What do you think is the most common cause of limping in dogs? What do you think would be the most likely reason for your dog’s lameness?
Yes, there are causes of lameness that are more common than others. Does that mean that is the case with your dog? Don’t fall into the assumption trap.
Blossom was a seven-year-old female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Her mom adopted Blossom when her first owner died. You couldn’t find a gentler, more good-natured dog.
Living in the country, Blossom got to enjoy daily long walks in a variety of natural environments. She loved wide-open spaces exploring and relishing in her mom’s company. Both Blossom and her mom were in great shape.
Blossom starts limping
Given her active lifestyle, when Blossom started limping on her front left leg, her mom assumes Blossom twisted her foot or got a minor sprain.
Blossom’s mom decides to skip on a few walks. After a couple of days of rest, the limp went away. However, as soon as they tried to resume their outdoor adventures, Blossom started limping again.
They returned home and her mom examined Blossom’s leg. She started at the shoulder, working her way down to the foot. Was there something stuck there? Blossom didn’t want to have anything to do with further exam–she was wriggling and wouldn’t stay still.
At the veterinarian
At the veterinary clinic, Blossom behaved very well and allowed her veterinarian to examine the underside of her foot. There was indeed something there. It was a size of a small pebble, firmly attached to the skin of Blossom’s foot.
A careful, close-up examination revealed that the foreign object was quite unique–an accumulation of dried mud, grass, and small rocks. It has combined into a stone-like object firmly attached to the fine hair on Blossom’s foot.
Removing the culprit
Getting the mass of was quite painstaking–bit by bit the veterinarian had to trim away the hair it was attached to. Once the mass was gone, so was the limp.
Sometimes the problem is bigger than it seems and sometimes it is not. The limp alone doesn’t always give that away. However, if your dog starts limping, start by checking the feet.
Lameness Exam: What Your Vet Might Be Missing?