the causes listed here. Sorry not to be much help.

  13. My dog is a chow chow and he’s turning 9 months this dec 31. Sometimes he limps after going out for fun we haven’t bring him to the doctor. He can run fast but he really limps sometimes I try to massage his right leg and when he stand up he’s limps more. Also his right leg looks sleeping for me it is bending but when he stands its limited

    1. Hi Lyssa. In a Chow Chow (I assume you mean the foreleg) the problem at this age is most likely to be caused by elbow dysplasia, and the best outcomes are achieved by early diagnosis and treatment.

      1. Hello,
        We have a beautiful 6 year old Staffy cross, he is very short legged, with a large quite muscular body, 19kgs, looks similar to a Corgy body. He suddenly started limping on Wednesday, the rear left leg seemed pulled up and he wouldn’t put weight on it. He didn’t seem to mind me checking it for grass seeds or feeling around to see where it hurt, I couldn’t find a specific spot where there was pain, however the leg would not sit in its usual position. He was avoiding using the stairs and was lying on the floor rather than his favourite chair, also having trouble getting up from lying down. When he lies down the leg looks shorter than his other back leg. I took him to local vet that afternoon, he checked him out and said he wasn’t sure what was wrong but as there seemed to be no real pain he gave us some non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication which he said was like doggy nuerophen, sent us home and said if there’s no change in 7 days bring him back, but the problem is not getting any better it seems to be worsening and he is struggling to go to the toilet and due to his funny shape the weight on his other back leg trying to balance worries me that he may damage the other leg getting around like this. Should I wait this out or go straight back?

      2. Hi Carly. I would go straight back if he’s getting any worse. The most likely diagnosis in a middle-aged dog with no obvious injury is a crucial ligament problem which can be hard to detect at the beginning.

  14. Hi Andrew, thank you for putting out such an informative article and site.

    We have a 14 week old cocker spaniel who has started to limp on her right front leg (obvious for about a week now, but looking back at videos we think its been present since we first started taking her out about two weeks ago). A feature of the limp seems to be the respective shoulder blade protruding much higher than the left one when she walks and stands. Doesn’t seem to be in any pain. Is this characteristic of any common (and hopefully short lived) issues?

    She has been to vet, who examined her and couldn’t find anything wrong, though no radiographs yet, and is having a few days of rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

    We’d really appreciate any thoughts you might have.


    1. Hi Alex. None of the conditions mentioned should be associated with a shoulder blade displaced dorsally. Therefore, it’s likely to be something else rarer, which makes sense in a young dog who could carry a congenital condition. Good luck and please post back when you get an answer.

  15. Hi We have a 6 year old Cattle dog who suddenly starts limping & favouring right front leg but within hours or the next day is fine, no limp & walking & running happily for months. This has now happened 4 times. Any ideas please on his problem?

    1. Hi Mo. Most of these dogs are suffering repetitive sprains associated with ball throwing or similar high impact activity.

  16. Nothing on luxating patella? The bane of my existence (as a trainer and breeder of small dogs). Would love to see your input on this particular doggy problem!

  17. Just stumbled across this article and it’s timely.
    I have a young Afghan Hound, about 20 months old. Very active and loves to race around with the other dogs. He came in limping on the left rear leg last night. He was doing a lot of cat stretching: arching and stretching his spine. I checked legs and pads and he showed no sign of pain, but the muscles along his spine were tight. By this morning, he was moving normally. He went out to do his business, and obviously I didn’t watch him closely enough, he came in limping on the opposite (left) rear leg. So he’s on house arrest till I can get him to the vet next week. I’m worried he might have injured his back. 🙁

  18. i have a 2 and a half year old airedale terrier that is extremely active and alert but in the past 6 months has been going lame in front legs often shifting from one limb to another . when she lies down for an extended period of time and then stands she is often stiff and exhibiting pain , she will raise her paw off the ground and now she lays down much more often. She also is becoming much more needy and whines a bit now . We cant find a cause for this and we x rayed her front legs . we have pulled several ticks off her but have started anti biotic treatment as prescribed by the vet Doxycycline and pain meds Previcox as a precaution to lyme disease. what do you suggest we do to figure this out as she is now constantly limping and showing discomfort.

