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My Dog Is Limping On Their Front Leg. What Could It Be? 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Limping.

My Dog Is Limping On Their Front Leg. What Could It Be? 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Limping.

You might have noticed your dog limping, perhaps you have come back from a walk or they are walking around the house.

Here are 10 of the most common reasons why your dog might be limping in their front leg. We would however still recommend you go visit your vet to get a confirmed diagnosis:

In the paws:

  1. Paw injuries including cuts - have a thorough look at your dog's paw. This includes clearing the paw gently with clean warm water to see if you can see any bleeding which might indicate a thorn or similar.
  2. Corns - if you have a greyhound or sighthound, this could be the reason your dog is limping! Look at your greyhound's paws. Can you see a hard circular spot forming on the surface? Read more about corns: 
  3. Paw arthritis - common in older dogs, the toe joints can swell and click which is an indication of arthritis. Arthritis can be painful, so read more to see how you can help your dog manage the day-to-day. Read more here:
  4. Front Paw Knuckling - this is when your dog's paw starts to curl over, the skin can become damaged and bleed, and the nails get shorter. It can be painful and we recommend a custom brace. Read more here: 

On the front leg:

  1. Carpal Arthritis - arthritis can show in one or both front legs. Your dog might show swelling on the angle of the carpal joints can change. Arthritis symptoms include your dog getting out of bed slowly, going slower on walks, finds tight corners difficult or uncomfortable. Read more here:
  2. Carpal Strain - due to exercise or an accident e.g. your dog jumping down from a high wall. Read more here:
  3. Carpal Damage - due to an accident. This can include lacerated the carpal muscle and ligaments. Read more here:
  4. Carpal Hyperextension - Carpal hyperextension is when your dog’s carpus - commonly called your dog's wrist - collapses or hyperextends. Carpal hyperextension in dogs happens because the ligaments get damaged, becoming overstretched, strained or, in serious cases, completely torn. Consequently, the joint sags downwards, and the wrist can touch the ground. Read on to hear how you can help your dog. Read more here:

Above the front leg:

    1. Elbow Dysplasia - Dog elbow dysplasia is abnormal development of the elbow joint. It causes pain, swelling, instability and often leads to arthritis. Elbow dysplasia is most common in medium to large breed dogs, most frequently: Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and Bassett Hounds. Read more here:
    2. Shoulder injury or dislocation - Dog shoulder injuries can range from mild dislocations or strains to severe tendon injuries. The shoulder joint in dogs is more mobile than any other main limb joint. They are vulnerable to becoming dislocated, sustaining injury through trauma or more degenerative and often age-related joint issues, such as arthritis. Read more here:
Feel free to email us a video of your dog if you would like us to help diagnose your dog. Our email is:
Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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