Dog Is Limping on the Front Paw: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment


The first thing you think about if the dog is limping on front paw is injury or disease of the joints. Indeed, these are the most common causes, but partial lameness can be a symptom of certain diseases. It may also happen that the front paw is not a sign of any health problem.  In such a way the dog thus might be trying to attract attention and get affection or treats.

How to Determine a Limb Injury?

If a dog is limping on front leg after walk, the injury is most likely the reason. Dogs often get wound during a walk – cut their legs with broken glass. So, forelegs suffer mostly because they first touch the object. They also take most of the dog is limping on front pawload during the landing of the jumps, therefore, the bones or joints often get damaged. You can determine that dog is limping on front leg because of an injury through careful inspection. Burns and wounds usually leave traces. You can find a red burned area or place of bleeding. You should examine the paw pads for signs of injury or broken root of the claw.

Inspection should be performed very carefully, since the fracture of any touches can deliver the dog a strong pain. Do not try to use force to straighten or bend the joint to “help” the animal. The pain threshold in dogs is very high and if the pet doesn’t want any place to be touched, it means that the discomfort is very strong. With a fracture, the injury is not often received in the lower part of the paw. It can be much higher. An accurate diagnosis can be made by a veterinarian after an x-ray and examination.

Can the Problem Be Related to the Disease?

When the dog is limping on front leg feeling severe pain, it moves in a special way: leaning down and throwing its head up, as if diving. This suggests that it is difficult for the pet to move in general. The dog starts to sit in a different way. It is hard to stand up from the lying down posture (problems with the movements after sleep are especially typical when osteoarthritis). In this case, no external damage is detected. What could it be? One of the following diseases:

  • dog limping on front legIntermittent claudication;
  • Muscle or ligament tear;
  • Osteosarcoma;
  • Diseases of the spine;
  • Arthrosis.

When intermittent claudication, the dog crouches on one and then on the other paw. Thus the animal does not respond to manual inspection, as not experiencing pain. When other diagnoses the dog may feel discomfort or pain during palpation and procedures. If not an adult dog but a puppy is limping on front paw, then we can also assume the probability of a particular genetic diagnosis:

  1. Disease of Patella.
  2. Perthes ‘ Disease.

Is self-diagnosis possible? In most cases, it does not produce results. In the presence of a noticeable swelling or growths you will have to go to the vet.


Depending on the disease and the general condition of the animal, the veterinarian prescribes various medications and physiotherapy. Folk remedies, unfortunately, are ineffective at damages and pathologies. It should be noted that the broken front paw may be healed by itself, but there is a risk that the bone will grow together incorrectly. In this case the animal will be experiencing discomfort due to chronic injuries. In certain cases, it is impossible to cure the petcompletely. This applies, for example, to arthrosis. Support therapy is used to ensure that the pet’s standard of living is at the proper level and there is no severe pain. Injections of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. There are recommendations that apply to any causes of lameness on the front paws in dogs:

  • more peace;
  • a place to sleep that does not need to jump on it;
  • food additive;
  • special diet.

You should not decide yourself whether the pet needs massages or joints development. Excessive load can cause a deterioration of the dogs.


  • dog limping on front legsDuring the walk you have to keep the dog out of places where may be scattered glass, brick fragments, sharp metal objects.
  • If several animals are playing together it is better to keep an eye on whether the larger are not “chasing” the small dogs – in such moments pets often get dislocations and bruises.
  • Adhere to a full and competent diet with the addition of vitamin complexes for the healthy development of bones, muscles and joints.
  • When getting a puppy you should ask about the health of the parents. Some hereditary diseases may never appear with proper care.
  • To maintain physical activity, concerning the age, condition and breed of the dog. So, dogs of small breeds should not jump down from height landing on the front paws because they can damage them. Some large breeds and older animals have difficulties using stairs, you should respect the pet.

If a dog is limping on front leg when getting up or walking, it may indicate not only a trivial injury, but also certain diseases. The health may be improved with the help of veterinarians, but in some cases a full recovery is, unfortunately, impossible.

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