    1. Hi Robert. My advice is somewhat limited by Lyme disease not being present in our area. If this case occurred here in Adelaide, and I was happy that the x-rays had covered all the possible areas, I would tap the joints and send the fluid to the lab for analysis. This would be to look for auto immune or infectious causes.

  19. Hello,

    I have a 20 week old Saint Bernard Poodle cross who just got back from a lengthy visit at the vet. We brought him in because he was lethargic and not wanting to get up to drink water, eat, go outside, etc.. When we took him out of the car to hand to the vet, he whimpered and seemed to favour when his left front leg is touched.

    The vet looked at this and noted that when the carpal joint was bent, he would react. The exam also found that he had a fever. Bloodwork showed he was dehydrated and anemic with low red blood cell count and high white blood cell count. Xrays on the leg showed no obvious fractures or major soft tissue swelling. Chest X-rays showed no signs of infection. Abdominal xrays showed a lot of food and hard stool built up. Didn’t find anything on his paw pads.

    Vet ended up discharging with fluids and antibiotics and we will bring him back in the morning for a follow up X-ray once there has been movement in his stomach. Upon coming home, he still really favours that front leg and won’t walk at all. He’s extremely tired from a big day, but we find it odd that even when sitting down he barely puts any weight (if any) on the leg. Even need to help him lay down. Obviously this makes it difficult to get him to drink water and go to the bathroom.

    Do you think the leg is connected to his fever and dehydration? The vet didn’t really seem to focus on it once the X-ray and visual exam didn’t show anything. Or is it more likely that he has a mild sprain that is unrelated, but makes whatever other issue he has worse because he can’t drink, go to the bathroom, etc.?

    Sorry, longer than expected but hopefully it paints a clear enough picture! Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Keanen. I’m never much of a believer in coincidences, and I can think of a simple way that the leg and the fever could be connected. Large, fast-growing animals appear to run an increased risk of bacteria lodging close to the joints. It’s conceivable that what you are seeing is either a septic arthritis or osteomyelitis associated with blood-borne bacteria. I have seen this before, it doesn’t show up on x-ray straight away, and it should respond to standard antibiotics if that is the case. Good luck.

  20. Hello,
    This week my 3 year old lab mix started doing something strange. He will put absolutely zero pressure on his back left leg (to where it is off the ground) in the grass but then move to the concrete, or the deck, and walk fine. I looked at his leg and it seems fine, no signs of pain. I am wondering what I should do.

    1. Hi William. When a dog won’t weightbear on grass but will do it normally on smooth surfaces, the answer is normally found by looking up at the skin between the pads on the underside of the foot. Blades of grass can reach that area where as the smooth surfaces do not. A common example is interdigital dermatitis. Have a look with a light and see if my suspicions are correct.

  21. Hello. My girl is an 11 year old Weimaraner/Lab mix. She was running circles around the tree in the back yard playing with our new puppy. Shortly after she came in I noticed her limping, favoring her hind right leg. Then I noticed that her toes on that paw seem flat or loose (I don’t know what word to use) Like the joints in that foot are messed up. She has been my best friend for 11 years, and I am taking her in. Due to shortage of staff (Corona Virus) it’s a couple days away. They won’t answer any questions over the phone. I hope I have explained this well enough to get some help. Thank you in advance for your help!! You have no idea how much it means.

    1. Hi Jennifer. There wouldn’t be much that would cause all of the toes to be injured at the same time, so I’m wondering if what you are looking at is an Achilles (common calcanean) tendon injury. These cause the whole lower part of the leg to drop; you can google that and see if the images match. Another thought is just that the toes are loose because the leg is not having the full amount of weight placed on it. Once you get an answer, please come back and leave a reply.

  22. My 7 month old yellow lab is limping on the front right leg. On and off for three weeks. Sometimes seems fine but after exercise is worse. He walks with the foot slightly turned out. He seems to put almost full weight on it and it doesnt slow him down very much if at all. There is no swelling and I cant find and sore spots anywhere on the leg. Not sure what to do next.

