What is Front Leg Injury?

A front leg injury in a dog can be a complex diagnostic case. Factors such as trauma due to an accident, or an injury caused by repetitive strain can cause acute pain for your pet. If your dog has changed gait or appears to have lameness in the forelimb, immediate care by a qualified professional (i.e. surgical specialist) is important in order to avoid the possibility of permanent front leg debility.

You may observe your pet limping or appearing unable to bear weight on the front leg. The injury may present as a sudden occurrence, or slowly develop over time. In either case, your dog is experiencing discomfort and must be seen by a veterinarian. Leaving the injury undiagnosed or untreated is not recommended. Front leg injuries can range in severity, and it must be noted that some injuries can lead to paralysis of the leg if left untreated.

Symptoms of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

Dogs will exhibit the following symptoms as the result of a front leg injury. (Please note that the symptoms listed here may also mean a shoulder injury or developing arthritis, which verifies the reason that a limp must be diagnosed in order for the issue to be treated properly.)

  • Swelling
  • Lack of weight bearing on the limb
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscular pain
  • Bruising (this may not be easy to detect)
  • Decreased range of motion in leg or shoulder
Types

There is a broad range of injuries that are possibly associated with the canine front leg. In reality, the anatomy of a dog’s leg is very complex. The bones and ligaments can easily be cracked, stretched or twisted when impact is applied through running, jumping or by virtue of an accident or jolting impact as listed below:

  • Bone fracture
  • Torn ligaments or tendons
  • Dislocated joints
  • Brachial plexus avulsion (muscles, blood vessels, and nerves are pulled from the limb)
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Bone infection after an injury or animal bite
  • Bruised, degenerated or torn muscle

Causes of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

Your dog may suffer a front leg injury that will need immediate medical intervention due to various factors; examples being as follows:

  • Extreme traumatic events, like being hit by a car or experiencing a fall
  • Sprains
  • Jumping while at play and causing an injury to the ligaments or joints
  • An injury that occurs as the result of a progressive disease such as arthritis

Diagnosis of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

Choosing to self-evaluate, or taking a wait and see approach is not advised due to the complexity of a front leg injury. The resolution of the problem and the elimination of pain is highly important, as is the significance in treating before further (sometimes irreversible) damage happens. Quick and proper diagnosis will involve one or more of the following procedures:

  • Examination - The veterinarian will perform a manipulation of the leg to see the range of motion, comparing it to the noninjured limb.
  • X-Ray - This imaging procedure will show bone fractures, dislocations or misalignments, and abnormal joint movement.
  • Fluoroscopy - This is like an x-ray movie that is used to diagnose the injury while actually having the leg demonstrate a range of motion. The veterinarian may see dislocations, excessive joint openings or abnormal joint motion.
  • MRI - This method of diagnosis can show a ligament sprain, and brachial plexus avulsion (which can result in complete paralysis of the front limb).

Treatment of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

Due to the fact that the causation can be so broad, treatment will correlate to the type, severity, and age of the front leg injury. Some cases of injury may be treated as described below:

  • Sprains or ligament injuries - Sprains are graded as a severity of 1, 2 or 3. A sprain of 1 or 2 may require a splint or wrap for 6 to 8 weeks. Grade 3 usually requires a surgical repair of the ligament. It must be noted that ligament injuries can have a very lengthy healing time and often after one year, it will be found that only 60% of the strength is regained. Permanent instability is also a possibility.
  • Fractures - Fractures are often due to a compression injury or a blunt force impact at the tendon. Fractures often warrant a surgical repair, though some injuries may heal through the use of a splint or cast. In cases of small bone fractures, surgical repair sometimes is not an option because the bones are so small.
  • Brachial Plexus Avulsion - This is a very complex injury. Surgery may be attempted, but there can be major complications for your dog during the recovery period. Often, your pet can no longer feel the limb. Unusual sensations in the limb which may present after surgery can cause your dog to self-mutilate the limb. Amputation of the limb is generally the best option for your pet’s comfort, due to the fact that severe pulls damage the nerves beyond repair.

There are other injuries such as dislocation (repair possible by manipulation or surgery), elbow injury (surgical repair) or infection (antibiotics may be the only treatment needed).

Recovery of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

The veterinarian follow up, and home management strategy will depend on the type and severity of front leg injury. The recovery of many limb injuries will require the use of bandages or wraps for a period of several weeks. Physical therapy may be necessary to regain range of motion. Antibiotics and pain medications may be prescribed. Complete rest will definitely be in the recovery protocol while maintaining a healthy weight for your dog so as not to put added stress on the limb. As your dog recovers, you must keep in contact with your veterinarian and report any concerns without delay. Once your veterinarian has given permission, maintain a regular moderate exercise routine to rebuild muscle strength.

