Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

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Is that limp serious?

April 4, 2016

Just like humans, pets sometimes break bones, sprain muscles, slip discs or tear ligaments – all of which can lead to limping, or difficulty with movement.

Accidents and other traumatic incidents are a common cause of lameness and it’s often difficult to know how serious it is.

  1. Check for external signs of damage, or unnatural angles that may indicate fractures, or dislocations
  2. Seek immediate vet advice if a fracture, or dislocation is suspected
  3. In mild cases when the leg is able to bear weight, restrict movement and apply a cold compress
  4. If the lameness persists for longer than 24 hours, seek veterinary advice

Some lameness occurs through slow chronic degeneration of a ligament or disc, or arthritis in older patients. If the lameness progresses slowly it can go unnoticed, or be mistaken for signs of ‘old age’.

However, sometimes pain from arthritis does not show up as lameness. Signs can be very subtle, especially in cats, such as not jumping up as usual, slowing down up steps and not being as active as normal.

The cause of a limp can often be diagnosed with just a simple physical examination. However x-rays and manipulation of the affected area under sedation, may also be required.

If you have concerns about your pet’s limp, please phone the clinic on 07 888 8197.