    1. Hi Karah. There’s not much you can do except to get a diagnosis. It could be something simple, but if it’s elbow dysplasia, the sooner you act the better.

  23. Hi Andrew,
    I have a 6 year old pitbull who is having an issue with his front right leg. I noticed one afternoon that he was slightly favoring one of his front legs. I assumed he had sprained it somehow as we live in the country where there are lots of critters to chase and piles of wood to get into. That evening, however, when I called him of the couch to get ready for bed his leg had worsened considerably. His paw and ankle were hugely swollen. The next morning the swelling had spread through his entire leg. His leg was twice the size of the other with the swelling going up to his shoulder. I immediately took him to the vet where he was xrayed. I was told that the xray revealed no evidence of a tumor or fungal infection, and there were no visible wounds. After hours we were told the cause was unknown and my dog was prescribed gabapentin, carprovet, and an antibiotic. This was two days ago and he hasn’t shown any improvement, I am very concerned and would very much appreciate any thoughts you may have on the matter. As I said we live on 5 acres that our dog has access to all the time, so I’m thinking maybe a spider bite or a really bad sprain? Thanks so much for taking the time,
    Hayley and Shadow pup

    1. Hi Hayley. That’s a strange one, and not something we see here in Adelaide. It sounds like it’s either an infection, or some local toxin (snakebite comes to mind). In your case, your local vets are going to have the best idea on how to proceed and it sounds like they’ve given you sensible treatments. Good luck.

  24. Hi Andrew,
    I have an almost 11yr old Malamute x Husky who has presented with persistent hind leg lameness on one side for approximately 3+ months.
    So far we have done X-Rays which showed no bone deformities or injuries, minimal arthritic change (very, very minimal considering the age and breed), no dysplasia and no cruciate abnormalities along with blood tests which again showed no abnormalities.
    We have tried both oral (Meloxicam) and Injection (Cartrophen) anti-inflammatories with no improvement.
    We have also tried pain relief (tramadol) with no improvement.
    Symptoms that have been noted during this time are:
    – Hind Leg Lameness (Left Side)
    – Anal Licking
    – Excessive Drooling
    – Severe Muscle Wastage
    – Weight Loss
    – Self Isolation
    – Lethargy
    Our vet is at a loss!
    Is there anything you can think of to explain these symptoms?

    1. Hi Melissa. This is a tricky case and I’ve got quite a few thoughts. Firstly, I really don’t like the other signs like lethargy weight loss and muscle wastage. It’s worth keeping a very open mind towards more systemic disorders and blood testing would be great as a first step.
      Second, are there any neurological deficits? Your vet should be able to answer that – if there are it might indicate a lesion anywhere from the spine into the peripheral nerves.
      Third, when desperate it’s always a great idea to go back and take x-rays again if it’s been over a month since the first ones. Small bone tumours are often hard to see at the beginning but can be very painful.
      Lastly, cruciate ligament injuries are extremely difficult to detect before they rupture, except possibly an increased joint effusion on the affected stifle (you may have x-rays of the opposite stifle but it’s no fault of the vet if you don’t).
      What I might do if my above questions don’t give a clear answer is consider x-rays of both hind legs and if there is a joint effusion on the affected side, and nothing else, scheduling exploratory surgery. That’s solely based on the extremely high incidence of cruciate disease compared to other disorders. An even better alternative is CT of the hind legs and spine +/- referral.

  25. Hi Andrew,

    Have a 17.5lb 6 year old beagle that developed an inflamed pad and skin between toes. Vet prescribed antibiotics and inflammatories. Pad has healed but now limping on front right leg (a condition which may have initially been masked by the sore pad). Stiffness after rest but not in pain, not licking joint and not refusing to walk or climb. What could it be?

    1. Though that could have many causes, common things occur commonly, and therefore the first suspicion is that it’s the same problem that occurred in the back leg only harder to see. Sorry I can’t be any more help.

