Dogs are one of the most intelligent species of animal in the world-- that's why they make such great pets and why about 44% of households in the U. S. have one. Being so smart, however, doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of accidental injuries. Just like humans, dogs can be injured in many ways, including becoming lame in one or more legs. Limping, or lameness, is a very common sign of illness and injury in dogs and is a clear indication of how your pet may have been harmed. Here are three of the most common causes of hock and leg injuries in dogs that may require a leg brace:
- Sprains - The least worrisome cause of limping in dogs is a sprain in the dog’s hock. This injury is usually caused by some form of minor trauma. Falling off a couch or getting a paw stuck in a hole in the ground could both cause a dog swollen ankle problems. This trauma stretches or even tears the ligaments in the dog’s hock, causing the area to swell and become painful. Luckily, an issue like this is usually easily resolved by restricting activity and providing a support brace or a dog’s therapy socks on the dog’s hock.
- Joint or Hip Trauma - Major trauma to the shoulder or hip joints can cause problems far more serious than a dog swollen ankle. Severe limping could be caused by your dog being hit by a car or other heavy metal object. If you think your dog is limping due to major trauma, it may be best to head to your closest veterinarian. Treatment of limping caused by this issue would include pain management and anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your veterinarian, as well as plenty of rest while wearing a shoulder brace or dog wrist brace. A therapy dog bed may even be needed to provide your dog with some extra comfort while she recovers. A dog can be just as accident prone as a human, so it’s important to look out for your beloved companion. From a simple dog swollen ankle to more severe trauma, your dog's limping could have many causes. Keep these common causes in mind so that you can be better prepared to help your pup heal should an accident occur.