Aspirin for Limping and Painful Dogs

A limping dog is scary but you can often check a few things out to see if  it might be something you can deal with. It always helps to wet or wash the leg and foot first to get a clearer view of swelling, cuts, bumps, bruises, wounds, splinters, or foxtails. Washing or wetting down the leg makes all of those problems easier to see. joint aspirin

Always proceed with CAUTION: Any dog will bite if they feel pain. Use restraint and get help for everyone’s safety. Do not mess with a sore leg unless you know the dog’s temperament. Even “nice dogs” will bite when hurt.

Nails that have grown too long can catch on things and become cracked, red, infected, bruised, broken or painful. Check the nails for breaks and the nail bed for infection. Keep the nails trimmed to prevent problems

broken toenailThe toes can hide cuts, wounds, growths, or infections. A swollen toe may mean a sprain, a broken one,  or an infection from a wood splinter, nail or wire puncture, bite, or plant. You should clean up any wound or infection with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent.  Your dog may need treatment for painful or infected wounds.

Underneath the foot, around the pads, you may find a cut, wound, infection, or just really red skin. Red inflamed skin often results from allergies to grasses causing itching and chewing to the feet. Sometimes running on rocks or asphalt can bruise or blister the pads. Apply cortisone and Neosporin to soothe the itch and skin infection. It always helps to wash the foot and area around the pads.A sock, light bandage, or cone is helpful to keep dogs from chewing the area.cut pad

If the foot does not seem painful or involved, move up the leg to check for bumps, bruises, or swollen joints. If gently bending a joint causes discomfort, you may be dealing with a mild sprain or arthritis in the joint. Arthritis is really common in older dogs and may cause a bit of limping off and on when they over do it. Coming up lame after playing could mean a pulled muscle. Arthritis in the neck, spine, or hips will also cause limping that looks like it is coming from the foot or one of the legs.

If your dog is putting some weight on the leg, but limping a bit, it could be any of the common problems above. If your dog can’t support any weight, is extremely painful, and you can’t determine the cause of the discomfort, get it checked out. If you want to try and relieve a bit of the pain try a dose or two of aspirin.

Sometimes poodles, yorkies, maltese, lhasas, and other toy breeds will hike up a back leg because their kneecap is going in and out of place. The kneecap can rub on the joint and make it painful. In some dogs it is just the pressure of the kneecap in the wrong place that makes things feel different. Holding  their leg up relieves the pressure. Some dogs grow out of it. Others can be exercised to tighten up the knee joint. A few may need surgery to make things right.luxating-patella.img_assist_custom

For any of the above problems you can aspirin to help with pain and discomfort. The dose for dogs is 1 adult aspirin per 30 pounds twice daily or 1 baby aspirin per 10 pounds twice daily. If the situation gets worse or doesn’t improve in a day or two, get it diagnosed and treated. Do not use Tylenol or ibuprofen in dogs. Both can have side effects.

Dr Greg loves to give people common sense medical advice. His book, Dog Dish Diet has nutritional tips that will help you pick the right food and treats to help with hotspots, ear infections, fat dogs, and even seizures!

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9 Responses to Aspirin for Limping and Painful Dogs

  1. Kim says:

    Hi. My 19 lb miniature poodle has sprained her hind legs. Vet checked and the ligaments are fine. Sprained left one first, I rested and got that one healed, now right one is going. Giving 500mg/day of vitamin C, Arnica, and Tri-acta as did the left one, but is there some kind of knee sock I can get/make to put on to help the stability in her knee/leg so she can walk (I am kenneling her a lot to rest and making sure she is not jumping up on stuff). I don’t want to make it stiff by not using it, but I want to stabilize the joint so she can walk on it and strengthen it. She doesn’t even want to do stairs right now after 3 weeks. Thanks!

  2. Dr Greg says:

    Low dose aspirin at 5mg per pound twice daily for a few days may help

  3. Dr Greg says:

    Aspirin at 5mg per pound twice daily is safer.

  4. Dr Greg says:

    5 mg per pound twice daily of aspirin. Not to be used with any other pain reliever except tramadol

  5. darlenr says:

    Is it ok to give my dog naproxin

  6. cheri says:

    My fur baby jumped off the bed last night cause she heard something and injured her back left leg. She is a 4 yr old Boston terrier. This morning, she seems to not be able to put pressure at all on it. Would it be good to give her baby aspirins till Monday when the vet opens. I pray its just her knee cap.

  7. Patricia says:

    Can give my husk baby aspirin she in pain

  8. Dr Greg says:

    You can give her 5mg per pound twice daily.
    Dr Greg

  9. D says:

    Can I give my Maltese two baby aspirin within an 8 hour period? She’s in severe pain.

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