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Why is My Dog Limping on Her Back Right Paw and Should I Visit the Vet?


Dear VetBabble,

My dog seems to be limping on her back right paw. Occasionally, she will be fine one minute and then the next, she is limping and she won’t walk on it. I’m getting concerned. What could be the problem and should I take her to the vet?

Understanding and Addressing Your Dog’s Limping

Dear concerned pet owner, it’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s wellbeing, especially when you notice unusual behavior like limping. In your case, it seems like your dog, Molly, is experiencing some discomfort in her back paw. The underlying cause could range from a foreign object lodged in her paw to a more severe issue such as a broken bone or strained ligament. It’s natural for you and other pet owners to worry in such situations, so let’s explore some common reasons for limping in dogs and the best course of action to ensure their comfort and health.

Most Common Reasons for Limping in Dogs

Various factors can contribute to a dog’s limp, and some common reasons include:

  1. Foreign objects like grass seeds or foxtails stuck in their paw
  2. Paw injuries such as cuts or abrasions
  3. Broken or injured nails, which can be particularly painful for dogs
  4. Sprains or strains in muscles or ligaments
  5. Joint issues, such as arthritis
  6. More severe conditions like a dislocated joint or fractured bone
  7. Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Rupture, which requires surgical intervention

Check out our article on Why Is My Dog Limping? When to Worry and What to Do for a more comprehensive understanding. Limping can also result from excessive paw licking, which can cause inflammation, irritation, or even infection. Read our article about Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws? to get more insights on this behavior.

Recognizing When a Vet Visit is Necessary

As a loving pet owner, it’s crucial to monitor your dog’s behavior to determine whether their limping requires medical attention. I would recommend taking Molly to the vet for a thorough examination – better safe than sorry! The vet can perform a lameness exam, a physical exam, and possibly X-rays to determine the cause of her limping. Once the underlying issue is identified, the appropriate treatment can be provided. In some cases, minor injuries like a broken nail on a dog might require minimal intervention. However, more severe issues, like a Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture in dogs, need urgent, specialized care.

Remember, as pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure our furry friends receive the care and attention they deserve. Monitoring your dog’s behavior, conducting regular checks for any unusual signs, and timely visits to the vet play a vital role in your dog’s overall health and happiness.

Best wishes to you and Molly for a full recovery and many more happy, pain-free days together!

Your warmhearted veterinarian,


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