Common Dog Muscle Problems

Dog muscle problems are common, but can be hard to diagnose. One can tell if his dog is suffering from a muscle problem if the dog shows signs of pain (crying, yelping, etc.), favors one leg more than another, or has a low energy level. Common muscle problems include spasms, pinched nerves and knotted muscles.

Muscle Spasms

A spasm is an involuntary contraction of a muscle. Some spasms produce little to no pain while others can make a dog collapse. Dog muscle spasms can be caused by neurological or physical disorders as a result of a variety of things: an injury to the back or legs, seizures, the loss of nerve function, canine stress syndrome, dehydration, muscle weakness, distemper, brain tumors and swelling of the brain. Muscle spasms in dog do not often last long.

The best way to treat a muscle spasm is to prevent it. A dog owner should make sure the pet is well hydrated at all times. For more intense spasms, the help of an animal physical therapist or rehabilitation center can help a dog perform gentle stretches and provide specialized massages.

Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves can cause a dog to experience serious pain, walk awkwardly or try to bite the site of his pain. This condition is caused by too much pressure compressing the area surrounding the nerve. The pain felt can be compared to the sensation of pins and needles or a sharp, stabbing jab. The time it takes for a dog to find relief from a pinched nerve depends on the severity of it.

In more serious cases, a veterinary neurologist may be recommended to help a dog find a way to resolve the pain if medications are not enough.

Knotted Muscle

A muscle that has constricted and built-up a lot of pressure after being triggered to remain in action, especially after a spasm, is often called a knotted muscle. Knots are very painful for a dog, can cause a dog to not walk well, and limits his range of motion.

Massage and heat therapy is often recommend to help a dog find relief from knotted muscles. If the muscles are inflamed, cold therapy may be used to help reduce any swelling.

Dog Muscle Problem Treatments

There are a number of ways to treat muscle problems in dogs. The treatments depend up on the severity of the muscle problem, its location, and the amount of pain it is causing.

Pain medications to help relax muscles or reduce the amount of spasms may be prescribed. In addition to medications, a veterinarian may recommend hot or cold therapy. The assistance of a canine rehabilitation specialist may need to be acquired to provide physical therapy and canine massage.

In severe cases, a dog will have to undergo surgery to remedy a pinched nerve, the cause of muscle spasms, or to release pressure within a knotted muscle.

Dogs with muscle problems can be experiencing an enormous amount of pain that, if left untreated, could get worse or become a chronic condition.