3 reasons why my dog ​​is limping

Full of accidents and unforeseen events, the world of pet dogs is full of joy and activity; making the chances of occurrences such as trauma and dislocations permanent. Precisely for this reason, many tutors can be filled with doubts when they realize that their dog is limping - since, with so many runs, jumps and jumps in everyday life, it is difficult to know where the problem may have arisen.

The task of finding out what kind of situation caused the dog to have trouble moving around becomes even more complicated when we take into account the fact that these animals are considerably more resistant to pain when compared to us humans; and usually only show a problem that involves any kind of suffering or difficulty to move naturally when it is already at a very advanced stage - proving that, contrary to what they believe a lot, see that your dog is limping it is not so simple or unimportant.

Although there are cases in which a fracture or an accident can cause the animal to reveal, at the same time, that something more serious and has happened - there are many situations in which a problem arises and begins to develop gradually in the pet's body, showing most obvious symptoms and consequences only after a considerable period of time; and making the solution of the complication more difficult (since, as in the case of the vast majority of diseases and problems with animals, the sooner it is possible to define a concrete diagnosis and treatment is started, the better and greater the chances of that the pet can heal and have a good and peaceful recovery).

With this in mind, we have prepared this article so that you are aware of three problems of different origins that can affect your dog's mobility and must be treated with attention and speed, allowing your pet to be able to recover your movements completely or that, at least, does not suffer so much from the consequences of such problems, since, in most cases, when these complications are ignored, they can cause irreparable problems for the pet.

Coxofemoral Dysplasia

Read More: 4 Main Causes of Femur Head Amputation in Dogs and Cats

Despite having a somewhat typical name, the disease of hip dysplasia is a very common problem in the world of large and medium-sized dogs, and it can cause many complications for the animal's mobility - in many cases, irreparable. appearance of this complication occurs congenitally (that is, due to a genetic inheritance), and is only noticed when it is already in a relatively advanced stage, considering that the animal's pain - considered as one of the main symptoms of the disease - only starts to be shown when the damage has already been done.

Lame walking with hind limbs and limited mobility is, therefore, one of the main indications that a dog may be suffering from hip dysplasia; problem that consists of a kind of dysfunction in the fit (poor coaptation) between the acetabulum - a structure that connects the pelvis to the femur - and the head of the animal's femur. due to overload - since, when feeling pain in the hind limbs, he starts to put more weight on the front and starts limping (limp).

Causing the animal's discomfort when moving and a lot of pain, this condition can also be influenced by the ingestion of a low nutritious food and due to certain behaviors of the pet (such as staying in "wrong" positions for long periods or the practice of activities with high levels of effort in dogs that are still puppies) - however, the main cause for the appearance of the problem is still congenital and, therefore, animals that suffer from this disease (both males and females) are encouraged to perform the procedure. castration, preventing new puppies from coming into the world with the same problem.

As previously mentioned, the large dogs are the most likely to suffer from this complication at some stage in their lives, and there is also a specific group of breeds that has a greater tendency to develop the disease, including dear and popular names like Fila Brasileiro, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Saint Bernard, and Rottweiler, among others.

The disease is separated into five distinct levels, as follows:

  • Grade I The animal's joints are still normal, and the degree of angulation between the acetabulum and the head of the femur is close to 105.
  • Grade II The degree of angulation between the head of the femur and the acetabulum becomes more incongruous, and the joints are already beginning to show slight signs of abnormality.
  • Grade III At this level, the degree of angulation between the structures is now more remarkably incongruous and close to 100, and the animal can now be diagnosed with mild dysplasia.
  • Grade IV The connection between the femoral head and the acetabulum is already incompatible (with an angulation degree close to 95), and the animal may already begin to show symptoms, as signs of dislocation are already manifesting, such as lame walking.
  • Grade V With an angle of less than 90 degrees between the acetabulum and the head of the femur, the signs of problems are already quite evident - even presenting visible deformations.

Highlighting different forms of treatment - ranging from the administration of medications to relieve the animal's pain to surgical procedures to remove the head from the animal's femur (avoiding friction in the region and, consequently, decreasing the pet's discomfort) - hip dysplasia it is cared for according to the stage of development it is in, and the sooner a concrete diagnosis is made, the greater the chances that the animal will be able to resume its activities and movements completely.