      1. I have a very active 18 month old great pyrenees, vet thinks husky mix. Weighing 76lbs. I rescued him about 5-6 months old. I have other active dogs that he has ran and wrestled with since coming home. (I have 2 acres for them to run). In the last couple of weeks, he limps on his rear left leg, only off/on. Not affecting his activity or lifestyle at all. No swelling or limited joint movement when manipulated. Antiinflammatories don’t do anything. It’s very strange because when he’s outside, he runs and uses it, then inside, he’ll limp and sometimes slow getting up, but not all the time. I’ve had dogs with lots of orthopedic problems, but this has me stumped. He has never once wimpered or cried.

      2. Hi Michelle. It’s not possible for me to tell what the lameness might be, but several things need mentioning. Firstly, it’s quite normal for dogs to limp only when relaxed, as excitement makes them tend to forget the pain. And yes, they do feel pain, they just don’t let you know, which can be very frustrating.

  26. Hi… we adopted a rescue puppy from Belize 6 months ago, approx. 4-5 months of age… the day she arrived, she ran around our home, playing with toys, the next day, very lethargic, not getting up, the day after, worst. We took her to the vet where they found she had a high fever, dehydrated and spent a week at the vet. When she came home, she seemed fine for a few days, then dropped again and had no strength in her hind end to stand up. Again back to the vet, full xrays revealed nothing. We brought her home, unsure where to turn next. After 3 days of not being able to rise, she got up. Since then, it’s never happened again but.. her back legs hop when she runs, which she cannot do fast or far. She takes a run to jump up on the couch (50 lb lab mix). She seems to have zero pain but frequently limps off and on. She’ll lie down on walks, limps after swimming, usually back left leg, then it goes away. My groomer suggested vaccinosis as she traveled a 9 hour flight day after her last shot? As she’s a young dog, we are concerned her issues are going to get a lot worse the older she gets and are really unsure what to do for her? I have her on joint pain meds. and other than the back leg issues, she seems quite healthy and happy in all other respects?

    1. Hi Brenda. I would be putting my money on a post-viral condition. Arthritis is known to occur after some infections, and I think the answer is probably going to be found in Belize. What about contacting a veterinary clinic in the country and asking them if these signs fit with any of their endemic diseases? My only other suggestion (as always!) is to seek referral to a specialist. Good luck.

  27. Hi! My service dog who is a 3yr old Golden Retriever, has been favoring both of his hind legs for the past month, despite rest and antii- inflammatories. He sometimes walks with his back end tucked. We did xrays of both knees and hips, as well as the lumbar spine. The vet can only tell me what it isn’t, but cannot tell me what it IS. He is maintained at the desired weight for him. I have xrays I can upload if it would help.

    1. Hi Pat. It sounds like your vets have done everything right but how frustrating! I don’t have much to offer except to consider the possibility in an entire male dog that it could also be the prostate gland as they do walk like this with prostatitis. Mainly though, my message is that this happens to all of us. Just stick with them and keep going back because the solution always appears eventually.

  28. I have a pittbull bulldog mix. He has been limping on his hind left leg for about a month .Now he is not capable of putting weight on his right leg .He is 2 years old and not overweight and was very active . He has also lost appetite. I have rubbed all areas and he does’nt seem to be in any pain . what do you think it could be.

    1. Hi Paul. That’s very unusual both for a young dog and for affecting both legs. I can’t give you any simple answers but I’ll bet your vet will have a good idea once they get a look at him. Good luck.

  29. What is the best OTC pain /anti inflammatory med for a 25 lb Beagle. After rough housing he has been holding up right foot for last 3 days. Getting better each day. Is resting most of time. Appetite is fine
    Thank you. Kitty

    1. Hi kitty. There is a large range of anti-inflammatories available: names include carprofen, meloxicam, firocoxib, mavacoxib, etodolac, robenacoxib, grapiprant and deracoxib. However, none of these are OTC. There really isn’t an effective product that you can use without prescription I’m sorry. In fact, human anti-inflammatories are usually either quite dangerous or ineffective.

