g it down.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
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.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

In general, gradual onset limps in dogs are caused by an underlying, chronic or degenerative condition, such as osteoarthritis or dysplasia. Sudden onset limps, on the other hand, are usually caused by an injury or trauma. Just because your dog has a gradual limp does not mean you should put off making an appointment.
A common cause of lameness in some breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd Dogs is Hip or Elbow Dysplasia. This is a genetic condition that causes the joint to become malformed. This causes lameness and pain from a relatively young age.
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.
Superficial Injury/Trauma

One reason for sudden limping in dogs could be a paw or leg injury. Superficial injuries can include a cut or scrape caused by a sharp object such as stepping on glass, getting stuck by a thorn, walking on a nail, or running on hot pavement.

Sometimes limping will go away on its own, especially if you provide some at-home support like a brace. Other times limping may be a sign of a more serious injury or condition that will require veterinary intervention.
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. Your veterinarian has the training and knowledge to best determine the cause and severity of your pup`s pain.
The most common cause of leg swelling in dogs is injury, which can be a sprain, dislocation, joint and hip trauma, muscle tears, or paw injury. Injuries cause joints to expand and accumulate fluid leading to swelling.
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.

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.
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.
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)
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.
Whatever the scenario, if a dog`s limp hasn`t resolved in a week or two, it`s time for a veterinarian to figure out what is going on. A chronic limp is almost never an emergency, but you should make the appointment as soon as possible.
Diseases & Conditions. At one time or another, all children have episodes of limping. Usually the limp is caused by a minor injury and will get better by itself.
When you first notice that your dog is limping, if it isn`t severe try to rest your pup as best you can. That means limiting their mobility to avoid causing further strain on the injury. Exercise should be limited to short on-leash walks for bathroom breaks until your pooch has healed.
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.
Dogs have two more legs than we do, but despite their numerical advantage, they still limp when they have a hurt leg or foot. Although most limps need veterinary attention, there are a few first aid measures you can perform at home if your dog begins to hobble around.
Symptoms of Joint Dislocation in Dogs

Typically, dogs will exhibit lameness in the affected limb, which may progress over time. Your dog may be reluctant to walk because of pain, and you may see swelling around the joint.

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.
While a sprain is more serious than a simple strain, most dogs make a full recovery from a sprained leg. The biggest challenge most pet parents face is convincing their active and energetic canine companions to take it easy for the roughly six weeks it takes for a sprain to heal.
WHAT IS A DOG`S BROKEN LEG HEALING TIME? The healing time for a broken leg in a puppy is relatively short (2 to 4 weeks). Younger dogs have more bone building cells and are growing anyway, so their bones are constantly remodeling. For adult dogs, the healing time for a broken leg is 6 to 12 weeks.
Answer: Since you have not found any swelling or painful areas, it could be a pulled muscle or an injured joint. If you take your dog to an emergency clinic they will probably give him an anti-inflammatory injection.
Lameness may be constant or occasional, mild to moderate, or severe with the dog unwilling to bear weight at all. Many small dogs live with this condition with it never resulting in arthritis nor pain, nor interfering with the dog`s life. However, in other cases, surgical treatment is necessary.
When your dog is significantly dehydrated, he or she will be unsteady on his or her feet. The hind legs will be especially weak. This stage of dehydration is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately by an emergency vet clinic.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

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. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

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. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.

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