Q. My dog was fine yesterday and now she is limping. She had a grooming last Friday and was fine. I checked for tenderness and it appears to be the paw
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Pain or injury to the foot can definitely cause a visible limp to appear on a dog. There are many causes such as sprains or strains in the joints including the ankle and toes (caused from falling, jumping or even just stepping wrong), breaks in the bones of the toe or ankle, or even infections such as bacterial infections, fungal infections (very common between the toes) and abscesses (an infection that forms under the skin and swells).
Common signs of this sort of foot problem include tenderness to the touch, redness, swelling, or heat with infection and dislocation with breaks. Bringing your dog into the vet is best if the symptoms do not subside after a day. An X-ray can be taken to look for breaks, and abscesses can be drained and then treated with antibiotics to allow healing. In minor cases such as breaks and sprains, your dog may just need a few days of bed/kennel rest with decreased activity, while in more serious injuries, the toes may need to be taped or casted together to allow healing. Your vet can also provide your dog with pain medication as needed to help her feel better as she heals.