Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Could be anything from sprain/strain to cuts or abcess to diagnose what you would need to see a vet. Otherwise you could try resting for 24 hours.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Sudden limping is the type of limping that develops instantaneously. It`s usually due to some sort of injury or trauma. If you notice that your dog has started limping suddenly, you should take them to the vet right away to find out the cause and what can be done to help it.
There are two types of limping in dogs: gradual onset and sudden onset. Gradual onset limping develops slowly over time and is usually a sign of a degenerative condition like arthritis or hip dysplasia (especially if your dog is limping on his back leg). A dog suddenly limping is typically due to an injury or trauma.
In most cases, it`s better to be safe than sorry, and scheduling an appointment with your vet may help both you and your dog to feel better. If the limp doesn`t begin to resolve itself, is becoming worse, or is accompanied with whining or yelping, it`s time to call your vet or visit your nearest emergency vet.
Front leg limping is also caused by a host of conditions and injuries. Limping is a symptom of canine carpal extension, as well as everyday sprains and strains to the wrist or hock, the dog`s version of an ankle. Other hock injuries that result in limping include arthritis or dislocation.
Dogs can limp for many reasons. Active or heavy pets can twist and strain things just like humans do. Any dog can jump or run and twist or turn a joint in a manner that causes temporary discomfort. Most injuries caused by such things are short-lived.
A simple rule of thumb to help determine the severity of the injury is that most dogs will not walk on a broken leg, torn ligament, or dislocated joint. A good exam requires two people: one to examine the leg and one to restrain the dog. Dogs that are in pain may bite, even people they love so be cautious.
Dogs with a pulled muscle will have symptoms similar to those observed with a torn muscle; however, the symptoms will be milder. Things to look for when a muscle is pulled are muscle spasms, weakness, cramping, and immobility, as well as pain, bruising, and swelling.
Common medications used in the management of pain related to dog limping include the NSAID family of drugs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) such as carprofen, meloxicam, firocoxib, and deracoxib.
If the limp doesn`t resolve itself within 48 hours, becomes worse, or if your pup is whining or yelping, it`s time to call your vet to book an examination for your pet. Your veterinarian is best equipped to determine the cause and severity of your dog`s pain.
Look at the site of the limp for signs of bleeding, to help determine if the condition is from a bite, injury, or puncture. Often if the limping isn`t serious you can watch your dog at home for between 24 & 48 hours to see if more symptoms occur or if the limp gets worse.
If your pet is limping but not showing any signs of pain, it is still worth contacting your vet for advice. Because dogs can`t speak, it can sometimes be difficult to spot when they`re in pain, whether it be as a result of injury or an underlying issue.
Arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common cause of limping after sleeping or rest. It becomes more common with age so that by 12 most dogs experience it.
Generally, if your dog`s limp isn`t severe, you can just monitor your pup`s progress at home over 24-48 hours, watching for more symptoms or to see if the limp becomes more pronounced. Most of the time it`s best to err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with your vet.
If your puppy hasn`t injured itself but is still limping, this could be a sign of joint disease. Joint diseases include: Hip dysplasia (dog is limping on back legs) Elbow dysplasia (dog is limping on front legs)
Rest and confinement are best for healing.

In many cases of limping, there will be no external signs. If this is the case for your dog and the limping is not severe, try to keep him quiet and comfortable. Encourage your dog to rest and do not take him for a walk or run. Do not allow your dog to exercise or jump up.

Instead of attempting to self-diagnose your dogs injury, the only way to tell whether a dog has a sprain or a broken leg is to take the dog for a complete visual exam by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can then determine if x-rays are needed.
Dog`s Perspective

But the more you massage his legs, the less likely it is he will sprain or strain it while out exercising. If the injury has already occurred, then a good massage will help ease the muscles, reducing the pain and helping to speed Joey`s recovery along.