Cost of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

The veterinarian will first need to perform a physical examination to try to determine the type and extent of the injury. The examination will cost $55 on average. The veterinarian will then require an X-Ray to further determine the type of injury and what treatment is needed. The X-Ray can cost around $145. If the injury is minor (i.e. a sprain or fracture) then a simple splint may do the trick. The splint cost depends on the size of the dog, usually between $30 and $60. If it would require a cast, it could cost $100 or more depending on the size of the dog. The doctor may determine that the injury cannot heal with a splint or cast and, therefore, would require surgery. This surgery will cost anywhere between $540 and $1,230 depending on severity. Finally, if the veterinarian has assessed the injury and it won’t heal with the help of a splint, cast, or surgery, then she may suggest amputation. Amputation of a limb can cost between $400 and $800. The final cost of repairing a front leg injury mainly depends on the severity of the injury.

Front Leg Injury in Dogs Treatment Advice

Front Leg Injury Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Q
Golden Retriever
13 Years
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

My vet said my dog has a torn ligament in her front leg. The main symptom is not lifting her leg when she walks. I can hear her nails scraping the sidewalk. She injured it by tearing a rug trying to get into a room she thought I was in. The vet said there was no treatment. I am wondering if wrapping it to give her more support would help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Ligaments are made of connective tissue and have a poor blood supply; unfortunately, if the tendon is torn, bandaging the leg wont resolve the problem. However, bandaging the paw or purchasing a boot for her to wear whilst walking on hard surfaces will prevent damage to the nail and paw. The type of ligament injury and the severity usually determine the operability (which would be determined by your Veterinarian). The age of your dog would bring additional risk during surgery and recovery would be long. Should she start showing signs of pain or discomfort, pay a visit to her Veterinarian for a check. Regards, Dr Callum Turner DVM

Ten days ago on a woods hike, my 130# Leonberger crashed through a rain-weakened root system and tumbled backward @10' onto mostly rocks. He screamed until we could comfort him. Seemed almost shocky and couldn't step on his right front. Vet at emergency hospital took him to the back room, took two X-rays. Probably conferred. Examined. Said, no broken bones and prescribed anti-inflammatory chewables 2/day. Right "wrist" is still very weak, angled way too far back and highly favored--though he's learning to be 3-legged. It's nearly impossible to keep this country dog quiet with a buddy who is fairly tormenting him with play. It's nearly impossible to soak his paw when he's laying down. Going in for 2-wk. checkup. Shouldn't he have a splint or something, at least for the short term?

My dog Nala had an almost identical experience a week ago. She is still avoiding weight-bearing on her right front leg and appears to be hyperextending it whenever she puts even a slight amount of weight on it. Any updates on how this turned out for your 130# Leonberger. Not sure what to expect or whether to take action sooner rather than later.

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Sugar
Unknown, she's mixed
2 Years
Mild condition
1 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My dog fell off our bed and is now limping. She will let you touch her front leg but she whimpered when I touched her paw. What should I do, and what could it be?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without carrying out a physical examination I cannot comment on the severity of Sugar’s injury. It is possible that she is in pain (similar to if we twisted our ankle for example) and requires rest to recuperate. However, due to the number of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments in the front leg I would recommend a visit to your Veterinarian to ensure that there isn’t any injury to be of concern and to prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain and swelling from the injury. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

9 week old pug has a strange left paw on the hand bit he was playing with toys he isn't in any pain or distressed or showing any signs of trauma he still playfull and happy just can't get my head around why he walking a little odd surly if he was in pain he would yelp he still able to stand and walk I have placed ice in a sock on it an now resting maybe in a day or two he should be fine I have felt paw and by his toes an he isn't in pain very odd

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Boomer
Boxer
4 Years
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

I noticed a broke nail about about a week ago on my 4yr old boxer. It did not seem to bother him at all. Then about 5days later he started limping. Now he avoids putting wait on it 90% of the time. I've inspected his leg an paw. He doesn't pull away when applying pressure to any part of paw or leg. He has not wimpered & acts totally fine (other then lifting the paw up which causes a limp). I noticed the nail Monday. He started limping yesterday (Saturday) I'm confused since no obvious signs of infection an no increased pain when touching nail, makes me think that the nail is not the issue? Nothing appears to be stuck in between paws, but what else could it be? He also seems to have trouble and avoid backing up. It seems that when he trys to walk in reverse (to back out of a tight space), that causes the most discomfort. He still jumps on couch ok. The limp is mainly noticed only when walking. He isnt licking one certain spot sonits hard to tell where it hurts. Any thoughts on what it might be? Can this wait until Tues when I can get him to vet? (Today is Sinday) Or do we need to see ER vet sooner?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. The broken nail may or may not be connected to the limping. Usually trauma is the primary cause of any lameness (limping). Sometimes limping can be transient and will resolve without treatment (just like in humans); however, the majority of the time treatment would be required. A visit to your Veterinarian would be required to perform a physical examination, evaluation of his reflexes and any radiological studies. After the true determination of the underlying cause, your Veterinarian will be able to prescribe the appropriate medication. If Boomer is still limping tomorrow, I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian first thing. Until then, limit his movements as not to aggravate the problem. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Irie
Pit bull, Husky, Heeler mix
5 Years
Mild condition
1 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain
Limping