  30. Wondered if u can help. We have a 6 year old cocker spaniel/ poodle cross. For almost a year she’s had intermittent lameness moving between her limbs. She was diagnosed with IMPA last summer and given a course of steroids, after x-rays, CT scans and joint taps. However about 2-3 weeks off the steroid and she begins to deteriorate again. This time (after the third set of steroids) her joint taps have shown no IMPA currently but the hospital are at a loss as to what is causing her strange gait (almost a waddle), lifting her rear left leg, stiffness and limping. She had extra fluid on one of her knees (the opposite one from the lameness) but it was clear and x-rays are not showing anything major apparently. Vet is recommending a neurological exam. Seems pointless to me due to her presentation. Have you any ideas of atypical presentations like this?

    1. Hi Kate.The question I always ask myself with any new test is what potential difference will it make? It’s important to remember that your vets know a lot more about your case then someone like me passing idle comments, but it’s also reasonable to ask this question. However, a neurological exam as I do it is also not a major expense.
      Sometimes with these old dogs, the disease process is complex and there is not just a single cause. The initial response to treatment for IMPA does suggest that this is worth pursuing but other than extra testing (which can be frustrating), all we can do is trial various treatments until we find the ones that work.

  31. My 9 mo. old rottweiler has had a limp for about a month now, the right front leg being the one in pain. i’ve taken her to vet, she has muscular atrophy in her right shoulder, but x rays showed nothing wrong with her skeletally. but clearly somethings up. vets are stumped. she’s been tested for valley fever, no results. she has no pain doing the things she always does. being a rotti means being crazy 18 hours of the day. but you can see in her gait and her shoulder that she’s got something going on. i’m thinking elbow dysplasia, but vets have practically ruled it out… just need a push into another direction. i feel so bad having vets constantly taking radiographs and pulling her arms in every which way direction trying to figure it out.

    1. Hi Carolyn. Sadly (including in our practice) elbow dysplasia can be hard to see on plain x-rays. We recently had one that required a CT scan to prove. If I were you, I would ask for a referral to a specialist who has access to CT as I suspect that’s what they will want to do first.

  32. I have a 10 month old Lab puppy who has been having issues with all of his legs at one time or another for the last 3-4 months. Initially I chalked it up to him just playing too much or too rough and stressing out a muscle/tendon/joint. After looking at your list here of common issues what you describe as Panosteitis seems to fit what has been happening to my puppy. I was wondering if there could be any other diagnosis’s that are similar to this so I could bring up my concerns with my vet and maybe point them in the right direction. My fear is that most vets will just dismiss his case as a simple sprain meanwhile he could be getting worse. I’d like to mention this isn’t the first time we’ve taken him to a vet for limping and it just seems to be getting more frequent and prolonged for a longer period of time.

    1. Hi Krys. You are right in suspecting panosteitis – it’s the most likely cause of a shifting lameness affecting all four legs of a young Labrador. However, you really need x-rays to prove it so I would ask your vet if you can have these done, or see another vet if they don’t seem keen. That’s because (for example) dogs with concurrent hip and elbow dysplasia look very similar and need other therapy.

  33. Hello Andrew,
    My 6 year old mini Labradoodle suddenly started yelping while raising his two front feet to greet me. He must have done something to his back left leg. He will not put weight on it. After 5 days of not getting better I took him to the vet. They did an exam verifying no paw or pad injury. They did x-rays and the x-rays did not show any fractures or bone issues. They sent us home with anti-inflam and pain medication and said to rest. After starting the meds, he is moving more but because of the movement, he seems to be in more pain, yelping just about every time he stands up. Prior to the meds he was putting no pressure on the leg but was not yelping. He was sad and still so I know he was in pain but not crying. The vet is suspecting that is some kind of soft tissue issue or muscle sprain or pull. Is it normal for a dog to get worse after taking the meds? Any suggestions on how to proceed?

    1. Hi Terra. No that’s not usual at all. I would keep in touch with your vets, as they seem to have done all the right things – some of these injuries that won’t show on an x-ray can be very frustrating. It’s possible that all you need to do is enforce a stricter form of rest (often a crate) but here’s another suggestion: you can ask your Vets to send the x-rays to an x-ray specialist. It doesn’t cost very much and they can usually just email the copies across. It serves as an excellent second opinion (we all miss things from time to time). Otherwise, what you may need to do is just keep going back and getting your dog looked at until the source of the problem becomes clear.