Cruciate ligament rupture

Unlike the other conditions that can cause a dog to hobble exposed in this article, the rupture of the cruciate ligament is not the type that is only noticed after some time has passed - since this rupture causes great pain in the animal at the same time. happens, causing him to suffer a lot and immediately stop support the affected member in floor.

In most cases, the disruption of the dogs' cruciate ligament occurs due to a very sudden pull, the fact that the dog rotates with its paw attached in some way or because of some very large effort that requires a lot of strength from the region - causing the rupture of the ligament and the sliding of the femur over the tibia.

In addition to causing a high level of pain and the animal's lack of confidence and ability to support the affected limb, this condition, when left untreated, can also influence the appearance of other complications for the pet, such as muscle atrophy; since the dog stops using its limb muscles to avoid pain.

As with the other pictures exposed in this article, the diagnosis of cruciate ligament rupture has imaging tests (such as digital x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging) as the main means of diagnosis, however, it is through palpation by a veterinarian in clinical examination; allowing the veterinary professional to analyze the conditions of the region clearly and thus determine the best form of treatment and the most appropriate surgical technique.

To treat the problem, ideally, the injured animal should be taken immediately to a veterinary clinic or hospital, as the condition should be treated as an emergency by a doctor. veterinary orthopedist. Surgery is necessary in these cases, and a number of different techniques can be used so that the problem has a solution of the ruptured ligament.

As explained, it is essential that the animal is attended to as quickly as possible after the episode that caused the ligament rupture; because, the sooner the surgical procedure is performed, the better and faster the recovery of the pet can be - which must be kept in an isolated place, in relative rest and without very smooth surfaces during this period, avoiding that it makes great efforts and that harm the newly operated limb.

Patellar dislocation

Developing gradually, the dislocation of the patella - as well as hip dysplasia - can also appear in the pet's life due to a genetic inheritance or due to accidents or the environment that are not related to the animal's genetics, for example, constant walking on the smooth floor and the habit of get under furniture. Much more common in small dogs, the problem can also affect larger animals; being that, in these cases, the origin of the complication is, generally, hereditary.

A number of dog breeds are more likely to suffer from lifelong patella dislocation, and names such as Yorkshire, Poodle, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, German Spitz, Pug, Pequines and Lhasa Apso appear on that list. Responsible for aligning the knee with the muscles, the patella (also known as patella) is located in the center of the animal's knee, and when dislocated it starts to move easily - ending the firmness and confidence of the animal's limb and, as it develops, causing a lot of pain and discomfort.

Like hip dysplasia, patellar dislocation is also classified into four different levels, each of which has some specific symptoms, as shown below:

  • Grade I The displacement of the patella only occurs with the manipulation of a professional, and routine to its correct location immediately.
  • Grade II Corrective surgery may already be recommended, as the patella leaves and returns to its original place on its own.
  • Grade III The patella leaves the place by itself and does not return unless there is manipulation by a veterinarian or specific movements of the animal itself (which usually stretches its leg to place it in the correct place).
  • Grade IV In the worst and most advanced stage of the complication, the patella moves and does not return to its correct place even with help - requiring surgical procedures for the problem to be resolved.

Intermittent claudication (animal limps from time to time and returns to normal), wrong positioning of the knees when the animal sits (or even while walking) and constant stretching of the paw back while walking and are some of the most characteristic signs of dislocation patella, which evolves and becomes limit your movements a lot - making him stop jumping, jumping and even walking normally.

Also having surgery as the main form of treatment, this problem is corrected by replacing and fixing the patella in its original place, allowing the animal to recover its natural movements.

Requiring the same type of postoperative of surgery to repair the cruciate ligament rupture, the recovery of animals that undergo the surgical procedure to resolve the dislocation of the patella must also be careful, and the animal must be prevented from making very sudden movements or from being in environments with too smooth surfaces - which they can disrupt the process and cause further damage to the pet's newly operated limb.

Dog Health
femur head amputation, dog limping, hip dysplasia, why is my dog ​​limping, cruciate ligament rupture
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