Intermittent Limping in a Dog: Could the Simplest Answer Be the Correct One? Suzie’s Limp

When Suzie first started limping, her foot was red and sore.

This is the best-case scenario when it concerns lameness—self-evident, apparent, nonscary reason–a booboo on foot.

Intermittent Limping in a Dog: Could the Simplest Answer Be the Correct One? Suzie's Limp

The vet gave Suzie a shot of Convenia—an injectable antibiotic, the redness cleared up, and Suzie stopped favoring the leg.

It’s not over

However, a couple of weeks later, the lameness returned.

Suzie started the day off with no problems, fit as a fiddle. She had a busy day running and playing. It wasn’t until later in the evening when she got off her bed and limped on her way to potty and back.

This time, the foot, toes, and nails examination didn’t reveal anything suspicious.

I know how frustrating this can feel. You think you identified and fixed a problem just to have it bounce back. Provided that it’s the same problem in the first place.

What is this?

Could it be a recurred issue with the foot even though there are no outward signs this time? Is it a different problem? Has it been another problem all along with the raw foot being just a coincidence or a consequence?

What can be behind lameness? Anything starting with lesions, cuts, spider or snake bites, stings, broken nails, foreign bodies, infections, inflammation, injuries, orthopedic issues, neurological issues, cancer …

Foreign body?

Thinking back to Cookie’s similar problem, my money was on a foreign body.

In Cookie’s case, her returning lameness was caused by a piece of a porcupine quill fragment embedded in the flesh between her toes. It was not the only possibility by far, but it was undoubtedly the best-case scenario one.

Peeling the onion

Sometimes the most straightforward answer is the hardest to find.

The vets couldn’t find anything wrong. Suzie’s toes, foot, ankle all checked out. Then, after much searching and trial and error, a tiny cut with a tiny rock embedded at the end of it was finally discovered. Once the stone was removed, the limp was gone just like that.

Things are not always that simple, but sometimes they are.

Jasmine’s mysterious front leg lameness was far from this straightforward. Eventually, it turned out that it was neurological pain in her case. But sometimes, the simplest explanation is the right one.

In closing

Don’t jump to any conclusions when dealing with your dog’s lameness. Instead, start with the simplest and investigate until the actual cause comes to light.

Related articles:
What Is that Limp?

Further reading:
Limping in Dogs

Categories: ConditionsLamenessLimpingReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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