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I have an 8 yr old small dog that weighs approximately 3 1/2 lbs. Two days ago she began limping. Now she is whimpering when she tries to stand or when I very carefully try to pick her up. Talked to the vet today and he suggested I give her a fourth of a baby aspirin twice a day for the weekend and if she's not better by Monday to bring her in. He thinks she may have a sprain. I do not think so. When she started limping, she favored her front left leg. Now she is also crying out in pain of her hips. Does arthritis come on that fast? Thank you so much for any input you can give me.


Hi Cindy,

No, arthritis is a progressive condition that happens gradually, over a period of time. That said, dogs are very stoic about showing pain, it could be she's been feeling some discomfort for some time, and it's only recently that it's gotten to a point that she can't hide it.

Sudden lameness usually happens after some kind of trauma. Has she fallen off of a piece of furniture recently, that might have cause an injury? If this is the case, it could be a sprain, dislocation, torn ligament or tendon, or possibly even a break.

Your vet suggested giving your dog the aspirin because most cases of sudden lameness resolves by itself within a week.
If your dog is crate trained, you might try keeping her in it during the weekend, just so that she's kept as still as possible. Make sure she has either egg crate foam or a firm pillow or dog bed to lay on. If you happen to have a heating pad, either apply it to the area that seems to be bothering your dog, or have her lay on it. To avoid burning the skin, don't place your dog directly on the heating pad, instead wrap the heating pad in a towel.

Since your dog has only started the aspirin therapy today, my guess is you'll be seeing improvement fairly quickly. But if she still is lame by Monday, call your vet as he suggested!

Please feel free to write back if you have further questions. Try not to worry!

Best of luck,


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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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