  34. Hi
    I have a cavachon 7yrs old. He started limping now 2 weeks ago on his right back leg. He walks then lifts his leg up to run then walks again. Vets checked him couldnot find anything wrong said might be a sprain. Gave him anti inflammatory but still on and off he limps. He is fine no signs of being unhappy he eats well runs around like normal. So what do you think could be wrong.

    1. Hi. The most common explanation for a limp in a small or toy breed dog’s hind leg that comes and goes is medial patellar luxation. It can be surprisingly hard to demonstrate at times and I have certainly missed it before. If it continues, and my suspicion is confirmed, surgery would be required to fix the problem.

  35. I have a 5yo pit mix. After her last set of annual shots, she sometimes limps and doesn’t want to put weight on the side where she got her shots. It is most noticeable after she’s been sleeping, and lasts for skmetimes 2 days after we’ve gone jogging or taken a very long walk. Still loves to run and play, but the limp worries me. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Keri. In Australia we give all vaccines in the middle over the shoulders. I do hear that the rabies shot is often given on a leg (we don’t have rabies here). If that’s the case I would certainly check with your vet if it could have caused the limp. Personally, I think the shot is a coincidence as the history of a lameness being worse after rest or exercise is more typical of an injury like a sprain.

    2. My dog is a 5 year old boxer/Staffordshire mix (we think, he is a rescue) he limps on his back left leg. It’s worse after resting or laying down and some days goes away completely. We took him to the vet who said he was overweight and didn’t notice a limp or favoring at the time. The vet gave me glucosamine to help with the joints and prescribed a weight loss plan. The glucosamine doesn’t seem to have helped over the past month. He is very barrel-chested and we didn’t realize he was that overweight. With the mix of his breeds, his chest is large for the size of his legs. I increased the speed of our walk today to help him lose weight. He seemed fine on the walk, but after resting for a couple hours, he had a lot of difficulty standing up. He could not put weight on the back leg. He is not putting the foot down much since. His activity level has been lowering subtlety mostly in its frequency over the last month but he will play with my GSD like always. I think it started when he came down off of my bed one afternoon and slipped. I don’t usually have him on the bed. He doesn’t help in pain when I touch or put pressure or move any part of the leg, hip, or foot.
      If it is a sprain from the slip and fall, how can I help it heal?

      1. Hi Brandi. A hind limb lameness in a middle-aged Staffie cross breed is, to me, always suspected to be cruciate ligament disease until proven otherwise. Your case sounds quite typical in that there was an initial injury (jumping off the bed) followed by a lingering lameness and eventually a sudden worsening. If I am correct, this means that the ligament has now ruptured. Of course, this is all conjecture and needs to be confirmed by your vet as there are many other less common causes of hind leg problems in dogs. To diagnose a cruciate ligament rupture requires sedation so that the leg is relaxed and also x-rays to rule out other causes and confirm the presence of secondary arthritis. The treatment is surgical, as you can read about here.

  36. My 3 year old whippet has a slight limp through his foreleg. With rest, it appears to go away and does not seem to be bothering him. When walking, his limp is not as bad on grass surfaces and doesn’t bother him, he still wants to run around at home, on walks and when playing with our 6 year old GSP. His limp comes and goes so we are not really sure what to do about this. We also have a German Shorthaired pointer who has had 2 ACL surgeries and a meniscus surgery so we are very scared to go to the vet with our whippet!

    1. Hi Katrina I would not be too worried about avoiding the vet as it’s likely to be something a lot simpler than your GSP has suffered. For starters, treatment of foreleg lameness is more often non-surgical (with the notable exception of elbow dysplasia which typically doesn’t come on this late). I would be betting on a chronic carpal or digital sprain which your vet should be able to diagnose and advise you on easily.

