Our four-legged friends stand on their toes, ankles in the air, knees forward. Imagine doing that all day and youâll have a better idea of the weight and stress your dog puts on his muscles and joints. It takes lots of energy, strength, and flexibility to chase squirrels, scratch behind ears, wrestle with playmates, jump on beds, and leap for toys.
Every now and then dogs overdo it, asking just too much of their front legs (shoulders, elbows, wrists, and toes) or back legs (hips, knees, ankles, and toes). Sprains and strains are common injuries. If you hear your dog yelp, they may need your help.
Strains injure tendons that link muscles and bones. This can happen if your dog stretches too far, too much, or too often. Athletic dogs get strains, but this injury also can happen when a dog slips, falls, or jumps during normal play. In dogs, strains are common in the hips and thighs.
Sprains harm the ligaments that connect bones, which causes joint damage. Sprains can happen to hunting dogs who jump hurdles, as well as to the average dog who may hurt himself taking a hard landing off the couch, or even by something as simple as stepping in a hole. The wrist and knee are common joints for dogs to sprain. One of the most serious injuries is a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which connects the bones of the knee.
The first warning sign of strains or sprains may be that your dog starts to limp or is suddenly lame, meaning they canât use their leg. If this lasts more than a day or so, or if it happens again and again, itâs time for a visit to the vet.
Both strains and sprains can be chronic (ongoing) or acute (sudden), and can range from mild to severe. Your vet will figure out what kind of injury your dog has based on what you tell them and the results of a physical exam and tests. Theyâll want to know when you first noticed a change. You should explain:
The vet will check your dogâs muscles and joints. Theyâll look the dogÂ over first, then touch and press on certain points to see if theyâre sore, warm, swollen, or out of place. Theyâll want to see him walk, sit, and lie down. They may take X-rays or do an MRI or ultrasound to get a look at damage that canât be seen from the outside. X-rays show problems with bones. The other kinds of s are better for seeing tissue damage.
It takes the same kinds of things to get your dog back on four feet as it would take to get you back on two.
Your vet will decide how to treat your dog based on whether they have a strain or a sprain, and just how bad it is. Theyâll likely try to avoid surgery as a first line of treatment unless a tendon or ligament is torn.
Surgery is in order for otherwiseÂ healthy dogs that donât get better, keep injuring themselves, or have a torn tendon or ligament. If your vet didnât do an MRI or ultrasound the first time around, they may want to see these s before doing surgery.
Depending on the type of surgery, youâll need to keep your dog quiet and limit his activity for a week or longer. The vet may use a bandage or brace to support the joint. If your dog moves too much or too soon after surgery, they could re-injure himself. Physical therapy can help them get back to being active at the right pace.
Whether your dog has injured themselves before or you just want to keep them from getting a strain or sprain, make sure they stay at a healthy weight and get regular exercise. Obesity and inactivity make these injuries more likely.
Why has my veterinarian applied a bandage or splint to my dog?
Bandages and splints protect the underlying tissues from self-trauma such as licking, which will delay healing and may promote infection.
Bandages are mainly used to protect a wound, incision, or injury while it is healing. A bandage protects the wound surface from contamination with dirt or debris from the environment. It may be used to cover a layer of topical medication that was applied to the wound, preventing the medication from being rubbed or licked off. In some cases, a bandage is used to hold an injured part against another part of the body, such as bandaging an injured ear to the head, or bandaging an injured or broken toe to the other toes on the foot.
Splints are used to provide protection and support to an injured area. They serve the same protective functions as a bandage does and have the additional benefit of preventing movement of the injured part. If a splint is used to support a fractured bone, it will be applied so that it immobilizes both the joint above and the joint below the fracture.
What Is A Sprain?
Before proceeding any further with a discussion on how to wrap a dog’s leg for sprain, we first need to know what exactly a sprain is.
As it turns out, a sprain is an injury in which the ligaments that join bones are hurt.
In each of the dog’s legs, there are two long bones, namely the tibia and fibula. Connecting these bones are ligaments. It is these ligaments that get hurt, when a dog has a sprain.
There are other ligaments, besides the one that is between the tibia and fibula. When there is tearing or even stretching of these ligaments, the end result is a sprain.
In all cases, whether it is a case of a dog leg sprain, dog sprained paw or dog sprained wrist, the underlying mechanism is that of ligament injury.
Thus while figuring out how to deal with a sprained paw in dogs or how to deal with a dog ankle sprain, it is important to understand the underlying mechanism.
In essence, the dog leg sprains when the ligaments in it tear or simply stretch unnaturally.
Similarly, in a dog paw sprain (wherever there is a sprained dog paw), the underlying problem is ligament tear/stretch.
This basic fact can come in handy later, while learning exactly how to wrap a dog’s leg for sprain.
So the end goal (in wrapping) is to get the ligament to heal. That is because whether it is a dog sprained ankle case or a sprained paw dog case, the core problem is that the ligaments are injured.
Understanding how to wrap a dog’s leg for sprain can be quite hard, if you don’t comprehend the underlying problem.
Should You Wrap A Dog’s Sprained Leg?
Just before the how to wrap a dog’s leg for sprain question typically comes this one: on whether, in the first place, you should wrap the leg.
So you will often find someone asking, should I wrap my dog’s sprained leg? Or can I wrap my dog’s sprained leg at home?
More broadly, my dog sprained her leg what can I do? Is wrapping proper?
Indeed, is it proper to wrap a dog’s sprained leg?
The answer is ‘yes’. If, for instance, you wrap with a towel dampened with warm water, that can promote blood flow in the area. It can also provide pain relief, while relaxing the muscles.
On the other hand, if you wrap with a towel containing ice packs, that can provide pain relief. It can also lessen the swelling, and accelerate healing.
Thus in the context of how to take care of a dog’s sprained leg, wrapping is often ideal.
While learning how to treat dog with sprained leg, this aspect of wrapping is essential.
In fact, most tutorials on how to treat dog leg sprain focus a great deal on this aspect of wrapping.
And if you research on subjects like puppy sprained leg treatment and dog leg pain home remedies, you keep on coming across the wrapping theme.
There are those who ask, can I ace bandage wrap my puppy’s broken leg? And the answer is that ice bandaging can be helpful even as you organize to rush it to a vet.
Another common question here is: can you wrap a dog’s leg for support? So this is in the context of splitting. But because of its complexity, it is best to have a vet do the splinting.
Should you wrap a dog’s sprained leg?
How do you wrap a dog’s sprain?
- Give your dog nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease inflammation. …
- Apply an ice pack or heating pad.
- Make sure your dog rests. …
- Walk your dog on a leash, taking it slowly at first.
How do you treat a sprained leg on a dog at home?
Will a dog’s sprained leg heal on its own?