Ask Seth: Dog Limping

I have a VERY large German Shepard who loves to run after and jump for rubber balls. We adopted him in June 2013 at 4 ½ years old. We have noticed that sometimes the dog limps, but he doesn’t seem to be in actual pain. I have given him Cocusmin and he got better, but he is limping again even though he is still taking the medicine. We can’t get him to stay inside for any length of time to rest the leg… any ideas? Diane L.


I feel that limping dogs should be under the care of a veterinarian for management of the symptoms and here is 3 reasons why:

  1. Dogs have a very high pain threshold and if they are showing pain by limping, it is usually due to some injury or inflammatory response.
  2. Physical examination and/or X-rays can be used to determine the source of the limping.  Dogs knees are designed so that the stress of the ACL is constant and many dogs tear the ACL in the knee.   During the physical exam, if the knee is stable, the veterinarian may want to take X-rays of the hips instead, because larger breed dogs tend to get hip dysplasia.
  3. Arthritis refers to any inflammation, irritation, swelling and discomfort of a joint.  Because severity can vary greatly, the treatments can too.   These cases need individualized care and management.

As a pet owner, we owe it to our animals to provide them with a happy, pain-free life.  The supplements you have her on will assist with the overall joint wellness, but not with pain and inflammation.  Your vet can provide medications that will help keep the limping to a minimum.

Do you know anyone struggling with the issue of a limping dog? Share this article with them!

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1 Response

  1. Lana says:

    Hello, Be real careful. We thought the same with our 6 yr old Great Pryenees mix. We are now dealing with the choices how to deal with Osteosarcoma. Not what I was expecting and would love any advice on this topic.

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