According to Newman Veterinary, acute lameness caused by an injury and chonic lameness caused by an ongoing condition are both very common in dogs. No matter what the cause, a lame dog needs proper care to keep it comfortable and cure or manage the underlying problem. There are several steps involved to provide the lame dog with the best care for its specific condition.
Take your lame dog to a veterinarian to get a diagnosis. Before you can treat its lameness properly, you have to know the cause and whether it is an acute or chronic condition. For an acute condition, treatment will be aimed at curing it. For a chronic condition, you will focus on treating the symptoms.
Administer any prescribed medications according to the veterinarian's instructions. For an acute problem like an infection in the paw, you will most likely be giving drugs such as antibiotics to clear it up. For a chronic condition like arthritis, you will control symptoms with drugs like painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications.
Follow the veterinarian's recommendations for exercise. Some types of lameness in dogs can be improved through more exercise. For others, moving and walking can cause more harm. If your dog needs to rest its leg, you may need to confine it in a room or cage. If it needs to move, you will need to take it out for walks as directed.
Monitor the lameness to see if there is any change. Whether the cause is acute or chronic, treatment may need to be adjusted if there is no improvement or the problem seems to be getting worse. If the dog seems to be more comfortable and you see signs of healing, you will know that you're using the right treatment.
Bring the dog in for regular check-ups as recommended by the veterinarian. If the dog has an acute condition, the follow-up will ensure that the problem has healed properly. For a chronic condition, regular monitoring will ensure that the condition is being managed properly and doesn't get worse.
According to Newman Veterinary, in addition to using drugs, some veterinarians recommend natural supplements for certain types of dog lameness. If you are interested in natural treatment, ask your vet about those options.