When an animal experiences lameness or limping, it can be caused by a number of issues. Some of these issues may be minor and go away on their own, but at other times, intensive treatment is required. Our veterinarians at West Plains Animal Hospital in Spokane have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat lameness and limping in pets.
Signs of Lameness & Limping in Pets
You may notice your pet favoring one leg over the other, refusing to put weight on a paw, or lifting the paw off the ground. Episodes of lameness can be accompanied by yelps of pain or other obvious signs of discomfort. Lameness and limping can come and go or become a chronic problem. Your pet may lick at the affected leg or paw or may be reluctant to allow you to touch and examine it.
Causes of Lameness & Limping
Simple injuries to the paw or nails can lead to limping and lameness. Older animals may experience problems with osteoarthritis, a condition that occurs when the structures of the joints become damaged and weakened. In other cases, a problem of the kneecap called luxating patella can lead to limping and pain. Torn ligaments from vigorous activity can also cause lameness. Careful diagnosis by a veterinarian will help identify the source of the problem to determine the right treatment.
Diagnosing Lameness & Limping
The veterinarian will do a thorough pet exam to detect any obvious signs of abnormality, swelling, or pain. In some cases, the problem is in the soft tissues of the limb, but at other times, the bones and joints themselves may be damaged by an injury or disease. Blood testing can sometimes offer additional information about the overall health of the animal. These tests can provide important data about the underlying problem.
Treatment of Lameness & Limping
We can use a variety of treatments to relieve lameness and limping. Simple paw and nail problems can be easily corrected. Medications are available to relieve pain and swelling from arthritis. A number of surgical procedures can be done to correct luxating patella and cruciate ligament problems. For severe cases, physical therapy is sometimes needed to restore normal mobility in animals.
Choose West Plains Animal Hospital for Veterinary Care in Spokane, WA
Our team at West Plain Animal Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care for all of our patients in Spokane and the nearby communities. If your furry friend is showing signs of lameness or limping, call our team today at (509) 624-3474 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.