|Barked: Sun Apr 7, '13 5:39am PST |
|Dogs usually limp without much reduction in activity or vocal pain. The first thing to do is keep them off the leg! If a dog is limping they should not be running around and jumping on and off furniture - especially if they're limping on a front leg.
Generally when my dogs turn up limping, I restrict activity for a few days and see how they do. Most of the time it's just a pulled muscle. The limp will fade quickly, then I keep them quiet for a few days past the last limping and gradually re-introduce activity so they don't immediately re-injure their self.
If there is no improvement in a few days, or the limp gets worse, then we head to the vet for tick disease tests. Depending on the prevalence of tick diseases in your area, if a basic test comes up negative it may be worthwhile to send a sample to a lab for titering, or treat with Doxycycline anyway to see if it reduces symptoms.
After that you're on to x-rays. It could really be anything, from fractured bones to tumors to arthritis to temporary inflammation.
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