  37. My dog got into a porcupine. Been to the Vet 4 times for removal. She will not walk on her right front foot but the vet and us have not been able to find anything. At the vet last time her paw was checked over really good by rubbing etc.. She didn’t even flinch but if we try at home to look at her paw she flips out. Been on 3 legs for over a week now but does not whimper in pain? Any ideas?

    1. Hi Leann. We don’t have porcupines here, but I can say just how difficult it is to find small foreign bodies in the paw of a dog. I’m sure your vet is doing the best they can but it can be extremely frustrating. When we suspect a spine still remains, we often use long-term antibiotics and wait, hoping it will eventually show itself.

  38. Hi Andrea,

    Good job on your write-ups. Very educative.
    Regarding the last radiograph picture you posted. I think the fracture is on the medial end of the left humeral head in the left shoulder joint.

    1. Well done! This is quite a unique fracture, seen in a very active kelpie. Followup xrays 1 month late showed good healing with only cage rest and anti-inflammatories

  39. Andrew,

    Bravo for your amazing informative website!! I am so glad I came upon it. I do have a question I have a ten year old Doberman who has a swollen toe joint….what I would call his pinky knuckle. I have the X-ray images but need a radiologist to confirm if it is a type of bone cancer. Is there any way you can help me with this diagnosis? He’s not limping but he seems to stand a little pigeon toed with his foot. I appreciate all you do for these beautiful creatures. Keep up the amazing work Doc.

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Kali. Squamous cell carcinoma of the digit is certainly the diagnosis of greatest concern. You should be able to get a radiologist to view the images via a local vet, but it’s possible that they may not be conclusive. Then, you have the choice of either a surgical biopsy or just having that digit removed to be safe. Dogs cope well with the loss of digits 2 & 5, and less so with digits 3 & 4.

  40. I have an 11 year old Jack Russell, she started hold a paw off the ground. It started with left front then the hind on the left, now today it’s the hind on the right. Been to the vet she doesn’t do it there, they find nothing wrong. She has always been very active but now I’m afraid to let her play (she loves the tennis ball) even though she doesn’t do it then. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Hi Jeff. That’s a hard one. We call this a shifting lameness, and if so it can be caused by a rare condition called polyarthritis. I would rather believe it’s a common problem presenting unusually so all I can suggest is to give the vet another go and perhaps take some video of what happens at home along with you.

  41. My 18mth old Belgian Shepherd started limping Right front leg a month ago. Vet prescirbed Meloxicam for 7 days which were ineffective. X-rays performed NAD. 2 days ago had MRI. Again NAD. Am at wits end as poor animal has been house/leash bound for 1 month now and is dying to exercise. Would acupuncture/laser therapy be a consideration? Awaiting your response.
    NB. Had testicles removed at 11 months for bi-lateral cryptorchdism. Read somewhere of associated skeletal problems!

    1. Hi Sally. It’s unlikely that laser or acupuncture will help without a diagnosis. I would get a second opinion, or even ask for a referral if costs allow, but especially consider biceps tendonitis as these are very hard to diagnose and treat. It’s unlikely the previous surgery had any involvement.

      1. Finally after 2 months and thousands of dollars I insisted on a CT scan which showed bilateral elbow displasia (FAP). A dynamic proximal osteotomy was performed on both ulnas after removal of fragments from one joint. Two months of exercise restriction and rehab have produced a good result so far. Just shows how important differential diagnosis is.

      2. Thanks so much for posting the conclusion to your dog’s troubles. It shows the value of pursuing a diagnosis.

  42. Hi
    My 10 year old collie has developed an intermittent lameness. It seems to occur when she is stopping and turning quickly, she will yelp hold up her front paw for about 10 seconds then it’s seems to walk off, is it probably a soft tissue injury or should I get her x-rayed?

    1. Hi Julie. Definitely start with a vet exam. The most likely explanation in an older Collie is a carpal sprain which can be diagnosed just by palpation, and treated with take-home medication.

