Sprains Average Cost

From 255 quotes ranging from $500 - 1,000

Average Cost

$600

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What are Sprains?

Sprains are soft tissue injuries that involve damage to a ligament, usually caused by physical trauma to the ligament. This type of injury can occur at any joint although it is most common in the knees, elbows, and ankles in domestic animals, particularly with dogs and horses. Sprains can usually be split into three categories, determined by the amount of damage to the ligament and surrounding tissues. Sprains often present with symptoms that are nearly identical to other disorders, such as muscle strains, minor fractures, and bone degeneration.

Dogs can acquire sprains through physical activity, degeneration of the joints, and traumatic accidents, like car accidents. Sprains have similar symptoms to several other injuries and should be evaluated by a veterinary professional.

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Symptoms of Sprains in Dogs

The symptoms that indicate a sprain can range from barely noticeable to temporarily crippling, depending on the severity of the sprain itself: 

  • Excessive licking on joints or legs
  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Reddened joints
  • Reluctance to put weight on paw or limb
  • Swollen joints
  • Swollen paws

Sprains have many of the same symptoms as muscular strains and damage, minor fractures, bone degeneration, and even cancerous conditions. This makes a confirmation of the condition by a veterinary professional very valuable in determining the correct treatment plan.

Types 

The most common sprain for a dog to develop is a leg sprain, usually in either a wrist or elbow joint, although in some cases, shoulder and hip joints may also be involved. Sprains can develop anywhere a ligament is, however. Sprains in the neck and back can cause your pet a great deal of discomfort, fortunately, are somewhat less common. This type of injury is more likely to occur in dogs with longer backs such as Dachshunds and German Shepherds. Sprains in the tail can cause your dog's tail to appear limp and sprains involving the jaw may make it uncomfortable for your pet to eat or chew.

Causes of Sprains in Dogs

Sprains and other similar damage to soft tissues are most often caused by trauma or injury. This can occur in a traumatic incident such as an automobile accident or a dog fight, or in a more mundane situation such as slipping on ice or simply attempting too ambitious a jump. Fast growing breeds are more prone to sprains of all sorts and dogs with long backs are more likely to develop strains and sprains in the back and neck area.

Diagnosis of Sprains in Dogs

Symptoms of anything more than a mild sprain should be addressed by a veterinarian as soon as possible, and even mild limping should be treated if it lasts more than 48 hours. Muscular strains and damage, minor fractures, bone degeneration, and even cancerous conditions have many of the same symptoms and often requires imaging to differentiate. Your veterinarian will begin with a thorough physical examination, paying particular attention to the joints and musculature. Radiographs (x-rays) will usually be employed to better visualize the joint and the surrounding bone in order to rule out other disorders such as fractures and osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy is an imaging technique that allows the examiner to get a clear visual image of the ligaments of the affected joint. An arthroscopy is a surgical procedure, performed by inserting an endoscope into the joint using a small incision. Once the veterinarian has evaluated the sprain she will give it one of three grades:

  • Grade I - Only a minor part of the ligament is torn and the joint is still functional; some swelling and pain are evident, but the dog usually is able to walk
  • Grade II - A larger part of the ligament is torn or stretched, and severe swelling is occurring; the dog may be able to walk but will have some lameness and difficulty, and the joint is only partially functional
  • Grade III - The most severe grade of sprain, in which the ligament is severely damaged or completely torn; bones may not remain intact, and the dog will be unlikely to put any weight on the paw

Treatment of Sprains in Dogs

There are some steps that you should take while you are contacting your dog’s doctor, such as placing an ice pad on the affected area to help reduce pain and swelling and making sure that the animal doesn’t aggravate the injury any further. Grade I sprains generally only need minimal care, although they can take several weeks to heal correctly. They are often splinted to prevent movement, and anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed, but the joint generally heals fully. 

Grade II sprains also require a splint and anti-inflammatory medication, but due to the more severe trauma may also need corrective surgery. Most grade II sprains heal completely, although the healing time may be further extended, particularly if surgery is required. Grade III sprains almost always entail some sort of surgery to remove or repair the torn ligament and if complete healing is accomplished, it will require extensive healing time. Surgery on the ligaments can be either traditional or can be achieved by laser surgery.

