While standing on their hind legs, our four-legged pets raise their paws in the air and bend their knees backward. To get a sense of how much stress your dog’s muscles and joints take, consider trying that all day. Sounds hectic, isn’t it! To hunt squirrels, tussle with buddies, climb on beds and jump for toys, you need a great deal of energy, stamina, and flexibility. Imagine it for your furry friend!
It’s not uncommon for dogs to put too much strain on their front or hind legs by overdoing it. A typical type of injury is a sprain or a strain. So, think of the activities to do with your dog at home. A yelp could be a sign that your dog needs your assistance.
Difference between Sprains and Strains
Are you also confused with these words? Although the words seem similar, they have different meanings.
A strain injures muscle-bone tendons. Too much or too regularly stretching can cause this. Strains occur when dogs slide, tumble, or jump during typical play. Hip and thigh strains are frequent in dogs. Sprains induce ligament injury, causing joint damage. Both hunting and house dogs are at risk, as well as dogs that suffer sprains after falling awkwardly on the sofa or even after walking in an open hole. Dogs commonly sprain their wrists and knees. Torn cranial cruciate ligaments (CCLs) are the most devastating knee injuries. Indoor activities with dogs and outdoor activities to do with your dog both matter equally to avoid it.
Pet owners often ask the vet if their pet can have sprained ankle?
Think of yourself; ankles carry most of the body weight. Humans’ most common injury is an ankle sprain, and it’s no surprise. Amazing! Nevertheless, the distribution of a dog’s weight is unusual. Dogs are more prone to knee sprains than ankle sprains because their hind legs carry the burden of the weight of their bodies.
When the cruciate ligament in a dog’s knee is ruptured or partially torn, it’s one of the most prevalent orthopedic issues among dogs. It is most common in dogs between two and four, but it can harm dogs of any size. Choosing the activities to do with dogs is crucial in steps towards healthiness.
Dog Sprain Symptoms
Based on the intensity of the sprain, the following signs and symptoms may suggest a sprained ankle:
- Licking the joints or legs in an excessive manner
- Appetite loss.
- Reddened joints
- Fear of putting weight on a paw or limb
- Inflamed joints
- Swollen paws
There are several similarities between the symptoms of muscle strains, minor fractures, deterioration of the bones, and even malignant illnesses such as sprains. To figure out the best course of action, having a veterinary specialist confirm your pet’s condition is quite helpful.
The most frequent sprain in dogs is a leg sprain, generally involving the wrist or elbow, but occasionally the shoulder and hip joints. Sprains, on the other hand, can occur everywhere a ligament exists. Neck and back sprains are far less common, which can be quite painful for your pet. This form of injury is more common in breeds like the Dachshund and German Shepherd with long, straight backs. Tail sprains can make your dog’s tail seem limp, while jaw sprains can make it difficult for your dog to eat or chew. Think of activities to do with your dog to help relieve stress.
Sprains in Dogs: What Causes Them?
Trauma or injury is the most common cause of soft tissue damage, such as sprains and strains. Traumatic events, such as car accidents or dog fights, as well as everyday occurrences, such as tripping and falling or making an overzealous leap, can all result in this. Sprains are more common in fast-growing breeds, and dogs with long backs are more prone to back and neck strains.
Detection and Diagnosis of Dog Sprains
A veterinarian should be seen as soon as a pet shows signs of more than a minor sprain, and even moderate limping should be handled if it persists for longer than 48 hours. Many of the symptoms of muscle strains and injury, minor fractures, bone deterioration, and even cancer can be confused, which is why imaging is frequently required to make the distinction. As part of the first examination, your veterinarian will focus on the joints and muscles of your pet. Fractures and osteoarthritis are often ruled out using radiographs (x-rays), which provide a clearer picture of the joint and surrounding bone. Using an arthroscope, the doctor can see the ligaments around the injured joint up close. It is possible to do surgery on the joint using an endoscope via arthroscopy. After the veterinarian has assessed the sprain, she will assign it one of 3 grades:
- Grade I: The ligament is partially ripped, and the joint is still functioning. There is considerable swelling and discomfort, but the dog can typically walk after the injury.
- Grade II: Swelling and tearing of the ligament have caused significant damage; the dog may still be able to walk, but it will be difficult, and the joint will only function to a limited extent.
