Dog Limping: Possible Causes and Solutions from a Vet

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Can range from mild to severe.

Table of Content

Key points

  • Dogs can limp due to damage from injuries to their soft tissues, like ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
  • Soft tissue injuries sometimes settle with a period of rest and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • If your dog isn’t putting any weight on their leg, this can signify a fracture or other serious injury.
  • If your dog is in pain, not weight-bearing, or if they don’t improve with 24 hours’ rest, you should take them to a veterinarian for an examination.
  • Your veterinarian may need to take x-rays to make a diagnosis.

Common in:

Symptoms and types:

If your dog is limping a little but still putting weight on their leg, you can try resting them for 24 hours to see if the limp improves.

Understanding the diagnostics

Learning about the causes

If your dog is acting unwell, won’t put any weight on their leg, or seems in a lot of pain, you should take them to the veterinary clinic without delay.

Best treatment options

Home remedies and their effectiveness

When to see a vet


Dr. Hannah Godfrey MRCVS graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Although she initially worked in mixed practice treating all species, she found a love for small animal work and has worked exclusively with dogs and cats since 2014. She lives in Wales with her partner, son, and two cats (named Poppy and Ashton Kutcher), and writes comedy fiction in her spare time.

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