My 4 year old dog tore her front leg tendon the one that helps flex about three years ago or more, she had surgery to repair it and seemed to be faster after that. Today and she has been favoring that leg and whimpered when I scrubbed it in the bath. She is being very cautious with it and it's so sad. Curious if the injury can flare up as they age and if they have a more active day then the past?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. The limping may be related or unrelated to the previous tendon injury; the likelihood is however that it is related. This new episode may have been brought on by excessive exercise (more than usual), trauma or part of arthritis or another condition. I would let her rest, make sure to restrict her movement and observe her over the next day. If there is no improvement after a day, a visit to your Veterinarian may be required for flexion tests and an overall check. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Zeppelin
Doberman Pinscher
4 Years
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain
Limb Swelling

Our tripod (amputated back leg) injured one of his front legs today. We're not exactly sure how this happened, as we had stepped outside. He yelps with palpation and range of motion. He was partially weight bearing initally but has now moved to non-weight bearing (12 hrs after injury). We took him to a local vet and they did an x-ray, which ruled out fracture. They prescribed Rimadyl and recommended rest and ice. Would you recommend a splint/brace? We have ordered a lift assist harness, as he is very large and heavy. Any other recommendations? The vet suggested that we bring him back for sedated x-rays if we do not see improvement after 7 days. Thanks in advance!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If x-rays have ruled out fractures then a brace wouldn’t be necessary, rest would be enough. A lift harness is a good idea since he currently has two good legs if he wanted to stand up. Otherwise, just limit his activity and keep with the Rimadyl and after seven days see if there is some improvement. Bear in mind some injuries like sprains may take a few weeks to fully recover, but improvement would be noticeable over time. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tucker
Goldendoodle
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Yelp When Lifted

I noticed my sweet boy wasn't exactly himself today when we went to Yappy Hour. He was missing his spark and pep. When we finally got home 3 hours later, he hopped out of the car and started limping. I of course started crying. I got him inside and on the bed. He was crying every time I lifted his little front left elbow. He recently went on two separate one mile long runs while following us on the golf cart. Could he have over exerted himself? What do I do HELP. First time puppy mom**

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If Tucker was just limping, I would advise you to give him rest and to observe him for twenty four hours for improvement. But since he is yelping to a pain response, I would strongly advise you visit your Veterinarian immediately for an examination and x-rays to ensure that the pain isn’t caused by something more serious. In addition your Veterinarian will be able to prescribe medication to help with the pain (I cannot as I haven’t personally examined Tucker). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Norma Jeanne
Yorkie
11 Years
Moderate condition
1 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My vet told me that my yorkie has a small fracture in her elbow. To small for surgery. What do I do she can barely walk they are giving her an anti inflammatory to try to help. Lost don't know what to do doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

The type of fracture, location and size will determine operability in most cases. It may be worth getting a second opinion by other Veterinarian (who can examine and take x-rays of the fracture) to see if they are able to operate or stabilize the fracture better; this is down to you. The age of Norma Jeanne or her liver enzymes may have been a reason why surgery wasn’t attempted. Otherwise, it may just be a small fracture which is too small to wire. Medical treatment may help, but may be difficult to manage long-term. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Memphis
Rottweiler
1 Year
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Yelp When Lifted

Hey,
Our rottweiler is a year n 3 months today. Yesterday evening my boyfriend was playing ball with him and he was running for a ball when he clipped a rock with his back leg. He whimpered but then he seemed okay. When I got home from work I notice he was limping abit but seemed like he was abit sore. When he woke up this morning he was limping on his front leg instead!? But he is still full of energy and acting the same attitude wise. Now that its evening he seems a lot worse and cant walk on his front leg at all. Should I take him to the emergency vet or Is it safe to let him sleep until the morning (10 hours from now) and take him to his regular vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

I always try to encourage people to visit the Emergency Veterinarian in these types of cases, but at times it is difficult due to location, finances etc… The level of pain and discomfort that Memphis is in should determine when you should visit the Veterinarian; if he is calm comfortable and not in any visual pain when at rest, a visit to your regular Veterinarian in the morning should be good, if Memphis is in pain, shaking, vocalising or you see any swelling or any additional problems, go to the Emergency Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jack
Minpen
13 Years
Mild condition
1 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Came home and dog was limping and crying, looks like shoulder might be out of place my vet is closed and emergency vet is 200.00 just to walk in door. What can i do til my vet opens tomorrow

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

If Jack’s shoulder is out of place it would be extremely painful, purely on animal welfare grounds I recommend you go to the Emergency Veterinarian. There is nothing that you can do except to make him comfortable and restrict his movement; please don’t try to ‘put back’ anything, try any procedure yourself or give any medication, as this may exasperate the problem causing further pain and distress. Please regardless of cost, take Jack to the Emergency Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hades
Doberman / German Shepherd mix
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

