Can a dog sprain its front leg? Here’s What to Expect

Diagnosis of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

Choosing to self-evaluate, or taking a wait and see approach is not advised due to the complexity of a front leg injury. The resolution of the problem and the elimination of pain is highly important, as is the significance in treating before further (sometimes irreversible) damage happens. Quick and proper diagnosis will involve one or more of the following procedures:

  • Examination – The veterinarian will perform a manipulation of the leg to see the range of motion, comparing it to the noninjured limb.
  • X-Ray – This imaging procedure will show bone fractures, dislocations or misalignments, and abnormal joint movement.
  • Fluoroscopy – This is like an x-ray movie that is used to diagnose the injury while actually having the leg demonstrate a range of motion. The veterinarian may see dislocations, excessive joint openings or abnormal joint motion.
  • MRI – This method of diagnosis can show a ligament sprain, and brachial plexus avulsion (which can result in complete paralysis of the front limb).
  • Causes of Front Leg Injury in Dogs

    Your dog may suffer a front leg injury that will need immediate medical intervention due to various factors; examples being as follows:

  • Extreme traumatic events, like being hit by a car or experiencing a fall
  • Sprains
  • Jumping while at play and causing an injury to the ligaments or joints
  • An injury that occurs as the result of a progressive disease such as arthritis
  • Why Watching for Sprains and Strains is Vital for Your Dog’s Health

    There are numerous reasons to keep an eye out for sprains and strains in your dog. These issues can become chronic over time, especially if they’re not allowed to heal properly. They can also lead to bone degeneration, muscle weakness, and permanent lameness in the limb.

    Other times, a dog can injure another leg by overcompensating for the sprained leg. This can result in your dog becoming nearly immobilized.

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