Have you ever seen your dog limping and thought …“I think he stepped on something”…but then when you check it out you can’t seem to find a cause?

While “there’s nothing there” is a possibility, here are some limping-associated ailments you might want to think about….

  • Soft tissue injury such as a Sprain or Strain, which normally will heal in time.
  • A skin related ailment, such as a cut or abrasion in a paw. Or torn nail. Or torn paw pad.
  • Could even be an embedded foxtail.

A hitched up leg or toe touching when walking are usually signs of something more serious, like a torn cruciate ligament or dislocated knee cap, or an arthritic condition. These signs can also indicate the presence of bone cancer.

Neurological conditions associated with age, genetics or trauma to spine or ruptured disc, can also affect a dog’s gait.

Owner input when diagnosing limping issues is critical in helping to understand the root of the problem.

  • Did you actually see the event that led up to the limping?
  • Was it a sudden or gradual occurrence, or is it progressive lameness?
  • Is the limping consistent or intermittent?


Diagnosis of the cause can be facilitated by a thorough exam of structure, nails, paw pads, and joints, along with observation of the animal’s walk and movement. X-Rays can also provide a valuable tool in assessing the cause of the condition, along with its severity.

As with most pet ailments, it’s always a good idea to get to a vet sooner than later.

Limping needs to be looked at!

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