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Limping Dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Terrier x Chihuahua
Age: 8-11 years
Yesterday, my dog started limping & avoiding putting any weight on his right hind leg. My husband, who is a paramedic felt for an obvious fracture & didn't feel anything. He is quite cheerful & didn't yelp or flinch at all when my husband felt and extended his leg. Going to the vet is intense for him, as he gets carsick. Should we wait a few days to see if it is a strain that needs rest? Or bring him in now?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It's always tough to answer questions about lameness without being able to examine your dog. But, I'll give you a few of my thoughts!

My general rule of thumb is that if a dog is putting no weight at all on a leg and it lasts for more than a few hours then it's a good idea to have the vet take a look.

If he is putting some weight on the leg, and if he is bright and otherwise happy it is likely ok to wait it out for 24 hours. But if there has been zero improvement then he should see the vet. If there has been a little bit of improvement then you could likely wait it out for a total of 48 hours to see if things are going to improve.

If you do decide to wait, I wouldn't advise giving him any medication. If we give an over the counter drug like aspirin it can interfere with the vet's ability to diagnose. Plus, it might mean that the vet can't prescribe a different medication that could be more effective.

It's usually best to restrict exercise in times like this, so make sure Shady gets some rest.

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.