- Grade III: The ligament is badly injured or ripped, the bones may not be intact, the dog is hesitant to put a load on the paw.
It is more dangerous than just straining the limb, yet most dogs recover from spraining their leg. Convincing their energetic and active dogs to relax for the six-week healing period is the biggest challenge for many pet owners. There is a danger of re-injury if it does not completely heal. Make sure to follow your vet’s instructions and limit your pet’s activities, even if that involves cage rest, to avoid long-term ligament damage. Your vet will recommend fall activities to do with your dog and to break the monotony some fun activities to do with your dog at home until recovery. Actions to play with dogs will help them recover fast as they will feel energetic and active.
Ankle Sprain Symptoms
Learn about your dog’s anatomy
When a dog stands or walks, it does it on its toes. Toes and knees are visible while a dog is standing. When you stand up on your toes, you’ll find yourself in a position comparable to that of your ankle.
Like the lack of ankles on your arms, dogs lack them on their front legs. The treatment for other sprains on the front legs is the same.
Identify the causes of an ankle injury
Dog athletic ability is common. As a result of the physical exertion, they may suffer an injury to their joints. An excessive amount of movement, such as running, jumping, or making fast rotations, can strain a joint.
Dogs’ joints may take a lot of strain even if they’re not as active as others. Slipping or falling, walking in a hole, or even leaping on from the sofa can all cause a sprain. A sprain can result from any of these factors.
Keep an eye out for limping
A limping gait most often recognizes ankle sprains in the injured back leg. Sprains cause dogs to attempt not to weigh the injured leg. In more severe cases, the dog may be unable to use one of its legs at all. Other common causes of hind-leg lameness should be considered. Hip, knee, and foot injuries can also cause limping.
Look for an injury
Ankle sprains can cause swelling and redness, so keep an eye out for these symptoms. When your dog is licking the region, you may also note that it does so often.
Watch for behavioral indicators
A dog’s natural behavior may be altered if it is hurt. Look for changes that might indicate an injury, such as appetite shifts that can be seen in decreased food intake—reducing one’s level of activity, for example, by sleeping more or exercising less. Injured people may make noises such as groaning, barking, and whimpering when their ankles are touched or moved.
How to Calm Your Active Dog While Recovering
Make sure you understand your dog’s limitations
To begin, get your dog’s capabilities evaluated by a veterinarian. Two-hour hikes in woods with her canine companions will have to delay till she recovers, but it is still a daily leash walk of ten minutes, okay? Is she able to swim? Are stairwells off-limits?
Give your dog a mental challenge
Keep yourself and your dog happy by exercising her mind, not her body, when you can’t offer her the physical activity she needs. There are a variety of ways to engage in mental training. Get active with your dog. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your dog if you put in the time to teach your pet some basic manners. You may reward your dog’s obedience by awarding her with the best treats, toys, a walk outside, or even a belly massage. It’s a terrific way to keep your dog engaged while she’s in quarantine, and it’s a great incentive.
Make your dog learn new tricks
Using tricks to stimulate your dog’s brain is a fun approach to keep both of you engaged. Many dogs get fatigued just from learning new tricks, even if they don’t engage in physical activity. The ones I like best are the crawl and spin. If you pick tricks that don’t jeopardize your dog’s recovery, you should be good to go.
Make mental exercises a part of eating routine
Feed your dog in a manner that indeed entertained her rather than simply setting a dish down next to her. So long as she must struggle to obtain her food out of Kong’s, Goodies, or Buster Cubes, she’ll be happy. Try loobani’s smart treat toys at https://loobani.com/. Mental activities to do with your dog are one significant factor towards recovery.
What are the best games for active dogs with an ankle injury?
The game gets increasingly challenging as the dog improves, making it ideal for canines with restricted mobility. Begin by hiding a small nutritious reward on the floor in a plastic cup and letting your dog watch you do it. It’s pretty okay if they sniff or knock the cup over, so just let them consume what’s lurking within.
Now that your dog has learned this trick go ahead, and use three cups and rub the treat all over them. It is like a visual tracking game, so don’t let your pup use their nose to cheat! Tiny cheaters! Make a row of cups and conceal the reward beneath one of them, showing your dog. Then let them consume the treat when they finally knock over the proper cup.
