Few things are more worrisome than watching your English Bulldog limping from one point to another. What’s worse, you may not even be able to tell what the cause of the limping is. As it turns out, there are many reasons that your bulldog can be limping.

So, why is my English bulldog limping? Your English bulldog may be limping because of any of these reasons:

  • Injury
  • Bone disease
  • Arthritis
  • Lyme disease
  • Foreign object issues
  • Neurological disorders
  • Ruptured anterior
  • Infection
  • Joint disease
  • Temporary behavior

Most of the time, your bulldog’s limp will be temporary, but if the limp persists, it is time to call your dog’s veterinarian. Read on to find out why your best friend may be limping and how to remedy the situation.

Related: How to Care for a Senior English Bulldog: The Ultimate Guide

10 Possible Reasons Why Your English Bulldog is Limping

When you notice that your dog is limping, pay close attention to try and establish which of the legs may be causing a problem. Afterward, hold your pet close and try to feel the leg gently while keeping a close eye on the limb that seems to be affected. Don’t forget to inspect your bulldog’s paw because it could have something stuck in it or be injured, as well.

That initial observation and examination can let you establish the reason why your pet is limping. Some cases of dog limping can be sudden, while others may be gradual. Below are possible causes of limping.

1. Injury

One of the most common causes of dog limping is injury. Sometimes dogs get into fights and end up hurting each other, and that can easily lead to limping. The dog may also be involved in some other unfortunate incident that causes injury to the paw, ankle, or leg.

Some dog injuries happen right in front of you, making it easy to tell the cause of limping. However, some happen when you are not around, and there may not be any visible injuries to help you ascertain the cause of limping.

In such a case, you should consult a veterinary officer for examination and diagnosis. “How to Treat Dog Wounds at Home” by PetMD explains that minor physical injuries can be treated at home and will often heal after a short while. However, severe injuries require veterinarian care.

2. Bone Disease

Bone disease generally refers to any condition that affects the bones. This can include diseases such as hip dysplasia and panosteitis.

  • Canine hip dysplasia occurs when bones do not fit correctly into their joints. The result is painful sensations, lameness, and even difficulty in getting up.
  • Panosteitis is a condition that causes inflammation but does not necessarily last for a long time. The condition can make it quite painful for your pet to walk, which causes the limping.

Another type of disease that may cause limping is bone cancer, or osteosarcoma. Cancer can affect any dog breed, but it is prevalent in English bulldogs. It is usually quite aggressive, and while there are treatment options, the prognosis is usually bleak.

In most cases, limping caused by a disease develops gradually and gets worse as the condition becomes more severe. It is quite difficult for you to tell what disease is affecting your dog, which is why you should seek veterinary advice immediately.

3. Arthritis

Just like in humans, dog arthritis is more common in older English bulldogs than younger ones. Arthritis is a condition characterized by inflammation of one or more joints. It usually causes pain and stiffness.

When a dog has arthritis, they tend to be reluctant when it comes to going up the stairs or even getting out of the car. They also sleep more and may start gaining weight.

With close observation, you may notice that the animal is somewhat unsteady in the morning. This is because the pain from arthritis is more severe in the mornings. Dogs with arthritis tend to walk slowly and lose interest in playing.

To remedy this condition, watch your pet’s weight, avoid engaging the dog in strenuous activity, and seek medical help in managing any other symptoms that seem severe.

4. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and spread by deer ticks, as explained by PetMD. The tick generally does not cause the disease unless it is able to attach to your bulldog for 48 hours. If infected, your dog may start limping two to five months afterward. This limp usually develops gradually.

Common symptoms of the disease include swollen lymph nodes, swollen joints, and a loss of appetite. Your pet may also be lethargic and can develop a fever.

If not treated on time, the condition may become worse. Nonetheless, Lyme disease can be treated effectively using antibiotics.

5. Foreign Object Issues

If your bulldog starts limping suddenly, take the time to carry out a careful physical examination. Check for any foreign object stuck in the paw or on any other part of the legs.

Sometimes a small foreign object may be stuck right underneath your dog’s paw and is covered in fur. The fur makes it hard for you to see it, which is why you should move a finger gently over the dog’s leg and observe how they react.

If the foreign object is on the outer part of the paw or leg, take it off gently to avoid causing injury. However, if the foreign object is embedded, it may be better to let your vet take it out.

6. Neurological Disorders

Some neurological disorders can end up causing your dog to start limping.

  • A slipped disc in the spine can put extra pressure on nerves that ultimately makes it difficult for your pet to walk without experiencing pain.
  • Medial Patella Luxation is another condition characterized by poorly aligned muscles, tendons, and bones. This can lead to limping and pain.

A vet can examine your dog to determine the exact issues that are affecting them and give a conclusive diagnosis before initiating treatment.

7. Ruptured Anterior

This injury occurs when the dog accidentally twists on their hind legs. When it happens, you will notice your pet raising his back leg off the ground and barely touching the ground with it when walking.

A ruptured anterior can even affect English bulldogs that are as young as six months old. This condition is usually corrected with surgery.

8. Infections

Dog infections can occur when a wound or bruise is not treated carefully. Yeast dermatitis affecting the paws is a condition that can create complications. It is advised to clean any open wounds or bruises and cover them to prevent such unfortunate incidents.

If the infection affects any part of the dog’s leg, it can cause it to start limping. The good news is that yeast and other infections can be treated easily.

9. Joint Disorders

This is a general term for conditions that affect the joints. Elbow dysplasia is a developmental disorder involving multiple abnormalities that can include poor weight distribution and slowed bone growth.

Another joint disorder is cranial cruciate ligament disease which can occur due to a variety of reasons including genetics, obesity, aging, and poor physical fitness.

The vet can carry out various tests to determine the exact culprit and start treatment accordingly.

10. Temporary Behavior

Sometimes your dog’s limping may be nothing more than a temporary issue. For instance, if the dog steps on a hot surface, they may limp as they go across the hot surface.

Another reason may be that your dog slept on one of their legs, thus putting too much pressure on it. Pulled, strained and torn muscles caused by overstretching or accidental falls are also a temporary issue that may cause limping.

Such situations usually resolve within a few minutes or hours without any outside intervention.

In Conclusion

For minor injuries or foreign objects stuck in the paws, you can always use the above-noted remedies to get the situation resolved. However, if you still can’t establish what is causing the limp, it is necessary to seek professional help from a local veterinary officer.

The vet is likely to ask a few questions that can help establish the possible causes. The vet is also going to carry out physical examinations and, if necessary, take an x-ray scan of the affected area. Once the root cause is established, treatment will begin immediately, and your dog is likely to recover soon.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.