Recovery of Sprains in Dogs

If the sprain is minor and does not require surgery, aftercare should be fairly simple. Keep the patient as inactive as possible during the healing period to avoid causing the sprain to reoccur, and continue with the anti-inflammatories as recommended by your veterinarian. After any surgery, it is essential to keep the site clean and free from dirt and debris. You will need to keep your pet from interfering with the site and examine it often over the next two or three weeks for swelling, bleeding or pus. Keeping your recovering companion in a calm, quiet environment will help encourage healing, as will having appropriate food and water within their reach.

Sprains Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Rocky
Boston Terrier
7 Months
Mild condition
2 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Front leg limp

My 7 month old Boston Terrier jumped out of our truck last night (truck was parked). We tried to break his fall put he ultimately landed on his side. He screamed right after the fall, but became active and seemed normal fairly quickly after that. He's still jumping around and wanting to play and eat as normal. We did notice a limp when he walks. He does not scream or cry when we touch his legs and he continues to walk on it. Seems like a small sprain. What other symptoms should I look for that would require an x-ray? Also, is there an over the counter anti-inflammatory that can be given in case there is swelling later? So far there is no swelling.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Sometimes, when a dog falls they yelp not due to pain but from shock or surprise of falling and hitting the ground. Dogs are quite stoic animals and don’t show pain if they can help it; but if you are noticing limping, increased breathing, panting or behavioural changes I would recommend that you visit your Veterinarian for a quick examination and a set of x-rays (if the Veterinarian is concerned about a fracture). Plain old baby aspirin is safe to use in dogs at a dose of 5-10mg/lb twice per day but only administer if you believe Rocky is in discomfort. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luna
Boston Terrier
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping on front leg. Swelling in foot and joint

My son picked up my dog because she had got outside and she squirmed out of his arms and fell about 2-3 foot. She yelped a little and has been limping since. I have been wrapping the leg with gauze and a wrap. There has been a little swelling but I am pretty concerned and dont have the money to take her to the vet at this time.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

The biggest concern I would have would be trauma to the growth plates which may cause a bone to stop growing which can lead to limb deformities; pain is normal after a tumble but may also be a sign of some serious damage. Restricting movement would help, but ultimately a visit to your Veterinarian and an x-ray would be best; regardless of cost. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog has been limping for a month now. We took him to the vet last week and was given anti-inflammatory meds. But they are done and he is still limping. The vet said it was his elbow that might be sprained. How long does that take to heal? Should I take him back to the vet? My dog doesn't seem to put any weight on that leg even after all this time.

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Rocky
Dachshund
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

slow movement
Lame

My male 8yr old dashchund is not acting right. He is moving slowly and get up from a laying position weird. Kinda rolls, twists and gets his hind legs up first then slight struggles with the front left one under him. He isn't yelping or exhibiting any pain from his neck, legs or spine. Once he's up aside from moving slow (and even then he gets little bursts) he seems OK. No loss of appetite or anything. I'm not sure if maybe he sprained or strained something and my vet doesn't open until Monday. Any advice? I have dog dose tramadol, NDAIDS, and muscles relaxer Robaxin available for a dog in the same weight class.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
I am unable to recommend the use of prescription medicines without examining a patient first but can offer general advice. It is possible that Rocky has injured his front left leg and struggles to stand up normally; the twisting of the back would generally rule out spinal issues (which would be normal for this breed). I would allow Rocky to rest for a few days and to assist him to stand when he needs to and visit your Veterinarian on Monday; it would also be useful to not give any pain medication so that your Veterinarian can have a drug free patient to examine. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rocky
Chihuahua
10 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My dog has been limping on. It seem it hurts him on he knee on the back leg. He try's to push my hand when I touch him. He was on anti inflammatory and pain killers but he's still not walking on it. We ask put heating blanket when he is sleeping.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
There are a few issues which may affect a dog’s back leg including patellar luxation as well as nerve injury; rest is a good start along with pain management and can take sometime to heal if there is a ligament injury. If there is patellar luxation, this would be a constant problem which may require surgical treatment. Use caution when using heat blankets for dogs as they can overheat easily and lose their hair. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Dillon
Dachshund
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

