When to Seek Urgent Veterinary Care for a Limping Pet

When to Seek Immediate Veterinary Care for a Limping Pet

In most cases, your pet’s limp can wait until regular business hours for veterinary care. However, there are certain situations in which you should seek emergency care at the nearest veterinary hospital without delay.

Signs of Lameness in Pets that Require Emergency Care

If your pet displays any of the following signs, it is crucial to head to the emergency room:

– Dragging a limb
– Not putting weight on a limb
– Extreme lethargy
– Uncontrollable bleeding
– Excessive swelling
– Excessive vocalization
– Sudden worsening of a limp

If your pet has a minor limp but also exhibits concerning symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, they may require emergency treatment for the underlying cause rather than just the limp itself.

Causes of Lameness in Pets that Require Emergency Care

Pets can experience lameness due to various reasons, but certain conditions demand immediate attention. While a muscle sprain or strain can be concerning, rushing to the nearest emergency hospital is not necessary. However, the following situations require urgent care:

– Fractured limb
– Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs
– Deep or profusely bleeding wounds
– Venomous insect or snake bite
– Car accident
– Dog fight

Some of these situations may not initially seem severe, but there could be internal issues that require treatment. For instance, if your pet is hit by a car and only has minor road rash and a slight limp, a comprehensive examination may reveal damage to vital organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, which may necessitate intensive hospitalization.

Another common scenario that calls for emergency treatment is when a pet is bitten by another animal. Although puncture wounds may appear small, they can quickly become infected. Additionally, if a pet grabs and shakes your pet, it can cause significant damage to underlying tissues that can rapidly escalate into a serious problem.

Determining whether your pet, who is now limping, requires emergency care can be challenging. Therefore, we recommend contacting our team to discuss your pet’s condition, and we can provide guidance on whether they need immediate treatment.