When to Seek Immediate Veterinary Care for a Limping Pet

In most cases, your pet’s limping can wait until the next business day for veterinary attention. However, there are certain conditions, along with limping, that require immediate action and a visit to your nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

Signs of lameness in pets that necessitate emergency care

If your beloved companion exhibits any of the following signs, it is crucial to head to the emergency room:

Dragging a limb Inability to bear weight on a limb Extreme lethargy Uncontrollable bleeding Excessive swelling Excessive vocalization Sudden worsening of the limp

If your pet experiences minor lameness alongside concerning symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, they may require emergency treatment for the underlying cause rather than solely focusing on the limp.

Causes of lameness in pets that require emergency care

Pets can become lame due to a variety of reasons, and some of them demand immediate attention. While a muscle sprain or strain is worrisome, rushing to the nearest emergency hospital is not necessary. However, there are specific conditions that require urgent care, including:

Fractured limb Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs Deep or large wounds that won’t stop bleeding Bites from venomous insects or snakes Involvement in a car accident Injuries from a dog fight

Although some of these situations may not appear severe initially, internal complications can develop, necessitating treatment. For example, your pet might have been hit by a car and only show minor road rash and a slight limp. However, a comprehensive examination could reveal damage to vital organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, requiring intensive hospitalization.

Another common scenario requiring emergency treatment is when a pet has been bitten by another animal. Puncture wounds may seem small, but they quickly become infected. Additionally, when one pet grabs and shakes another, it can cause significant damage to underlying tissues, rapidly escalating into a serious problem.

Determining whether your formerly four-legged friend, now limping, requires emergency care can be challenging. Therefore, we encourage you to reach out to our team to discuss your pet’s condition. We can provide advice and guidance on whether they need immediate medical attention.