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Lameness and Limping

Dogs and cats limp for various reasons, just as people do. A limp can be a result of a recent injury or chronic condition such as arthritis.  Lameness can indicate a relatively minor problem or be a symptom of a major or life-threatening disease. The best way to determine why your pet is limping is to bring him to see us at Acres Mills Veterinary Clinic in Canton, GA.



Middle-aged or older dogs may be limping because of osteoarthritis.  About one in five adult dogs have this chronic condition, in which the cartilage around the joints wears down, leading to pain. Other reasons why dogs limp include:

  • Long nails
  • Injuries, such as fractures, strains, and sprains
  • Overactivity
  • Hip dysplasia, or loose hips
  • Bone cancer
  • Congenital abnormalities or deformities
  • Joint infection
  • Developmental diseases
  • Paw injuries


A variety of events and conditions can also cause cats to limp. These include:

  • Injuries and traumas to the leg, hip, or paw
  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Dislocated knee cap
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Neurological diseases, such as lumbosacral disease and intervertebral disc conditions
  • Cancers

Other Pets

Other pets also limp. For example, guinea pigs might limp because of a painful condition known as pododermatitis, also known as bumblefoot, trauma, or injury. Parakeets might develop a limp from sore joints or tumors. Our veterinarians can help diagnose the condition that is causing your pet to limp. 


When your pets are limping, they are hurting. Other symptoms, such as house soiling, may also accompany limping and further indicate your pets are suffering. A telephone call to our veterinarian can help you determine whether you need to bring your pets in immediately or whether you can wait a day or two to see if the limp clears upon on its own.

When you bring your pets to see us, we will first conduct a complete physical examination, which might also include an orthopedic and neurological evaluation. The goal is for us to determine precisely where the lameness originates. Once this determination has been made, we may recommend other diagnostic tests such as x-rays and other imaging, collection of joint fluid, and blood samples to further determine its underlying cause. We have digital imaging and radiology equipment and a complete, cutting-edge lab to diagnose issues accurately and expediently.

Treatment depends upon the cause of lameness. We may recommend medication or supplements, restricted activity, diet, surgery, steroids, wound care, or other treatments.

A Veterinarian Near Me

Acres Mill Veterinary Hospital in Canton, GA, is an all-in-one pet resource near you. Contact us online or over the phone at 770-383-1182 today.


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