Strains And Sprains In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Female veterinarian doctor during work in veterinary clinic. Little dog with broken leg in veterinary clinic

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Strains and sprains in dogs can come about through overexertion during playtime, exercise, or walks. Technically, strains refer to damage to the tendons that connect the bones and muscles. Sprains refer to issues involving the ligaments and can cause damage to the joints.

Some incidents that might result in a strain or a sprain include landing badly while jumping or stretching too much.

If you see signs that your dog might have a strain or a sprain, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of strains and sprains in dogs.

Symptoms Of Strains And Sprains In Dogs

Strains and sprains in dogs can result in symptoms that usually affect the front and back legs and the parts of the body surrounding them.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Limping
  • Yelping at the time of the injury
  • Being unable to move
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Pain

Causes Of Strains And Sprains In Dogs

A mixed breed large dog with an injured leg laying on an examination room table and looking up at a friendly female veterinarian

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Strains and sprains can happen during a number of activities that a dog might go through on a daily basis.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Landing badly while jumping
  • Over-stretching
  • Slipping and falling over

Treatments For Strains And Sprains In Dogs

If your veterinarian suspects your dog has a strain or a sprain, they’ll carry out a full physical examination. They will pay extra attention to the suspected strain or sprain area and look out for signs of swelling.

Your vet will also ask you about your dog’s recent activity and try to figure out if there was a specific incident that caused the injury. In some cases, vets may use an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis and the extent of the injury.

In most cases, vets will prescribe some sort of anti-inflammatory medication. They may also suggest the use of heat or ice pads, along with making sure the dog receives plenty of rest and relaxation and doesn’t attempt to become too active again too soon.

Physical therapy can also help your dog get back to full fitness. In more serious cases, vets may consider surgery, but vets usually consider that option as a last resort.

Has your dog ever suffered a strain or sprain? What caused the injury? Tell us all about it in the comments below!