We have an unusually long-legged mini dachshund who cut the large pad on his right front paw.
Although the cut has healed he now has one of his middle toes sprung upwards when standing, but he does not limp but on occasions licks the area more than normal.
We have put small pressure on the area and there is no reaction but we obviously want to ensure this has no long-term consequences.
Can you let me know what the diagnosis might be and what I can do to treat the problem?
Thanks,
Sue

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
There are various possible issues which may be affecting Dillon’s toe; but if it isn’t causing any pain or limping, I would just keep an eye on it for now and bring up the issue with your Veterinarian at your next visit. An old fracture, dislocation or other injury may be to blame but without an examination and possibly an x-ray I cannot say for sure. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chewy (chubaka)
Maltese
8 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No weight bearing
Limping
swollen butt
Loss of Appetite

My maltese tried to jump on my bed and didnt make it nows hes limping and crying in his sleep when he rolls over the area maybe swollen what should i do? The bones by his tail looks like hes in pain but doesnt cry when i touch down there. And he didnt start limping till 3days after the fall..i really dont have money for a vet. Are there any home remedies to soothe the pain and help him sleep?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Without examining Chewy, I cannot give you any specifics; but it may be a case of allowing him to rest for a few days and restricting his movement. However, if he is in pain it would be best to visit your Veterinarian regardless of cost to make him at least more comfortable and to have a quick check to make sure the injury isn’t too serious. There isn’t really a home remedy I can recommend as I am unaware of the severity of injury because I didn’t examine Chewy, but there are some natural pain relief products available in pet shops or in Walmart which are available without prescription; but a visit to your Veterinarian would be best. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Pups
Golden Retreiver
8.5
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My dog has been limping for a month now. We took him to the vet last week and was given anti-inflammatory meds. But they are done and he is still limping. The vet said it was his elbow that might be sprained. How long does that take to heal? Should I take him back to the vet? My dog doesn't seem to put any weight on that leg even after all this time.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Sprains can take a while to heal, if you have ever sprained an ankle it can feel like forever; strict rest and movement restriction is key if the elbow is sprained to prevent further injury. Recovery time can be around two weeks depending on the severity, but if you have seen no improvement over the past week with rest you should return to your Veterinarian for another examination and possibly an x-ra. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bailey
Cane Corso
4 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No weight bearing
Restless
Crying
uncomfortable

My do is not putting weight on his hind left leg he cries when he tries to lay down, but i have applied pressure to every possible area of his leg and gotten to response from him. He ran away last night while being walked by my son his leash got caught and possibly made him fall while in mid sprint. My son did not see exactly what happened

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

There are various places which may be injured from the spine down to the paw; it can be difficult to see pain in dogs during an examination as they are stoic by nature and hide pain well. Rest is usually a good healer in these types of cases, but I would recommend having Bailey checked over by his Veterinarian to be on the safe side and to get some pain relief as required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you.

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Spanky
French Bulldog
10
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Licking paws
Eating grass

My dog jumped from the bath tub yesterday and slipped and fell. He has had a slight limp since then and keeps licking one of his paws. He does not cry or yelp when I touch him anywhere. He has been eating grass since yesterday but that started before the fall. He will accept treats. He still goes up and down the stairs and is able to jump on the couch without crying (he usually cries if he is hurt). How long should I monitor this before taking him to the vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Dogs are quite stoic animals and will not show pain; try to restrict Spanky’s movement and prevent him from jumping to relieve any discomfort he may have. He may be licking his paw as he is feeling an injury and will typically try to lick it better, try to stop him as too much licking may irritate the skin which may cause another problem. If he is still like this after two or three days, visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rufus
chihuahua pincher
2
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Hi, yesterday my dog (a 2 year-old Chihuahua-Pincher mix) attempted to run after a rabbit on our front yard. He sped down three steps before stopping and screaming in pain. It lasted for a minute to three minutes. As the situation progressed quickly, my brother and I at first believed he was upset at the rabbit getting away but then he kept screaming as we brought him inside the house. We comforted him and saw he was not putting weight on his right rear leg.