I came home to my dog limping on his front right leg yesterday. I've massaged it to see if it was anything serious/ to find what was hurting, but he didn't whine or anything. is that a good sign? However, he is limping today. He's not going crazy around the apt and just relaxing most of the time which is great since he needs to. Do you think he'll be okay treating this at home or should I have him checked at the vet? How long am I able to wait this out and treat him myself at home before consulting with the vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Limping in the fore leg may be due to trauma (broken bone, ligaments, tendons), dislocated joints or panosteitis. Given Hades age and breed, unilateral panosteitis is likely; but, then is also slight trauma if he is active around the house and had a slight tumble. I would recommend a visit to your Veterinarian for x-rays to determine the cause of the fore leg injury. Conditions like panosteitis are self-limiting and will spontaneously resolve once Hades has stopped growing, but may be medically managed until then. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Beny
Bernese Mountain
4 Months
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My 4 month old puppy (mix large breed - bernese mountain dog) jumped out of kitchen window (ground floor, about 1 meter high from ground) few days ago, and since then he is limping on both front legs. Sometimes it's get better, especially when he's playing or running. But when he gets up after sleep, he's always limping for a while. When i touch or move his legs or bend his joints, he don't mind, he isn't yelping. My vet told me it's panosteitis, even though he had absolutely no problems before the accident. He didn't do any x-rays, he just touch his bones reallly strong and gave him medication for inflammation, but it's only caused him diarhoea. Can panosteitis show up after fall or could it be something else? Thanks for your advice.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Panosteitis is a self-limiting disease which may occur in large breed dogs between five and eighteen months of age usually in the fore-legs; the exact cause of panosteitis is unknown however, infection, stress, trauma, metabolic or autoimmune disease are suspected. If there hadn’t been a traumatic incident before the onset of symptoms, then panosteitis would be a good diagnosis (especially since it doesn’t bother him when running etc…); but in light of the fall I would have carried out some x-rays just to ensure there isn’t any anomalies that would explain the limping. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My shepherd mix 7 month is experiencing the same type of injury. Fell and is limping on one side however he's still so playful and doesn't whimper or pull away when touched on the leg injured.

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Zeppelin
Mixed
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Our puppy who is a 5 month old large breed (we believe he has boxer, Pitt bull, greyhound{or Great Dane}) there was no trauma that would cause limping. It's been about 12 hours and it's always worse after he's confined. Once he's out from his crate he doesn't wanna put any weight on it. We have to leave for a horse show tomorrow and are worried

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are a few causes of limping and pain in dogs, especially large breed puppies; trauma, ununited anconeal process and panosteitis to name a few. Without examining Zeppelin and carrying out some x-rays, I wouldn’t be able to give you a diagnosis. Visit your Veterinarian for a physical examination (which may include some x-rays) to determine the cause of the limping and pain. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lola
Beagle
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limb Swelling

Medication Used

Tramadol

My dog jumped out of my husbands arms while going down the stairs. We took her to the ER vet and they said it was just a sprain. She didn't get any better so we took her to her normal vet and she said it was dislocated and needed surgery. I am wondering if I should try just splinting instead because of the cost of surgery.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

If the joint is dislocated, splinting will not help; only restrict the movement of her legs. I know that surgery can be expensive, but the joint needs to be placed back and stabilized; the longer that it is left dislocated, the harder it will be to put back later. A splint will just restrict movement, but wont help long-term resolution of the condition. X-rays will confirm 100% that there is a dislocation. I strongly recommend surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Wesley
German Shorthaired Pointer
6months
Moderate condition
1 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Limping

Last night my dog smacked his paw on a door while running, laid down and cried. He is now keeping most of his weight off of his right front paw and seems gloomy. He is eating fine, if not more hungry. When I touch any part of his leg, it does not bother him but he limps around and sometimes doesn't straighten his paw and lets it hang behind. He has not cried since the initial incident. Does this sound like a sprain to you? Thanks!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

This does sound like a sprain, give Wesley some bed rest and restrict his movements; just ensure that his nails aren’t damaged or cracked on the affected paw. If in a few days (two) there isn’t any improvement, take him to see your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tiger
mixed breed
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Paralysis

My dog is not taking weight on his front legs
Firstly, his heart size get enlarged and get infection in blood now after treatment his heart gets normal and infection also but his front legs not working properly he can't sit and walk what we do now?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

In dogs, front leg injury in adulthood is usually caused by trauma, osteomyelitis, osteosarcoma, inflammation of tendons and ligaments or nerve damage. An x-ray of Tiger’s front legs would help in the diagnosis to eliminate trauma, inflammation and cancer; flexion and reflex tests would help to determine pain of other origin. A visit to your Veterinarian would be required to perform a physical examination and x-rays. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maverick
Rottweiler
5 yrs
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My Rottweiler Maverick is 5 years old and starting limping on his right front leg. He is not vocalizing any pain, nor do I feel anything when I checked his leg. I have been keeping inside as much as possible, but he still wants to run and check out noises. What could be causing this? I thought at first he was putting his weight on it laying down. He is about 110lbs.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Large active dogs like Maverick may injure themselves whilst playing; a sprain or a torn ligament may occur and cause him pain resulting in the limp. In active dogs, it is difficult to keep them rested as they are full of energy and are used to an active lifestyle. Restricting movement is important, whether this is done by putting him a small room or in a cage when you are not there to calm him down. His weight is good for a Rottweiler. Try to get him to rest and monitor his limp for signs of improvement; if there hasn’t been any improvement over the next two days or the limp gets worse visit your Veterinarian for an examination and an x-ray to check for abnormalities. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jessie
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Yelp When Lifted

