Dog Limping in Boston, MA

Why is My Dog Suddenly Limping?

Do you have a dog who has suddenly developed a limp? Or has your dog been showing some signs of a limp for a while, but it has suddenly gotten worse? Both situations are unfortunately all too common in dogs, and it’s important to know what the potential causes could be if this happens to your pet.

In the article below, we’ll explain some of the most common causes of limping in dogs. With the help of this guide, you can determine when you may be able to help your dog at home and when you should see a vet instead. In any case, if your dog’s limping does not go away within a couple of days, bring them into the vet for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Pulled Muscle

Sometimes, a dog limps simply because of a pulled muscle or tendon, just like a human might. If your dog is very active or if their limp developed shortly after they were playing or exercising, a pulled muscle could be the cause.

Have your dog rest for a day or two and see if the limping clears up. If so, it was likely a pulled muscle; if not, then it’s time to see a veterinarian to determine the cause of the issue instead.

Injured Paw Pad

An injured paw pad can occur if your dog’s paw is cut, bruised, or otherwise hurt in some way. The soft skin on the pads of your dog’s paws is susceptible to being injured, and this type of pain can cause temporary limping.

If your dog is limping, check their leg and paw pad as carefully as possible without causing more pain. You may be able to see damage to the paw pad or toe pads in most instances. Some problems, like frostbite or burns to the paw pads, may be more difficult to see but can be felt by touching.

Broken Toenail

A broken toenail may not seem like much trouble to a human, but to a dog, it can be quite painful. If your dog’s toenails are not regularly trimmed, they may become long and brittle, which can lead to an increased risk of breaking.

When your dog’s toenail is broken, it can lead to severe pain when they try to put weight on the affected foot. Additionally, if the toenail becomes snagged in something and is pulled from its socket, this is a serious injury that will require a trip to the vet to clear up.

Broken Bone in the Leg or Foot

You will likely know it if your dog has suffered a broken bone in their leg or foot. However, in some rare cases, these breaks can be contained so much that you can’t see them and may be unaware that your dog has been so badly injured.

If you know your dog has recently suffered an injury of some type and you suspect they could have a broken leg or foot, take them to the emergency vet right away. Don’t wait to see what happens, as the injury could get much worse if left untreated. Your dog should see a medical professional as soon as possible.

Insect Bite or Sting

It is not uncommon for dogs to be bitten or stung by insects on their paws and feet. This is simply because dogs frequently walk in areas where insects are present, and they do not usually have anything covering their feet or legs to protect them from being bitten.

If your dog is bitten or stung on the foot or leg, they may start limping as a result. Check the bite or sting thoroughly and remove any stingers that may still be in place. Watch carefully for signs of severe allergic reaction, but otherwise, your dog should recover in a couple of days with some rest.


Arthritis typically does not cause sudden limping, as it is a gradually worsening condition. However, your dog may start limping after a long while of dealing with stiffness and mobility issues due to arthritis. Limping is a sign that the condition is getting worse, and you should take your pet to the vet to be checked out if this happens.

Many times, your dog’s arthritis pain can be managed with the help of medication. Your vet will give you more information about the right treatment or management options for your dog’s arthritis needs.

Talk with Boston Veterinary Clinic About Dog Limping

Were you able to find some useful information regarding your dog’s sudden limping? Although limping can sometimes be a short-term issue for dogs, it is often a sign of underlying health problems. If your dog’s limp lasts longer than a couple of days, or if it is accompanied by any new or worsening symptoms, go to the vet for a checkup right away.

Your vet will work with you to determine the cause of your dog’s limping and help you choose the right treatment or management solutions moving forward. Use the online form to book an appointment with your Boston Veterinary Clinic vet today!