Many minor strains and sprains resolve with rest for one to two weeks. This means avoiding running, jumping, and playing when possible. For walks outside, it is important to keep your pup on a leash so that he cannot break into a run at a moment’s notice. Many veterinarians also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to help with inflammation and pain but remember that you should never give human anti-inflammatory medication to your dog. Use of an NSAID may be for one week or longer, and if longer courses are prescribed, your vet might recommend blood work to make sure that your dog’s liver and kidneys are healthy. Ice packs can also help with minor injuries and can be used several times a day for a few minutes at a time.
Many sprains and strains are treated in a similar manner. Your veterinarian will examine your pup and discuss with you whether or not x-rays will be necessary to help isolate the cause of your dog’s pain. For sprains and strains that do not resolve with initial outpatient therapy, advanced imaging, and/or a referral to an orthopedic specialist may be necessary. If the immune-mediated joint disease is suspected, additional testing may be necessary to determine the presence of any concurrent disease, and steroids or immunosuppressive medications are prescribed in some of these cases.
In the event of a sprain or strain that requires extensive medical or surgical therapy, additional modalities may help your pup. There are many benefits to the use of acupuncture and physical therapy exercises. Water or swim therapy can help build up strength in the muscles again but minimizes strain on the joints. Cold laser therapy, which is a low-energy beam of light, is used to help with healing and inflammation.
True orthopedic dog beds can help a dog get back on their paws quicker after any sort of injury. The special science behind these dog beds ensures that there is no significant pressure along any part of a dog's body when they're laying on the bed. This allows for a more comfortable laying down position, as well as a healthier one.