Hi my 5 year old labrador always sleeps on the bed with me but last night she went to jump up and made a scream like cry then continued crying for about 5 mins she then settled and got up later in the night with no problems. This morning she was walking fine and jumped up to lay on the sofa with no problems she then went to roll over on to her right side and started crying and shaking.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Leg pain may be caused by trauma, inflammation of joints, infection of joints, ligament damage or nerve damage. It sounds like Jessie may have some joint laxity which may cause intermittent lameness and pain or is suffering from a simple sprain. Monitor Jessie for a few days to see how her leg is. If the pain continues or gets worse, visit your Veterinarian for flexion tests and x-rays. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Alaska
Pinscher mini
5 Months
Serious condition
0 found this not helpful
Serious condition

My dog broke her front leg femur, during the cirugy the intramedullary nail broke into 3. A piece of the nail couldn be removed, might this be a cause that she not using her leg a week after that cirugy?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are a few reasons why Alaska isn’t using her front leg (humerus) or back leg (femur) after the surgery: pain and discomfort are common, other reasons may be nerve or ligament damage during surgery. Intramedullary nails are strong and durable, I am surprised that one broke leaving a piece in Alaska’s leg; your Veterinarian would have taken x-ray’s to locate the position of the fragment and would have evaluated if it posed a threat to Alaska’s movement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Conan
Shiba Inu
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limb Swelling
Limping

My dog had an accident the other day while i was carrying something I bumped in to a plank outside and it fell. I did not see it actually land on my dogs paw but he has been limping ever since. He does not seem to mind too much about me examining or wrapping the paw too much. He tries to not to even let the paw touch the floor as he walks.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

It is possible that there is nothing broken and it is just swollen and painful due to the injury (just like if something heavy hit your foot); I would advise that you visit your Veterinarian if you don’t see any improvement in his limping or to get some medication to relieve any pain or discomfort he may have; your Veterinarian may want to take an x-ray to see if there is anything broken. You may try giving Conan some plain baby aspirin (no added stuff) at a dose of 5mg/lb to see if it helps him; try to restrict his movement whilst recovering. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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SETU
Bichon Frise
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Our dog is Bichon Frise poodle. 7 years Old. started limping on left leg. Not sure if he has sprained.No swelling, no obvious deformity, not able to weight bear. What should we do? In the mean time I have applied a bandage.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Be careful when applying a bandage as many times owners make the bandage too tight which may prevent venous drainage of blood causing swelling of the lower limb or may cut the blood supply to the lower limb. Bandaging is probably not required, cage rest or other means of movement restriction would be the best course of action; if he doesn’t improve in the next four or five days visit your Veterinarian, if he seems to be in too much pain you may need to get some pain relief from your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sherlock
MIxed (a lot of Schnauzer)
4 Years
Mild condition
0 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sleeping more
Limping

Medication Used

None

Hello there! I have a mixed breed male dog, which has a lot of the Schnauzer breed. Yesterday (January 3th) he begun to limp on the front left leg. He is a very active dog and he likes to play a lot. He doesn't jump much, but he goes up and down in the stairs of my house. He likes to run a walk a lot, so I took him every day or two out for a walk. December was a difficult month for me to walk him out, so we just played occasionally. Now he's limping and I don't know what to do. As a precaution measure, I'm avoiding him to walk to much since I don't want his injury become worse. What can I do to help him up? Thank you very much!!!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are many causes for a dog to limp, some are serious and some are transient (just like in people). Try to restrict Sherlock’s movement to prevent aggravation of the injury, if he is still limping after four or five days you may need to take him to his Veterinarian for flexion tests and x-rays to determine the type of injury (fracture, dislocation, joint disorders etc…) as well as pain management. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Toffee
Rhodesian Ridgeback
2.5
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

Hi, My 2.5 yr old Rhodesian Ridgeback is increasingly limping on her front leg. When I try to gently force the limb into the shoulder, she whimpers. Nothing when I do the same on the other leg. She favours the non-injured limb, and avoids weighing on it when sitting. The limping changes day by day, and she still runs when we rarely let her out. Any ideas?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are various injuries which may cause lameness in dogs; this maybe due to sprains, joint injury etc… It isn’t possible with examining or x-raying Toffee’s fore legs (need both for comparison) what the cause maybe; rest for a few weeks may help resolve the injury, but I would still recommend having an x-ray performed to see if there are any joint anomalies as well as getting pain medication from your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Loula
German Shorthaired Pointer
2.5
Fair condition
0 found this not helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Noy putting weight, whimpering

