When Does Your Pet’s Limp Require Emergency Care?

If your pet is limping, it may not require emergency veterinary care unless it has other symptoms. However, if your pet is exhibiting certain conditions along with limping, it is important to immediately take it to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

Pets showing signs of lameness that require immediate emergency care

If your pet displays any of these symptoms, take them to the emergency room:

  • Dragging a limb
  • Not bearing weight on a limb
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Excessive swelling
  • Abrupt worsening of a limp

Suppose your pet is experiencing both minor lameness and concerning symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. In that case, it is important to seek emergency treatment for the underlying issue that may be causing these symptoms rather than just addressing the limp.

Causes of lameness in pets that require emergency care

There are various reasons why pets may become lame, and some require urgent treatment while others do not. Although muscle sprains or strains are worrying, they don’t warrant a trip to the closest emergency hospital. Nevertheless, specific conditions need immediate care, such as:

  • A fractured limb
  • Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs
  • A car accident
  • A deep or large wound that will not stop bleeding
  • A venomous insect or snake bite
  • A dog fight

Although some injuries may seem minor, internal damage could develop and require treatment. For instance, if your pet gets hit by a car and only has a road rash on its legs and a slight limp, a thorough examination may uncover damage to its liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, which could need intensive hospital care.

If your pet has been bitten by another animal, it’s important to seek emergency treatment. Even small puncture wounds can quickly become infected, and shaking injuries can cause serious damage to underlying tissue.

If you’re unsure whether your pet, who has lost a leg, requires emergency care, please contact our team. We’ll discuss your pet’s situation and inform you if they require urgent medical attention.