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Is your dog limping? Chances are it’s not their leg but their back.

One of the most common reasons a dog comes into Arfit is because they are limping. One might assume that since they are picking up a leg, the leg must be the problem. These dogs are frequently diagnosed with hip dysplasia or a CCL/ligament tear. Surgery may be recommended. They are prescribed rest and medication which in some cases resolves the limping. Often times the limp returns after several weeks or months and becomes more severe. This time the medication doesn’t work and physical therapy treatment is sought as an alternative to surgery. 

These conditions return because the actual cause was never treated. The limp was the compensatory effect of low back pain. Just like with people when your back hurts you stop putting pressure on the leg on the painful side. Dogs do the same thing and shift their weight off the painful side. This can result in atrophy and stiffness in the lumbar spine and the leg on the painful side. They can also suffer from muscle strains and sprains of the unaffected side due to overuse. This common cause is almost always overlooked at the vet. Unless the tightness and discomfort in the low back is treated, the limp will return. At Arfit, we are experts at locating the source of discomfort, treating the pain and inflammation and preventing it from returning.

Before Surgery, come to Arfit.

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