I kept an eye on him all night and this morning, he's been using his right rear leg. Although he lifts it up in the grass, there's no other obvious signs of discomfort. I have noticed, however, that he only about half of his breakfast and drank as much water as he usually does. He is resting now again. Thank you for your help in advance.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Dogs, like humans, may get a sprain or pulled muscle during activity; many times rest and relaxation usually helps to resolve these injuries. Other times, dogs injure themselves where they tear ligaments or dislocate joints which is more serious. If there is just small signs of discomfort, try to restrict movement and walk Rufus on a lead for a week or more to see if there is some improvement; if Rufus is in visible pain or you are generally concerned, visit your Veterinarian so that they can check his leg and possibly prescribe some pain relief. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

What can I wrap a dog's leg with if I have no bandages?

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Narco
Chihuahua
5 months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

none

hello, my 5 month old male chihuahua fell off the bed 11 days ago, he screamed blue murder so I rushed him to the vet ER, after X-rays there showed no broken bones, and crate rest was recommended and limited walks for only 1 week... and that he should be fully recovered in 7 days... this was at a foreign clinic, and maybe something was lost in translation.. so he is much recovered, I'd say 75% back to normal, but he still favours his other leg, I don't want to be crazy dog mummy, but how long should I wait. He has no pain, great appetite and poops perfectly- thx for any advice, best regards Sarah & Narco

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Sprains can take sometime to heal, seven days is a short period of time; I would expect that the Veterinarian said that you would see improvement over the next seven days but will require longer rest. Sprains (think about if you ever sprained your ankle) can take a while to heal, they are not known for their speedy recovery times. As long as you are seeing improvement with rest, I wouldn’t be too concerned; if Narco isn’t fully recovered after three weeks of rest, I would return to another Veterinarian for another examination. If you doubt x-rays etc… you could get a digital copy and forward to PetRays for a check by USA board Certified Specialists. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://petrays.com/

Very helpful!! I feel much reassured- thank you so very much, and a big lick from Narco 🐶

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Mia
Border Collie
12
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My 12 year old border collie X jack Russell keeps licking an area near her hip on the left side, only done it for the last few days, if I go to check to see what is wrong she snaps at me, is it a sprain or something worse? I can't afford Vet Bills as I'm a pensioner.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
There are various causes why a dog may be licking at their side or hip and may be due to some local irritation or joint pain; I cannot say what the specific cause is without examining Mia, but it is important to stop her from licking as this action may cause other issues later on. Put a cone on her (to stop the licking) and give her rest with short walks on a lead so she can do her business. Try to look for a charity clinic or other non-profit in your area you could have Mia seen at. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.aaha.org/pet_owner/lifestyle/cant-afford-critical-veterinary-care-many-nonprofits-can-help!.aspx

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Leo
Cockapoo
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Our puppy jumped out of our moving van today as I was going to the bus stop to pick up my daughter. I was going 20 mph and he randomly jumped out of the window. He has never done this and loves car rides so this really threw me a loop. He has been limping on his back right foot but showing no other signs. I put ice on it for a good 15-20mins tonight while he laid with me. He lets me touch his leg and hasn't cried at all. He has been licking the knee though that's bothering him. My husband will not pay for me to take him to the vet so I'm praying it's a sprain but not sure what to do. He's also eating and drinking normal.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Whilst I understand that your husband wont pay for veterinary care, a fall from a 20mph (32kmh) car can result in many injuries which may include delayed head trauma. I hope that Leo has just a sprain; but torn ligaments, fractures, dislocation and other injuries (slow internal bleed) can cause problems in the future. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Stella
Cane Corso
18 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Yesterday, my husband was giving our dogs a treat, and my puppy got over excited and jumped to try and get hers. She jumped, and d idnt land gracefully.... she whinned a little bit and wouldn't put ANY pressure on her hind leg. I havent noticed any swelling. Today, she is putting a little pressure on her paw, but not much st all..and doesn't want to attempt stairs. Still no swelling.. She doesn't yelp, whine, or show signs of major pain when we were checking her leg and paw... i don't know if it's broke, sprained, or strained. I was gonna give her another day to see if there's any improvement...or call the vet. Is there anything I can do for her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