The mind-stimulating benefits of puzzle games can’t be overstated when it comes to helping your dog heal from surgery recuperation time. Most pet shops like https://loobani.com/ now offer a range of games, which require your dog to solve a difficulty before receiving a reward. Suitable activities with your dog will give your dog a speedy recovery.
Using a food-dispensing gadget is a great way to convert a three-second snack into a more engaging pastime. These toys may be filled with canned dog food, kibble, or nutritious “human foods” like yogurt or pureed pumpkin to keep your dog amused for a long time. Once they’ve gotten their hands on the treats, they may keep playing with the toys. Group activities with dogs with injuries might make them more enthusiastic.
In the healing process, never underestimate the importance of a loving touch. Purposeful touch may help lift your dog’s spirits during their healing process while improving circulation and lymphatic flow, reducing tension and anxiety, relieving pain, and relaxing their body and mind.
Dogs recovering from injury or illness may benefit significantly from the canine massage treatment. You may be able to learn massage methods from your veterinarian to speed up your pet’s recovery.
Durable chew treats and toys
Many pet owners choose to chew toys and treats as a safe alternative to rawhide because they keep their pets occupied for more extended periods. As always, if you’re going to reward your dog, make sure you don’t go overboard.
It is a simple approach that can go a long way toward preventing your dog from becoming bored while they are recovering. Dogs thrive on novelty and variety, so be sure to rotate their toys frequently.
Change of climate
Having to stare at the same walls all day, every day, for the duration of your dog’s rehabilitation, will grow old fast if you keep them in a crate or exercise pen. So, switch things up! Please keep your dog’s vision fresh and fascinating by placing new objects in their field of sight. This might be anything from houseplants to works of art to furniture. Relocate their container or exercise pen if feasible.
Ankle Sprain Treatment
Ensure that your dog gets proper rest
Sprain treatment begins with rest. You’ll have to limit your dog’s activities to ensure he gets adequate sleep. It’s best to confine the dog to a place where it won’t be able to run about or play. Dogs that aren’t very energetic are better candidates for this test.
A short leash can be used to take your dog outside. Take it easy and stroll. The dog’s activities should be restricted for two days to allow the damage to heal.
Use an ice pack
A 10- to the 15-minute application of an ice pack can reduce swelling, alleviate discomfort, and expedite the healing process. You may protect your dog’s skin by covering the ice pack with a towel. Wait at least two hours in between applications and repeat as necessary. This will slow down the healing process if used in excess. The ankle can be cooled using an ice pack made from frozen vegetables like peas. Ensure that the injured tissue is treated uniformly and thoroughly by using an ice pack.
They were using an ice pack on a dog with a long-standing or recurring ailment. At this point in an injury, moist heat should be used. The relaxing effects of heat include increased blood flow and a reduction in muscular tension. Use a dryer or microwave to warm damp cloth before applying it to the skin. Avoid getting burned by using a warm cloth. Apply heat for between 10 and 15 minutes. Reapply once a minimum of an hour has passed. Immediately following a workout, avoid using a heat therapy product.
Keep an eye out for indicators of improvement or weakening
Watch for indicators of improvement or deterioration over the 48-hour rest interval. Most ankle sprains may be healed with rest and proper treatment. Consult your veterinarian if the limb does not get better within 48 hours or worsen. In some cases, a secondary injury may be preventing the patient from making a full recovery. X-rays and a comprehensive physical examination are required if the damage is severe enough to necessitate them, such as in the case of fractures or dislocations.
Dog Sprain and Strain Prevention
As a pet owner, you can keep even the most energetic dog healthy by taking a few precautions and feeding them good food for their joints. What you want and need to know is as follows:
- Make sure that you don’t overdo new physical activity with the dog. Begin slowly and gradually with exercises like running and dock diving.
- It’s essential to provide your dog with a diet that promotes joint health. Naturally sourced snacks like tendon chews, collagen sticks, and bully sticksinclude glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in the healing and regenerating damaged joints.
- Encourage your dog to be active. Active dogs are less likely to suffer from joint problems because of a lack of lubrication and stronger muscles to support their joints.
- Maintain a healthy weight for your dog. As a result, the joints aren’t put under as much stress.