A pulled muscle, also known as strain, occurs when a muscle is overextended or torn due to exhaustion, overuse, or improper use of the muscle. On the other hand, a sprain occurs when there is a damage to the ligament as a result of the joint associated with the ligament is taken beyond its full range of motion. Sprains in dogs can transpire in any joint but are most frequently experienced in the dog’s knee, hock, and carpus. It is often wrongly assumed that sprain and strain can be used interchangeably but that is not the case as they mean completely different things. Sprains occur in ligaments (bone to bone connectors), while strains occur in tendons (muscle to bone connectors).
There are some common dog leg sprain symptoms. They include limping, loss of appetite, pain, reddened joints, swollen joints, swollen paws, and excessive licking on joints or legs. Sprained leg in a dog will make it reluctant to put its weight on the leg. Sprained ankle on a dog will make the dog walk very gingerly.
A ligament strain is usually diagnosed after careful examination of the pet as well as an evaluation of the gait. It is usual for this evaluation to be carried out with a stance analyzer. A stance analyzer evaluates the amount of weight borne by each leg to determine which leg is affected accurately.
The veterinarian will usually start with the toes and nails and progressively manipulate all the joints of the feet while observing the dog’s countenance for signs of discomfort.
A sprained paw dog is likely to wince when the affected paw is touched. The vet will work their way up the foot, feeling each joint for swelling or abnormal angle of use. Comparisons of both feet might also reveal slight differences. A dog sprained wrist and dog sprained front leg will be easily noticed by the well-trained eyes of the vet. Sprains are followed by pain and swelling due to the increased production of fluid in the joint.
Ultrasound works for conditions that involve differences in water density, and because torn ligaments have higher content, it shows on the ultrasound.
Treatment for dog sprained leg
Joints with acute swelling can initially benefit from cold therapy and reduced activity level. Anti-inflammatory medications are also beneficial. Support bandages or splints for six to 10 weeks could also be necessary to guard the ligament during the healing process.
Unstable joints with torn ligaments require surgical stabilization. Ligaments are short, located inside the joint, and difficult to access without opening the joint itself. Stabilization of the joint, therefore, requires artificial implants to mimic the action of the ligaments. Unfortunately, these implants can have secondary complications like infection, and that they fail at a high rate.
Stem cell therapy for pets
Stem cell therapy for dogs and cats has been shown to supply better results than surgery. Stem cell treatment for dogs involves the injection of Stem cells into the body to repair joints, ligaments, and muscles that have been damaged by arthritis or injury
Can A Sprain Heal On Its Own?
Absolutely. It is very common for dogs to make a full recovery from a sprained leg on their own, especially if their activity is reduced.
Dog sprained leg recovery time
The recovery period it takes for a sprain to heal is approximately six weeks.