Limping or lameness in dogs can range in concern from a minor bruise or object stuck in paw to a serious injury or condition. If your dog limps on and off, it may be due to joint pain common in older dogs, or it could be your dog`s ability to mask pain.
Long nails bend and catch on just about everything, causing both immediate and long term pain. It`s important to examine your dog`s nails and keep them adequately short to prevent pain and limping. Have your dog`s nails trimmed regularly, but if one breaks seek veterinary care immediately.
Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs include a decrease in activity and mobility, a swaying gait or “bunny hop” motion when running, a decrease in muscle mass around the hips and hind area, and awkward sitting and laying positions. Treatment includes surgery for those that are eligible.
Grade I sprains – Your vet will apply a splint on the affected area to restrict your pet`s movement and recommend anti-inflammatory medicine. Grade II sprains – Your vet will splint the injured joint and prescribe medication. They may also recommend surgery to address more severe damage.
It`s important never to give paracetamol to your dog unless your vet tells you to – it can be very dangerous if it`s given incorrectly.” Claire explains that you should always head to your vet for advice, including if your pup accidentally digests a painkiller.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Back paw is swollen and he is limping on 3 legs. It looks like it might be infected, what can I do
ANSWER : A. Swelling and limping are signs of an injury to the limb, and signs of infection in addition include swelling that is hot or painful to the touch, or may be oozing greenish or yellow dirty debris. If your dog is actively limping and has signs of infection, he will need to be treated by a veterinarian ASAP. The infection will usually have to be drained and need antibiotics to have it resolved. If there is additional injury to the limb such as a break or sprain, additional tests such as an X-ray may also be needed.

It is best to seek veterinary care ASAP. In the mean time, keep your dog on strict bed rest, do not allow him to lick at the wound, and keep the wound clean of any debris or oozing by using a warm, clean and wet washcloth to remove it.

Q. Tumble down the stairs and now he is limping and I just nothing broken and I just like to know what I could do put ice on it to make him feel better
ANSWER : A. Animals limp when they are in pain, end of. Ice and rest may help reduce inflammation (I don’t know what your pet is, if he’s a dog then gentle walks to the toilet only and if he’s a cat shut him in a room by himself with food and a litter tray) but if the limping continues for more than 48 hours you must take him to a vet.

Q. Hello.. My jack russel has started to get a bowed front leg at the ankle and is causing him to limp quiet a lot.. Is there anything that can be done.?
ANSWER : A. It is possible an injury or deformity of the leg is causing the limp and physical changes you are seeing. Sprains, breaks, strains and even nutritional deficiencies may cause the leg to bow and pain/limping to occur. Having a vet take an X-ray and examine the leg is best to determine the cause of the changes and limp as well as the treatment needed. Casting, bed rest, and medications to treat pain may all be needed to help the leg heal. Until you can get to the vet, a regime of strict kennel rest with leashed walks only to go potty outside will help reduce any further injury to the leg and decrease pain.

Read Full Q/A … : Jack Russell FAQs Page!

Q. What is the best dog that will wrestle and is easily party trained and loves water and retreats fish and isfluffy not long hairy and white
ANSWER : A. Even within individual breeds, a dog’s personality will vary greatly depending on how it is trained and taken care of. Reading up about breeds you are interested in, as well as basic training material may give you a better idea as to what type of dog you’d like. Visiting a local animal shelter may also help you find a mixed breed or even purebred dog that fits your needs looks-wise as well as personality-wise!

If you want a dog that is a retriever type, then looking at breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, or even Portuguese Water Dog types may give you some direction as where to look. You can look up breed personality and visual traits by visiting a website such as the AKC, and looking in the Sporting group.

Q. My pet, a Lab retriever, suddenly started limping. On observation I see his left fore leg is hurt as he is limping on that and is not putting it down.
ANSWER : A. If it has been going on for more than a couple of hours then it should be examined by your vet and they will be able to provide appropriate treatment and pain relief.

Q. I have a 4 year old boxer. Out of no where he started limping. What can I do to stop him from limping?
ANSWER : A. You need to find out the cause of his limp. If it has been going on for more than a few hours or is swollen then you need to see a vet to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment to relieve the discomfort.

Read Full Q/A … : Leerburg

Q. My dog started limping 2 days ago, and today her left eye is hurting her, she seems listless too, what could it be?
ANSWER : A. Due to the large number of symptoms you listed (limp, eye pain, lethargy) it is best to seek an appointment with your local veterinarian. These symptoms could be unrelated causes, or may all be directly related to something such as trauma (from a trip or fall) or illness.

Until you can get in to see your vet, keeping your dog calm and quiet and on strict exercise restriction may help keep the limp under control and prevent further injury to the leg. If the eye is looking red or has discharge from it, you can also use a warm wet washcloth to gently remove any debris around the eye. The lethargy may be due to the fact that there is pain or illness causing her to not feel well, and keeping her calm and quiet until you can see the vet may help.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs

Q. Can puppy strangles possibly be genetic?
ANSWER : A. Many people believe that puppy strangles (juvenile cellulitis) is heritable, however no link has been proven. Some breeds, like golden retrievers, get the disease more frequently, so this leds us to believe that it is being passed on. Most people do not recommend breeding dogs that have had the disease as puppies because of the strong suspicion that it is heritable.