How to Treat Your Dog’s Sprain or Strain

By M. Christine Zink

Just like you occasionally do, your dog can overextend and end up with sore muscles. A sprain is a torn ligament and a strain is torn tendon, but the results of both injuries are the same — swelling and inflammation in the area of damage.

The key to treating these injuries is to get ice onto the affected area immediately to help reduce swelling and keep further damage to a minimum. Apply the ice for 20 minutes, then remove the ice for 20 minutes, and then apply ice again for 20 minutes.

Try bandaging the ice onto the affected area if your dog doesn’t want to let you hold the ice on her body for that long.

The dog should rest for at least 48 hours after the injury — no running or playing, just short walks on a leash to go potty. If your dog doesn’t bear some weight on the leg within an hour or two or is still limping after 48 hours, take her to a veterinarian.