Why Is My Dog Limping On And Off For Months? Explained

Why Is My Dog Limping On And Off For Months? Explained

There are some habits of our pets that we tend not to notice after seeing them so many times. But, what if we tell you that these habits, which we usually ignore, might become severe health conditions in our furry friends one day? Yes. That could happen. So, I ask you now, have you ever been ignoring your dog limping on and off for months? Did you ever know there could be a health issue waiting for the right time to blast out?

So, why is your dog limping on and off for months? It’s called Gradual Onset Limping. This limping is caused by a dormant degenerative or chronic condition. Two of the most common diseases which cause gradual onset limping are osteoarthritis and dysplasia. Because this limping happens over a stretched period, you should definitely book an appointment with the vet when you notice.

Let’s find out more in-detail!

Why Is My Dog Limping On And Off For Months? 

Sometimes when a dog does something over a long period, such as limp occasionally, we put it aside, thinking it’s just a bad habit of our doggo.

But there are some severe illnesses, such as Bone Cancer, Osteoarthritis, and Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

These could eventually cease your doggo’s movements if not treated at the first possible chance.

It might not come out all at once but will make your pet uncomfortable sometimes, which is why they limp.

Rather than neglecting it, if you seek medical advice early, it could mean a reduced risk of anything serious from happening. 

How Long Should A Limp Last In A Dog?

It’s understandable if your poach is limping due to an injury on his foot. Therefore he’ll be continuously limping as long as the damage is healed or the pain subsides.

Wouldn’t you limp if you have a wound on your sole? The same theory applies to claw injuries as well. 

There’s another time when our pooches start limping out of order, after a long, vigorous, and exhausting playtime or exercise routine.

If he’s out of breath and tired, and his limbs might start paining from all the running he did, your beloved little friend will have no other way to walk other than limp. 

But, this should stop quickly. As soon as the pet is not tired anymore and the pains in his legs are wiped off, your doggo will start walking fine once again. This limp should not be there for more than a few minutes. 

Moreover, if your dog is limping on and off for months without reason, there must be red lights flashing in your mind.

If you seek expert advice sooner rather than later, any dangerous, life-threatening diseases like cancer can be diagnosed.

If you start medication as early as possible, these illnesses could be kept in line. So, please don’t neglect and set aside on and off limping in your doggo. 

How Do I Know If My Dog Limping Is Serious?

As I explained earlier, if your dog is limping for no visible reason, it means that there should be something happening internally.

If he’s not tired or doesn’t have any bruises or wounds on any of his legs, there’s no need to limp other than for internal pains, which no one can see.

Let’s see what kind of illnesses can cause these on and off crawls in your puppy.

  • Bone Cancer 

Osteosarcoma is very common among dogs. Many pooches lose their lives because of this cancer. It’s very subtle but spreads fast inside the doggo’s body.

It could start as a painful or swollen patch in one of the canine’s legs. Lameness, whimpering, limping, and licking the infected area are much common symptoms of this horrible disease. 

In this, too, you will notice your dog limping on and off for months. Because this spreads fast, you need to do the necessary medical checkups early and start medication.

This type of cancer is indeed hard to remove through surgery. Even though cancer is tough to cure, early medication will at least buy more time for your beloved dog. 

  • Osteoarthritis

This illness, too, has no cure till this date. But if diagnosed early, its growth could be maintained. In this case, your doggo will start limping suddenly when the pain in his legs is surfacing.

But, treatment is mandatory, or else. However, there’s no danger to the pet’s life, he could lose his ability to move forever. 

  • Hip Or Elbow Dysplasia 

Hip or elbow dysplasia is a hereditary illness. Since he was a puppy, his growth would deplete, causing hip or elbows not to develop properly.

If the ball and socket of hips and elbows don’t fit properly, your pet’s movements will be challenged. 

You’ll notice limping in your dog from a very early age. But this could be prevented if you maintain a healthy diet and a proper exercise routine.

Further, there’s no other cure for this other than surgery. It will be a total hip/elbow replacement most of the time.

Can A Dog Have A Permanent Limp?

Yes. If you fail to get proper medication for the doggo’s limping, it could be hard to cure whatever illness that’s causing him to limp.

Diseases like osteoarthritis and hip or elbow dysplasia will result in permanent limps if they are not appropriately treated. 

Even though these can not be permanently cured, at least medication will cover up the pain that originated from them.

Because dogs are primarily limping because of the pain, we could safely assume that it will temporarily cease the limp if the pain is not there. 

So is your dog limping on and off for months now? Then I urge you not to neglect this anymore and seek medication for your innocent pet as soon as possible.

After all, all three of the diseases I explained above are painful to your beloved pet. And as pet parents, we don’t like seeing animals suffering in pain.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

Similar Posts