Hallo, my dog was running and suddenly her front leg jerked and she started whimpering! She let me touch it, het paw seems fine. Looks like the injury in in the bottom front leg.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

If Loula doesn’t seem in too much pain and there is no obvious damage, a wait and see approach maybe taken by confining movement (cage rest) and if there is no improvement over the weekend visit your Veterinarian; if Loula is in pain or discomfort, it maybe worth visit your Veterinarian for an examination and pain medication. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bowser
mixed German Shepherd and Great Pyrenees
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

won't bear weight on front leg
Limping

My two dogs (litter mates males) rough housed with each other and his front right shoulder was wet where his brother had bitten him. There was no broken skin, bleeding, or any viable sign of injury. It doesn't appear to be swollen or dislocated. After three days he is still reluctant to bear weight on that leg and limps. He will bear weight and run on the leg to investigate noises (he is an excellent guard dog) but seems to regret the uses of it afterwards. He doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain (maybe mild pain) has not slowed down his activity level and his demeanor is still bright and unchanged. He just limps around.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

It sounds like a minor injury which is easily forgotten when he is excited. If he is putting his weight on it when running, there is more force being applied to the limb than when he is standing. I would recommend just restricting his movement (cage rest) which I know can be difficult when you have two playful companions, but if there isn’t any improvement over a five day period I would take him into your Veterinarian for flexion tests, reflexes (in cases there is some nerve involvement) and possibly x-rays. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Front Leg Injury in Dogs Treatment Experiences

Dog
6 Years

Has Symptoms

Pain

Loo fell off our top porch and broke her front left leg... couldnt walk so we took him straight to the vet.. $480 later he had a splint and was on some medication.

American Pit Bull Terrier
2 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping
Separation Anxiety
Pain

Our puppy hurt her leg somehow and she was limping and crying so we took her to the vet and they said it was just a bruise. They did xrays just in case but said she was fine and wrapped it up, gave us some cold packs, and sent us home. She was fine the next day.

Sergeant
Dalmatian
6 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

Sergeant starts limping when he wakes up in the morning or when he is sitting idle for long. After a few steps he usually gets better and to put it across simply normal. He also avoids putting his weight on his Left Forelimb while peeing, standing or doing any movement. My vet said it 'might' be arthritis or elbow dysplasia. We took an X-ray and everything was alright but the limping continues. Haven't got a final report from the vet.

Valentina
Dog
2 Years

Has Symptoms

Pain

4 days ago my 2 year old dog ran into the street and got hit by a car. I took her to the vet. She has her left arm injured got xrays but no broken or fracture bones. They just gave her pills for pain and inflammatory. She tried biting her nail off and seemed she didnt feel pain, im using muscle & joint reliever human cream and rap her arm. I dont know what to do, in how much time will she be okay to walk?

Bear
Lhasa Apso
4 Years

Has Symptoms

Pain
Limping

My mama accidentally run over his front left paw he can put his foot down but when he walks he limps he can walk up the stairs but he limps please tell me what's wrong with my dog

Amber
American Staffordshire Terrier
7 Months

Has Symptoms

Pain
Limping

Our puppy Amber has had a limp for over a month, we have gone back and forth to the vet, gotten anti-inflamitory and pain medication but the Vet was unable to determine what caused the limp. She doesn't make it obvious where the pain is, she often drags her paw along the ground, and does not like putting weight on it. Is there anything we can do that may help her pain level or healing process?

Lilly
Chihuahua
8 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

Lilly started limping and not wanting to be touched yesterday. She has been trying to come out to visit and play but seems to be very stressed. Her front leg is obviously bothering her. She is shaky, whinny and I can't make her comfortable holding her at all. She is not eating ir drinking like usual.

Marley
American Pit Bull Terrier
7 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

7 year old pit runs hard, jumps off tall bed and off porch-she started limping yesterday, two times she has yelped after getting on bed or chair while twisting to get situated. I feel down her front leg from shoulder and she doesn't wimper or pull away. She'll run off of porch or jump off the bed with no problem then a little later limping again.

Roxy
Cockapoo
7 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

Our puppy has been to vets as she was limping. She's happy in herself and showing no signs of pain. The vets have said she has cruciate ligament damage to her front right ankle, they have said she needs to have an operation put put some screws into the ligament to pull it together. Is there any other way around this without having to go through surgery. Thanks

Cynder
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

This morning our 2 year old black lab, Cynder jumped off the bed and let our a whimper. She is now limping on her right front paw. We are not sure if she injured her paw, leg or shoulder. She will put a little weight on it but will then lift it up. She is not crying, whimpering or showing any signs of distress. She was very eager to eat breakfast after we let her out but still gimpy on the right side. My husband wet home for lunch to check on her and was still limping at times but also putting weight on it. She weighs approximately 70 lbs., she is tall and lean looking.

