Leg problems are fairly common among dogs. It’s also easy to tell if there is something wrong with one of your pet’s legs because they will start limping around.
Curiously, some dogs may limp but show no signs that they are in pain. They may not even cry out in pain despite their limp. Gain a better understanding of how that unusual occurrence could happen by continuing with this article.
Why Is My Dog Limping but Not Crying?
If you see someone limping, you may assume that the leg they are favoring is injured. Putting weight on that leg could be painful for them. They may even cry out in pain if they do that.
You would assume that your pet dog would act that way too. After all, animals act on instinct. They may not be able to resist crying out in pain if they have to walk using an injured leg.
However, it’s still possible for your dog to limp without showing any other sign that they are in pain. That could be the case if their limp is caused by the following issues.
Ligament sprains can cause your dog to start limping. Those ligaments are located close to your dog’s leg bones. The ligaments around your dog’s knees are especially susceptible to sprains.
Sprains can be painful, but they may be easier to bear compared to other leg injuries. That could explain why your dog is limping but not crying.
The location of the sprained ligament could also explain why your dog is limping without showing any pain. It’s possible that the sprain is in a spot where it is only limiting mobility. Because there is no pain, your dog may be able to handle that injury better.
Muscle sprains are similar to ligament sprains in the sense that they can be uncomfortable while also not causing enough pain to draw a reaction from your pet. Your dog may still react to their injury by limping, but not go beyond that.
They can also compromise range of motion in the same way that ligament sprains do. Once again, your pet may compensate for their limited range of motion by limping.
A luxating patella could also explain why your dog is limping but not crying.
If your pet has a luxated patella, that means their kneecap slid out of its position. Typically, the kneecap should be sitting on the femur, but it can be dislocated from time to time.
The kneecap may move towards the inside of the joint and that can cause your dog to start limping. The good news is that luxating patellas usually realign on their own. The dislocated kneecap may return to its original position not long after your dog starts walking around.
Luxations are caused by abnormalities in a dog’s bone structure. They may happen often because the groove in the femur is not deep enough to hold the patella reliably.
Small dogs are also more prone to having luxating patellas. Your dog’s hind legs are also the ones that are more likely to be affected by this issue.
Dogs may experience two types of limping.
The first type is known as sudden limping. Sudden limping is often caused by a major injury. This is the kind of limping that will almost always be accompanied by cries of pain from your pet.
The other type is known as gradual onset limping. Gradual onset limping is something that gets worse over time. It is often caused by chronic conditions such as elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and osteoarthritis.
Pets affected by gradual onset limping usually don’t vocalize their pain. That’s probably because they have gotten used to the pain and discomfort caused by their condition. The chronic condition may still be bothering your pet, but they can handle it.
Why Is My Puppy Limping but Not Crying?
Adult dogs are not the only ones that may limp around without crying. Puppies may experience that kind of problem as well.
Your puppy may start to limp without crying due to ligament sprains, muscle sprains, and patellar luxations. Given your pet’s age, it’s highly unlikely that their limping is connected to a chronic condition of some kind.
Aside from those causes of limping that we’ve already mentioned, there is one more potential explanation for your puppy’s unusual movements.
You see, some puppies have legs that don’t grow at the same rate. To be more specific, one of their legs may be growing faster than the others.
That one leg that is growing at an accelerated rate could cause your puppy to limp around. The limping will only subside once all of your pet’s legs have reached the same size.
Most of the time, limping caused by a leg that is growing faster than the others is not painful. Your puppy should be able to deal with it just fine.
What to Do if My Dog Is Limping but Not Crying?
Since your pet is not crying while limping, your initial reaction may be to downplay their current condition. It’s easy to think that your pet is fine because they are showing no signs of discomfort beyond limping.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into that way of thinking.
Even if your dog is not experiencing a great deal of pain, you still need to determine what’s wrong with them. Chronic conditions will need to be treated as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the sprains could get worse if they are not treated properly.
The underlying cause of your pet’s limping may also have to be treated with medication. You can only give your dog medication after you take them to the veterinarian.
When to See a Vet about My Dog Limping but Not Crying?
Don’t delay the trip to the veterinarian if you notice that your dog has been limping for more than a few minutes. It doesn’t matter whether they are crying or not. You need to take them to the vet for further evaluation.
Waiting until the next day is an option if your dog is acting normally, but don’t stretch it further than that. There’s a chance your pet’s condition could simply deteriorate if you wait too long.