When to Seek Urgent Care for a Limping Pet

While most cases of pet lameness can wait until regular veterinary hours, certain circumstances and signs of limping require immediate attention at an emergency veterinary hospital.

Signs of Lameness Requiring Emergency Care

If your furry companion exhibits any of the following signs, it’s crucial to 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

If your pet experiences minor lameness alongside concerning symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, emergency treatment may be necessary for the underlying cause rather than solely addressing the limp.

Causes of Lameness Requiring Emergency Care

Pets may experience lameness for various reasons, but certain conditions demand immediate attention. While a muscle sprain or strain is concerning, it typically doesn’t necessitate an emergency visit. However, the following situations require urgent care:

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

Some injuries may appear minor externally, but internal complications can arise and require treatment. For instance, if your pet is hit by a car resulting in only superficial abrasions and a slight limp, a comprehensive examination may reveal damage to vital organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, necessitating intensive hospitalization.

Bites from other pets are also a common scenario requiring emergency attention. Puncture wounds may initially seem small, but they quickly become infected. Additionally, aggressive shaking from another pet can cause significant damage to underlying tissues, potentially escalating into a serious problem.

Determining the need for emergency care when your once four-legged friend becomes a three-legged pet can be challenging. Contact our team to discuss your pet’s condition, and we can provide guidance on whether emergency treatment is necessary.