Nobie
German Spitz
2 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

My German Spitz is just 2 month old and while playing he got a injury in front right leg he limping from last 3 days And now his front leg is little curved outside What shall I do now please help

Roxie
Shih Tzu
2 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

My family and I were outside talking and our dog started running around the neighborhood. We caught at tried to take her inside. My brother was holding her, she bit him, and she flipped out of his hands onto the ground. She was fine then, but then the next day she was walking but not using her leg. She was lifting her one of her legs then walking on the rest of her legs. She uses it when she is standing but not when she is walking. We don't know if it is broken or sprained. What's wrong and how can we treat it?

Cooper
Labrador Retriever
11 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

My 11 months old Labrador has been limping for over a week now. It doesn't seem like he is in pain as he runs, jumps, stretches and does all sort of things that other puppies do. He doesn't mind me touch his leg either. His front leg however seems different . No swelling , bruises or cut anywhere in his leg or on the pads. I looked in between the toes too and couldn't find anything. The limping gets worse after he takes a nap or after he runs. His vet is not in town and I can't get an appointment earlier than 2 weeks. I am very worried . Has anyone had the same experience?

Hudson
Labrador Retriever

Has Symptoms

Limping

My lab Hudson was grazed by a car about 6 weeks ago. He had a small cut on his lower right leg that required stitches. It has healed well but he is still limping badly. We went back to the vet to have the stitches out and she said he may have a tendon injury( she observed him walking on a leash). She gave home rimadyl and told us to keep him confined. But he has gotten out several times and even jumped off our porch once. Is it likely this will heal with strict confinement and how strict? Crate? He is also drooling more at times and I am afraid he is in pain. He does not usually cry out when touched but he is unusually grouchy, as he is normally very friendly. I wool appreciate any advice.

Sasha
Rottweiler
5 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping

Sasha started favoring her left front leg. There was no precipitating injury. I inspected her paw and found nothing stuck. I noticed that the leg trembles slightly when she puts weight on it. When walking she limps slightly on it and sometimes drags her nails from misstep. I don't know if it is her foot, leg or shoulder. She gives no indication of pain when I touch her leg or shoulder anywhere. What could cause this to happen?

Gia
Mixed
11 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

Our 11 month old hound mix has been limping for about a month on her front right leg. About a week after it began, I took her to the vet and x-rays (multiple views) came back completely normal (just showed her leg is nearly done growing). She showed no tenderness upon examination or significant swelling - the pain only shows when she walks. She didn't show any decline in energy or desire to go on walks and exercise so we continued to walk as much as she wanted to, but a week ago it seemed to get worse. I took her to the vet again and looking at previous x-rays and upon examination (still no tenderness or swelling) they decided no need for further x-rays and prescribed some dog NSAIDs. She's been on those for about a week and hasn't been exercising and has not improved. The vet isn't sure what it could be with this kind of presentation, and neither are we! Are there are conditions in dogs of this age that could present as moderately severe limping in a front leg with no appearance on x-rays OR tenderness? If it helps, she is a spayed female (11m/o, spayed at 6m/o) who is 44 lbs and is very healthy otherwise.

Duke
Dog
1 Year

Has Symptoms

Limping
Separation Anxiety

Duke suddenly started limping one morning when we let him out of his crate. He whines and didn't want to walk or put weight on his leg. We though he must have just slept wrong since his crate is a little small (we didn't wxpect him to get so huge, he's 100lb and tall, not really stocky!), and he was fine when we put him to bed. Anyway, we were leaving on vacation the next day, I we got him some dog aspirin and oir dog sitter gave it to him twice a day for a few days and it didn't seem to help much. He didn't whine after the first few hours after it started, but still limped some. He acted fine otherwise, ate, wanted to play, etc. Well, our pet sitter decided to try Ibuprofen unbeknownst to us, because the aspirin wasn't helping. Low and behold, he stopped limping! She gave it twice a day for a couple of days and he's was fine after that. This started 3 weeks ago, and now this morning he was limping again, not whining, but not putting any weight on his leg. He wants to play though, went running across the yard with my daughter, but only used 3 legs. Still eating fine. We tried the aspirin this morning and it didn't make a difference, so this afternoon I have him ibuprofen and a few hours later he's not even limping. What is going on?! 😳

Zeus
French Bulldog

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain

Waiting on x-rays right now. Frenchie with a kiss of Boston somehow got hurt outside. Cannot put any weight on front right leg. Pain is coming from the shoulder. Rushed him to the vet and because he's only a puppy was told they were having a hard time reading the x-rays due to growth plates being so dark and looking like fractures. They are sending them off to a mother radiologist to see but right now we don't even know if it's sprained - could it be? They gave him an anti-inflammatory shot and something for pain. Super frustrating not knowing anything and having to see him in so much pain. Sometimes when he moves his leg can hear a popping sound too in the shoulder area

Roman
French Bulldog

Has Symptoms

Pain
Immobility
Limping
Shallow Rapid Breathing
can't walk on front right
Crying
Swelling

Our silly male frenchie was running around the house and when he ran down the stairs he started screaming in pain. He injured his right front leg. He has been yelping all evening if you manipulate it or if he moves in many different ways. He cannot put weight on it or stand on it. His elbow is swollen. What are the most probable injuries that may have occurred? I will be taking him to the vet in the morning, but am worried I should take him to the emergency vet.

