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Dogs limp because it hurts too much to walk normally, no other reason. They only yell or cry if the pain is severe, such as a fracture. If he wasn't in pain he wouldn't limp.
Don't try to bandage it up. If you don't get it right it will just fall off, or worst case scenario compromise the blood flow to the limb. Getting a bandage just right is not as easy as it looks.
Rest him (so no walks, no jumping) and make an appointment with a vet. You can always cancel if it resolves. I agree with Scuttle's comments about your relationship with your vet. You should be able to talk about costs up front with them.
Thanks ladies! He's just come down from bedroom for a wee and limp gone again! I think I'll stop the jumping down for, say, a week and take it from there. Obviously will take to vet if it gets worse or keeps on happening. (I would have thought it was painful, but he makes no sound and is as keen as ever to go walkies - even when the limp was really pronounced).
Another vote for the vet. Could very well be early signs of arthritis, or a joint problem. Age, breed and weight all relevant.
I'd also want to rethink your vet practice if you are so reluctant to attend because you do not trust their professional judgement/treatment recommendations. A vet should be one of the most trusted professionals in your life, and you should be able to have a reasonable conversation with them about symptoms, investigations, and relative costs - they know that money is a factor for many clients.
Perhaps I've been very lucky - but I've never had a vet recommend an unnecessary test. In fact, one of our elderly dogs was recently diagnosed with arthritis. The vet cheerfully acknowledged that we could have X rays done to confirm the diagnosis but that would have been unnecessary and expensive (even though they know we are insured). We were happy to take her advice and stick with her prescription and that has done the job beautifully.
My jrt limps on a front leg occasionally and I find that cod liver oil in his food really helps. With him it is wear and tear and it happens after a long walk or ratting session.
I wouldn't bandage, you might make the sprain (if it is one) worse. I'm not sure painkillers would be appropriate either - if it is hurt due to the extra jolt from jumping down then painkillers will mask this and could make the problem worse. I don't know if it is worth a trip to the vet yet, perhaps prevent any jumping down and wait and see what happens?
On a few occasions he has got a limp in his front left foot after jumping down from the sofa (I know, I know) that lasts a few minutes then all's well.
Last Friday he got a bad limp in same foot after jumping out of the car, and limped really badly all day and Saturday. On Sunday we stopped him from jumping down by picking him up from sofa to put onto floor (he doesn't like bring picked up one bit) and limp stopped until today. He jumped down from sofa again and yep, has slight limp back.
Have tried to stop him jumping up on sofa but is too quick for us, and needs to be able to jump down from car anyway.
I have examined pad - no sign of injury there, and he's happy to have leg touched so my feeling is that he's sprained ankle and keeps on doing so.
Is there some kind of support strapping or bandage I should try, or is a trip to the vet a must? (Must confess to being wary of vets as from F & F experiences I feel they go into overdrive to bring the bucks in)