Q:

How do you care for a dog with a sprained leg?

A:

Quick Answer

To care for a dog with a sprained leg, reduce inflammation with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, use a heating pad or ice pack, and give the dog enough rest, according to WebMD. While on walks, the dog needs to go slowly.

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Full Answer

Talk to your veterinarian to find out if the dog actually has a sprained leg or if it is just a strain, as WebMD advises. The veterinarian performs an examination and provides a home care plan for the dog. Veternarians may suggest massaging the leg gently on a regular basis or putting the dog on a strict diet. Some dogs also need additional support with a lace brace, which holds the joint in place during the recovery process.

An important part of recovery for a dog with a sprained leg is getting adequate rest, notes WebMD. If the dog is active and hyper, try to calm it down and keep it sedentary. Since injured dogs still need some exercise, start with underwater physical therapy or very slow and gentle walks, and be careful about the type of ground the dog walks on when it has a leg injury.

Surgery is sometimes necessary, according to WebMD. If the leg doesn't heal or results in a torn ligament or tendon, the veterinarian might recommend surgery.

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