Chloe
Dog
3 Years

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

My Rottweiler/ kelpie mix Chloe was playing in the snow and jumped back and yelped. After assessing her leg I now know that she won't put much weight on it and the tendon in her elbow is tender and she doesn't want to flex that tendon, is this a serious injury? We are taking her to the vet tomorrow but just want to know

Tipsy
Pit
9 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping
Tired and unable to walk on leg

My dog is 9 years old and very energetic. One day I noticed when he jumped on my bed he looked like he was in pain. I helped him off the bed and he started to limp. He wasn't his usual self, walking slow and not doing much. I have applied the heating pad and gave him dog aspirin. He hasn't lost his appetite or anything but I'm unsure what to do

Uno
Chihuahua
2 Years

Has Symptoms

limping front leg
Shaking
Crying

Uno started limping and not wanting to be touched last sunday night. His front leg is obviously bothering him and were not sure if its a sprain. He is shaky, whinny and I can't make him comfortable holding him at all. he is not eating as usual. And tonight Im surprised that he ate a lot and start walking slowly but when he get some rest he started to whining again and every moves he take he started crying. I think it get worse when he try to walk.

Pepper
Goldendoodle
8 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

Pepper has been limping slightly and intermittently on his right front leg for about 2 weeks. Limping may be an overstatement; what I really notice is a slight dip in his gait. We did not observe any trauma, and he shows no signs of discomfort when we poke and prod his foot, leg, and shoulder. He remains very active, jumping and running like the puppy he is. Am I okay giving this more time before spending big bucks on x-rays and the like?

Oreo
American Pit Bull Terrier
4 Months

Has Symptoms

Limping

my 4 month old puppy Oreo, jumped up the front steps and all i heard was crying, i took him to the vet that day and they took X-ray and said it was dislocated front elbow,they wrapped it up and told me to keep him in a cage for 2-4 weeks letting him out to eat and go to bathroom,well a week later i go for a check up and they took off his wrap and said to keep him caged for 2-4 weeks ,but his elbow doesn't look right and they didnt wrap it back up and it will heal on its own and to come back in 2 weeks to check on it. does this sound right or should i try another vet and see what they say?

Izzy
Sheltie
8 Years

Has Symptoms

Favoring

Our Sheltie likes to run and chase squirrels out of the yard. She runs hard and stops hard. Yesterday she was barreling towards the woods and stopped fast, then quickly began limping. Her left front leg she favors. I don't notice any swelling or pain to the touch if I try to rub or move it. My opinion is it is a sprain. Without going to a vet is there any specific treatment? How long does a sprain usually take to heal?

Theo
Golden Retriever

Has Symptoms

Limping, weakness in ankle, foot turns out

My 9 weeks old Theo (Golden Retriever) got front left leg injury. He is very active and likes to run climbing stairs to go my sons room and back down and was all good until night 9pm. Not sure when it had injury and next morning when I was trying to get him out to backyard for week he was not able to standup and was just was very sleepy. Got worried and took to the Vet, Dr. did X'ray and said no bone injury and is just muscle strain and should be fine in two weeks. He is on a bandage and will be for next two weeks. But right from next he is very active and trying to run around. Not sure should I just leave him to run around or keep in cage not to run until I see the dr. again on the weekend.

Sawyer
Dog
10 Months

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

My dog is young and was fine until about five minutes after his bath I don't know if he sprain cause he will let me touch it but when I bend the elbow he starts to nip at my hand.

Leah
Cross breed Unknown
17 Years

Has Symptoms

Licking
Stiffness

My 17 year old crossbreed has been licking her front leg, there are no obvious signs that she's in pain as she is currently on pain relief for another issue. She is not limping but seems a little stiff. Really unsure on whether this is serious or not?

Kush
Pittbull mix
5 Years

Has Symptoms

Limping
Swelling
Not using leg
Sleeping more

Noticed the limping last night, and saw the swelling of his front left leg this morning. He isn't putting pressure on it while walking, hurts him to the touch of the area, and he is sleeping more which is good for healing im assuming. There are no obvious bite marks or any trauma. Im trying to ice the area but what can I do to help him or determine what is wrong? Is there a time frame for how long it persists that I should take him to a vet? thank you

Jax
Cavachon
3 Years

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

This limping came out of no where. He is an active 18lb dog. Jax does not cry when he has to get up or walk. When he plays he forgets about his pain. He has gone to the vet for an X-ray and he said that all bones look perfectly clear. Anti inflammatory meds aren't making him limp any less. The limping gets worse with lack of motion but also after an activity too. Starting to think it's a ligament problem? Something that an X-ray cannot see. Feel so bad for him. Just want to know what's causing it!

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