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Understanding Lameness & Limping

At some point in your pet's life, your dog or cat may experience pain or strain that causes lameness or limping. Paying close attention to your pet's gait can help you understand when your pet needs to see our veterinarian. At Trinity Pet Hospital in Laguna Hills, our dedicated team can diagnose the source of your pet's issue and recommend the care he or she needs to restore optimal function.

Lameness & Limping

How to Recognize Lameness and Limping

You will recognize lameness or limping when your pet avoids using a leg while walking or standing. Subtler signs of lameness and limping include repeatedly licking part of a leg, shifting weight off a sore leg (either when standing or when walking), or noticeable swelling in a leg.

Causes of Lameness and Limping

Lameness and limping in pets can be due to a wide range of conditions. Our veterinarian can assess your pet to understand what is causing its lameness or limping. Common conditions that cause lameness and limping include:

  • Arthritis in one or more joints interferes with a pet's ability to flex and extend a joint. Arthritis in pets is usually due to another condition occurring, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or a ruptured CCL (cranial cruciate ligament).
  • A rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which attaches the shinbone (tibia) to the thighbone femur), can result in knee inflammation and pain.
  • Tumors, both cancerous and benign, can interfere with the normal motion of your pet's legs.
  • Hip dysplasia is a condition caused by abnormal development of the cartilage around the hip joint. As a result, the hip joint becomes loose, allowing the thighbone to slip in and out of the hip socket easily. This condition can lead to chronic limping and pain as well as arthritis.
  • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy, also known as HOD, is a condition that affects large-breed dogs when they are puppies. HOD causes inflammation at the ends of long bones. Dealing with HOD may require consulting with our veterinarian about dieting and other management options.
  • Intervertebral disc disease can cause pain as well as chronic lameness and limping in pets. The most severe cases can result in paralysis if not treated in time.

Contact Us for Lameness or Limping Treatment from Our Veterinarian in Laguna Hills, CA

Lameness and limping aren’t conditions you can treat on your own. Dr. Kerolos offers veterinary care for pets in Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, and surrounding areas at Trinity Pet Hospital. We are dedicated to providing pets the care they need to improve their legs and prevent lameness and limping from reoccurring in the future. Request your appointment by calling us at (949) 768-1314 today. 

Location and Hours

24861 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653


7:00 am - 6:00 pm


7:00 am - 6:00 pm


7:00 am - 6:00 pm


7:00 am - 6:00 pm


7:00 am - 6:00 pm


8:00 am - 3:00 pm



Trinity Pet Hospital


24861 Alicia Pkwy,
Laguna Hills, CA 92653