What do you do if your dog suddenly pulls up limping after having a zoom around?
The first and most obvious thing is to stop exercising and get back home as soon as you can without worsening any possible injury. Then REST – be overly cautious (on the lead at all times – even in the garden) rather than hoping the lameness will just wear off.
Apply ice to the affected area. If you can’t identify exactly which part of the lame leg the injury is, ice the whole leg! Get some ice cubes in a freezer bag, add a bit of water to help to conduct the coldness and gently move the bag over the whole leg. If you can identify the exact spot, then hold the ice on that spot for up to 5 minutes. If your dog can’t tolerate that long, do short, frequent applications. I would do this up to 3 days after the incident. 2-3 times a day is great.
If you are worried, or your dog is non weight bearing, or if there is no improvement after a couple of days, go to your vet.
Remember, a strain to a muscle, and a sprain to a ligament can take weeks, or even months to fully heal. The best you can do for your dog is REST and let the soft tissue repair. And resting your best pal is always the hardest bit!