When a dog's leg is swollen from an infection, it is important to treat it quickly and correctly. Infection can cripple your dog and even prove fatal if it gets into the animal's blood stream, causing sepsis, or blood poisoning. Knowing how important it is to treat your dog's swollen, infected leg is the first necessary step in treatment. Treating a canine's swollen leg due to infection can be tedious and requires tender loving care.
Take your dog to the vet immediately if its leg is swollen. The vet can help determine the cause of the infection and may prescribe antibiotics, which are necessary in helping your dog recover.
Follow your vet's orders regarding the administration of medicines and antibiotics while your dog recovers. During this time, your dog may experience side effects from the antibiotics and painkillers if they are prescribed. Monitor your pet for signs of serious adverse reactions. If serious reactions outlined by the vet occur, you must contact him or her for further treatment.
Keep your dog comfortable. A swollen leg is painful and it is hard for your dog to put weight on it if it is very swollen. Keeping your dog in a comfortable and padded area such as a pet bed is a good idea. Limit your dog's activity to letting it outside only to relieve itself.
Observe your dog's leg for signs of improvement or worsening. For example, if you see red lines or blotches on the skin, this could be a sign of sepsis and you must contact your vet immediately.
Keep any wounds on your dog's leg clean and free of debris. Rub an antibiotic cream on the wound to aid in healing. Warm saline solutions not only keep wounded areas clean, but also help draw out the infection.
Contact your vet before using any over-the-counter creams for healing infected wounds.
Limit your pet's intake of food and water slightly while it is on antibiotics. This is because antibiotics tend to upset the stomach. Reduce the food by 1/4 if your dog is used to a rich diet.
- K9 Wellbeing: Treatment and symptoms of dog leg injuries
- Marvista Vet: Leg swelling
- What's wrong with my dog?: A pet owner's guide to 150 symptoms - and what to do about them; Jake Tedaldi; 2007
- The first aid companion for dogs and cats; Amy Shojai; 2001
- Dog owner's home veterinary handbook; Beth Adelman; 2007