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When should I worry about a limping dog?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Jon,

I have a 7-month-old basset hound, we were told she was a pure bread Norman Artesian Basset Hound. She has all the characteristics of a basset except she is taller, her legs are longer than the "normal" basset hound. My question is when she wakes up she has started limping on her front left leg as if her leg is asleep. It does not last long, maybe 10 to 15 seconds and then she is fine. It does not seem like she is in any pain and does not complain at all. This is the only time it happens and has just started in the last couple of days. She plays and runs like normal. In your opinion is this normal or serious.

Thanks,

Karin Munn


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email Karin. You described that your 7-month-old basset has a 10 to 15 second lameness after getting up from a resting position for the past couple days. You also indicated that she seems to be fine after than and does not seem to be in pain.

In my opinion, this is not normal but it also does not sound serious. It may be a muscle injury or a sprain or panosteitis. If it is serious, I'd expect the signs to be come more persistent and consistent.

I'd recommend no unrestricted running, jumping or playing for a few days. Let her take it easy. Place her in a cage or crate and restrict her activity if possible. Take her out only when on a leash. If the lameness persists or you are worried, call your veterinarian for an evaluation of the leg.

Articles that might be helpful to you are Lameness in Dogs and Panosteitis.

Best of luck!


Dr. Jon




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