When to Seek Emergency Care for a Limping Pet

by | May 16, 2023 | Blog

When to Take a Limping Pet to the Emergency Room

Usually, veterinary treatment for your pet’s lameness can wait until the following business day. However, if you are limping, you should go right away to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

Pets with lameness symptoms needing urgent care

Go to the hospital emergency room if your canine companion exhibits any of the following symptoms:

Dragging a limb

Not bearing weight on a limb

Extreme lethargy

Uncontrollable bleeding

Excessive swelling

Excessive vocalization

Abrupt worsening of a limp

In addition to alarming symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, your pet may need emergency treatment for the underlying problem rather than just the limp.

Pet lameness issues that need immediate attention

Pets can become lame for various causes, some of which require prompt medical attention. Although a muscular strain or sprain should be taken seriously, you do not need to head straight to the nearest emergency room. However, some conditions do necessitate urgent attention, such as:

A fractured limb

Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs

A deep or large wound that will not stop bleeding

A venomous insect or snake bite

A car accident

A dog fight

Even though some of these circumstances might not seem to cause much harm, they could cause inside problems that need to be treated. For instance, you might believe that your pet who was hit by a car with mild limping and road rash is fine. Still, a thorough examination may discover damage to their liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, necessitating severe hospitalization.

A further scenario that frequently necessitates emergency care is a pet that another animal has bitten. Punctures leave small holes, yet the wounds spread infection very quickly. Furthermore, a pet that grabs and shakes your animal might seriously harm the underlying tissues, which can quickly escalate into a serious condition.

Deciding whether your four-legged pet now has three legs and needs emergency attention can be challenging. Therefore, call our staff to discuss your pet’s condition so we can let you know if they require emergency care.


Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.