What Causes Lameness?
There are many causes of lameness, in both dogs and cats. These include, but not limited to:
Broken or overgrown nails
Thorns or grass seeds stuck in the pads
Clumps of hair inbetween toes
Abcesses – particularly in cats
Poor nutrition in young dogs – ( less likely with a well recognised commercial diet )
Over exercise resulting in sprains / strain
Breed predisposed conditions – elbow/hip dysplasia in Labradors, or patellar luxation in small breeds.
Does my pet need to be seen by a vet?
As always, if you think the lameness is causing distress or any discomfort to your pet, or you have any concerns, please do call us, and we will always ensure we can see you as soon as possible.
If your dog develops a sudden onset lameness after a walk, it is always worth checking the nails and feet in general, looking for broken nails, cut pads, or thorns/grass seeds stuck in the pads, or the hair between the toes. Similarly in the cat, overgrown nails, and cat bite abscesses are very common.
How will the cause be Diagnosed?
Given the wide range of possible causes of a lameness it will start with information obtained through a history and clinical examination. It may be neccessary to aid diagnosis by using our digital X-ray where your animal will require a sedation or general anaesthetic.
How will it be treated?
This depends on the findings above however may include one or both medical and surgical options, from fracture repair, to TTA ( Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, a complex, but very successful method of repairing ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in the dog )