For the time being ensure that Stella is restricted in her movement to prevent further injury and take her outside using her lead to stop her from running around. Dogs, just like humans, may sprain, twist, pull, fracture or break limbs and joints; giving Stella rest may help, but more serious injuries would need to be examined by your Veterinarian, if there is no improvement within two days or she is showing pain visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Yzma
Pomeranian/spitz
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My year old pomeranian jumped off our bed in May and injured her front leg, she had swelling and we immediately took her to our emergency pet hospital and they took x-rays, she had no broken bones, and they sent her home with anti-inflammatory medication. Almost a month later she was laying on our bed and stretched as she was standing up and the same symptoms. We again took her to our vet and we were told she had a sprain and to continue with the medication and try to keep her resting as much as possible. Now 3 months later she is again limping, licking her wrist, and had swelling in both her wrists yesterday. What else can I do for her? Should I ask for her to be splinted in the first wrist? Should we look into surgery? I'm concerned because she is still so young and I don't want her to have this problem for the rest of her life. Any advice would be highly appreciated! Thank you!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
There are a few types of injury which may affect the wrist, sometimes a prolonged period of rest may be required; in severe cases surgery may be needed but with an examination and referral to an Orthopaedic Specialist I wouldn’t want to give any advice. Splinting is overrated in these cases and usually cause more trouble than they solve, rest is best. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tika
Alaskan Malamute
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain

Medication Used

Metacam

My dog has been having intermittent trouble with her left hind leg for a couple months now. A jump/run/launch motion will sometimes cause her to squeal and favor that leg for a few moments. X-rays show a super healthy dog; no sign of hip dysplasia, patella problems, swelling, fluid, etc. She was given Metacam and told to rest for a couple of weeks, but as soon as we tried to start introducing exercise again, the symptoms returned.

The vet says he doesn't see anything wrong, but it's obvious something IS wrong. The symptoms are becoming more frequent and more severe, though she always returns to normal after a few minutes.

I want to DO something rather than just wait for it to get bad enough for the vet to notice. Would my dog be a good candidate for a knee brace? If I could give her support and Metacam for a few months so she doesn't keep reinjuring herself, that would be totally doable. Or should I get another vet's opinion?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

I cannot really give much constructive input as I haven’t performed a physical examination, but I would recommend getting another Veterinarian to take a look at Tika. There are various types of injury which may be affecting Tika’s hind limb including muscle strain, cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency, trapped nerves, patellar luxation among other causes; cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency may be caused by ligament injury but not a complete rupture which would be consistent with lameness followed by recovery after rest with relapse after activity resumes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/hind-limb-sprains-and-strains-proceedings-0?id=&sk=&date=&pageID=2

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Bandit
Pomeranian
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

possible cruciate ligament tear

My 15 pound Pomeranian injured his left hind leg yesterday jumping from the bed. We brought him to the vet and she said it is most probable a Cruciate Ligament tear. Xrays were done and no fractures. He is unable to bear weight on his hind leg for a long time but will stand up and then need to sit. Doctor said in small dogs surgery may not be needed, let dog relax and put on leash to go outside. Given Rimadyl and Tramadol q 12 hours. How long do you think I should see if it will heal on its own? How long is it safe to take Rimadly and Tramadol?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Both tramadol and Rimadyl (carprofen) can be used safely in dogs long term; there is no standard time for chronic conditions, but for a cruciate ligament tear they should be safe to use whilst Bandit is recovering. Each product has its own side effects which you should be aware of including vomiting, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal ulceration, tremors, lethargy, behavioural changes and other side effects (see both links below). If used responsibly, both medications may be safely used for Bandit. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.akc.org/content/health/articles/rimadyl-for-dogs/
www.akc.org/content/health/articles/tramadol-for-dogs/

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Chelsea
Boarder collie/lab mix
4 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My dog twister her paw "ankle" on her back leg, right side playing fetch. She gives no indication of pain, expect she wont put weight on it. However, she'll let me touch her paw, move it to check range of motion, no licking of the area, and won't give the slightest whine when it's moved or pushed. This has been going on for 2 days where she walks on 3 legs. There's no loss of appetite and she isn't lethargic and she's been up for the task of learning how to walk on 3 legs. About how long does a twist/sprain like this tend to take to heal?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Dogs by nature are stoic animals and are reluctant to show pain and will usually continue to be as active as they can (they don’t like to show weakness). A simple sprain may take a week or two to heal (like if you would have a sprained ankle); rest and antiinflammatories would be the best course of action, you should see some improvement over the next few days, but if there is no improvement after three or four days take her in to be checked by her Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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