When Does Your Pet Need Emergency Care Because of a Limp?

Your pet’s lameness can usually wait until the next business day for veterinary care. However, certain conditions, plus limping, mean you need to head to your nearest emergency veterinary hospital right away.

Lameness signs in pets that require emergency care

If your four-legged friend shows any of the following signs, head to the emergency room:

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

In addition to worrying symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, your pet may need emergency treatment for the underlying problem rather than just the limp.

Lameness causes in pets that require emergency care

Pets can become lame for a variety of reasons, some of which require prompt medical attention. Although a muscle strain or sprain should be taken seriously, you do not need to head straight to the nearest emergency room. However, some conditions do necessitate urgent care, such as:

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

Some of these situations may not appear to result in much injury, but internal issues could develop that require treatment. For example, you may think that your pet who was hit by a car and has only some road rash on their legs and a minor limp is fine, but a comprehensive examination may reveal damage to their liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, which could require intensive hospitalization. 

An additional scenario that frequently necessitates emergency care is a pet that has been bitten by another animal. Small holes are left by punctures, but the wounds spread infection very quickly. Furthermore, a pet that grabs and shakes your animal can seriously harm the underlying tissues, which can quickly escalate into a serious issue.

Determining whether your four-legged friend who has become a three-legged pet needs emergency care can be difficult. So, give our team a call to discuss your pet’s condition, and we can advise you whether they need emergency treatment.