There is nothing more concerning than spotting a sudden limp in your canine friend. A limping Havanese can cause you to scratch your head, wondering the possible cause behind their sudden ailment. So why might your Havanese be limping?
In this article, we discuss the typical causes of limping and help you get to the bottom of your dog’s symptoms!
7 Most Common Causes Of Limping In Havanese
Havanese tend to be active pups, meaning there are many ways they can potentially injure themselves. To help you better understand your dog’s sudden limping, let’s discuss some of the most common causes of limping in Havanese dogs below.
1. Paw Pad Injuries
Your Havanese has a pad of thick keratinized material on each paw that helps to protect them from injury. While this layer is an adequate cushion for typical activity and terrain, it cannot protect your pup from everything. For example, things such as thorns or other sharp objects can easily puncture your pup’s paw, causing a Havanese to limp on the limb that is affected.
2. Insect Bites or Stings
Our pups can fall victim to bug bites and stings just as easily as we can. With their paws and legs in direct contact with the grass in our yards, this makes their legs an easy target for crawling critters. In addition, bug stings can be painful, causing some pups to limp if they are stung from the legs and down.
3. Toenail Injuries
Toenail injuries are excruciating for our furry friends. Your Havanese has a nerve cluster, referred to as the quick, in each toenail, which can quickly become exposed if their nail is cracked. In addition, if your dog somehow injures their toenail, this can cause them to limp and cry out when putting pressure on the paw.
4. Soft Tissue Injuries
Havanese can fall victim to soft tissue injuries such as sprained ankles or muscle tears. Something as simple as jumping off the couch can cause a soft tissue injury, causing your pup to limp and shy away from using the injured leg. These injuries can range from minor sprains that require cage rest to serious muscle tears that require surgery.
5. Sudden Trauma
Aside from soft tissue injuries, our pups can experience other forms of trauma as well. Injuries like lacerations or fractures are serious complications that require immediate care and can certainly cause a dog to limp due to the pain. If your pup is ever bleeding from an apparent wound or cannot put any weight on the limb, we suggest contacting your vet immediately.
6. Joint Disease
Dogs of all kinds can develop joint disease as they age. Joint disease can lead to serious aches and pains in our canine friends, even causing limping in severe cases. Havanese with joint disease may experience limping, stiffness, change in gait, difficulty getting up and down, and other signs of general discomfort.
7. Other Medical Conditions
There are other medical conditions in Havanese dogs that can cause them to suddenly limp. Painful conditions like IVDD, dislocations, nerve injuries, elbow, and hip dysplasia, and more can cause serious discomfort in our canine friends, causing changes in their normal gait.
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Is The Limping Acute or Chronic?
If your Havanese is limping, it’s important to be aware of whether this is a sudden issue or if it has developed over time. While either option should still be taken seriously, this can be an important tool for your veterinarian when determining the possible cause.
A limp with gradual onset will usually point to underlying chronic conditions, while an acute limp usually points to a sudden injury of some sort. While this is not always the case, the onset of the symptoms can help to point your vet in the right direction.
No matter how sudden your dog’s limp is, it always warrants immediate concern. A dog will limp due to being in pain, meaning they will benefit from medical intervention to offer them some relief.
When To See The Vet For Your Limping Havanese
If your Havanese is walking abnormally, you may wonder when it’s time to take them to the vet. Humans tend to nurse their injuries on their own after they occur, so can you do the same for your pup as well?
When determining if your pup requires an immediate trip to the vet or not, there are a few things to consider. The most important factors to examine are how the injury occurred, how long your Havanese has been limping, how much pain they appear to be in, and any other factors that make this an emergency.
For example, if your Havanese has a mild limp that seems to come and go throughout the day, you may be able to simply cage rest your pup and examine their symptoms the next day. On the other hand, if your Havanese is unable to put any weight on the limb and the area is sensitive to the touch, this would warrant an immediate vet visit.
If your dog is unable to put any weight on the limb or has been limping longer than 24 hours, it is time to visit the vet. This is especially true if you can tie the event to a certain trauma or if you see a wound of any sort on the leg or paw.
To help you better understand when it is time to take a trip to the vet, let’s list the signs of a limp that requires immediate attention. You should contact your vet if your pup has any of the following symptoms.
- Limping that has persisted for more than 24 hours
- Limping that has worsened throughout the day
- Limping as a result of various trauma
- Limping with the presence of any wounds, lacerations, or insect stings
- Inability to put any weight on the limb
- Crying out when you touch the affected limb
- Limping in a dog that has chronic medical conditions
- Limping accompanied by any other abnormal symptoms
The best solution is simply contacting your vet from the moment the limping begins. They can advise you over the phone on whether or not they suggest coming in and how you can offer them comfort at home.
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How To Help Your Havanese At Home
If your vet thinks your pup does not need to be seen immediately, there is a way to help them at home. While we may not be able to offer them any over-the-counter pain relief, there is one solution that can help tremendously; strict rest.
If you have ever sprained your ankle, you know the best way to heal is by resting the limb. Our Havanese pups require the same care with any sudden injuries, but they will often need some help in doing so.
Havanese dogs are known to be hyper, meaning they will often be unwilling to rest on their own. Limping dogs will often require strict cage rest for at least 3-5 days after the onset of limping, as this will force them to rest and heal.
The best way to help your limping Havanese is by confining them to a small area to rest and making sure they only go outside for short potty breaks. You should avoid any playtime, exercise, or any other activities until the use of their limb returns to normal.
If your pup has stopped limping after 3-5 days of rest, you can gradually introduce them to their normal activity again. However, if they are still limping after their cage rest, it is time to visit your vet for further diagnostics.
Your Havanese may be limping for multiple reasons. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can find the best plan of action for your limping pup!
Thank you for reading! Check out our other Havanese Articles!
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