  43. Been to the vet twice who say they can find no evidence of anything wrong and showed no sign of pain on examination, but as soon as my dog goes for a run she holds her back leg up high for as long as 2 days afterwards. I gave her Maloxicam as prescribed by the vet for 7 days and rested her for a week & as soon as she went for a run she wouldn’t weight bare and held her leg up again. Vet says they cant do anything until she shows pain when they examine her. I’m worried she will badly damage her leg despite trying to prevent this. Should I take her for a run cause her to limp then go to the vets? Sounds very cruel to me.
    Vets have not done x-rays

    1. Hi Liz. There’s definitely something wrong. Three things come to mind. First, it might just be that she needs more than a week off running to get better. Second, a video of the lameness is very helpful to show the vet. And third, if you’re feeling frustrated it’s easy to get a second opinion. I would not be running her just to make it more obvious.

  44. Hi – I have a 5 yr old schnauzer terrier mix who jumped off my lap then howled and held up is left hind leg. He’s 15 lbs and it only bothers him after he lifts it to urinate. He then hops on 3 legs for a few. He can walk, run and jump with no problem – just lifting the back leg causes temp issue. Our vet recommended rest with cosequin. I’m concerned that after a week I haven’t seen improvement – but I also have a hard time not letting him walk. What do you recommend?

    1. Hi CK- I recommend two things: firstly, it may be better to try anti-inflammatories for a week (here in Australia that’s more common than using Cosequin as a first-line treatment)- the link will take you to those available here. Secondly, given the high risk of a cruciate ligament injury (sometimes they don’t show up immediately), go back to your vet for another look if he doesn’t get better.

  45. My 7 month old puppy has been limping on his left hind leg ever since he was neutered 3 weeks ago. He has had 2 physical exams and xrays and no evidence of fracture or sprains. The Vet says he might just have a new quirk. He doesnt exhibit pain in the leg and he bares full weight on it when he lefts his other leg to pee. I’m wondering if I need to do further work up or just agree it’s a quirk. It’s just odd because he didnt do it until after surgery. I have spent about 600 now on exams and xrays and pain meds and joint supplements. I’m just wondering how far I’m supposed to go with this.

    1. Hi Angela. If you’ve had xrays it’s probably fine to try anti-inflammatories and rest if your vet agrees. Depending on his breed and which leg it is there are many possibilities but most serious ones will show up if looked for. Of course, there’s always the option of a second opinion too- you can get the second vets to ask for the history and xrays first.

  46. Thank you Andrew for replying,

    I will take a look at these. We are returning to the Vet tomorrow to try and get a more ‘formal’ diagnosis.


  47. Andrew,

    I don’t know if I can ask this here, but your site is quite informative.
    My daughter rescued what we believe to be an American (or Australian) Bulldog X who is 3 1/2 years old. He now weighs 31kg. We obviously don’t know his history. Let out a yelp when jumping off the bed over a month ago. Two courses of anti inflammatory’s
    then XRays.
    He completely weight bares, thinks nothing of doing his zoomies in the house. Doesn’t drop his head when walking. It’s his front right leg. The Vet cannot tell us what is wrong, only that it may be an old injury! We don’t know if we should continue with more anti inflams, or not walk him, or what we should do next. No swelling, temperature etc, all fine otherwise.

    Any ideas or thoughts really appreciated.


      1. Hi, my female Rhodesian ridgeback started limping on her left frt leg almost 1 yr ago. I took her to our vet about 8 mths ago. They prescribed anti inflammatories but there was little improvement. She has been on green lipped supplement for about 1yr. She has had X-rays that showed arthritis and a cortisone injection, laser therapy for a couple of mths. Injections to improve muscle waste. Gabapentin for pain for the past couple of mths. She is still lame and hardly puts weight on that side. In general she is happy but lays in her bed most of the day. If I walk her it makes it worse.
        She has about four more laser therapy treatments booked but there really is hardly any improvement.
        Any advice would be appreciated

      2. Hi Holly. What could be wrong will depend a lot on the age of your dog. However, as a general comment, if a lameness has been going on this long without improvement, it’s worth reevaluating the original diagnosis. Probably the most effective thing you can do is have either a second opinion or a vet with a fresh mind have a look and possibly repeat the x-rays.

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