Dog is limping on left leg

I noticed my dog is limping on left leg. I examined her to see if she was in pain but she had no response. I noticed last night that on her left back leg, the pad looks swollen compared to the others. I used a warm compress last night. What should i do. She still active. I noticed when we take our daily walk it doesn't bother her as much. But while in the house she is limping off and on. It is not continuous. Thank you for any advice you have.

In any case of pain, swelling and lameness, I recommend that your veterinarian examine your dog as soon as possible. The symptoms that you describe could be caused by a variety of problems. If the pad is swollen, one of the most common causes is infection. Many dogs can get ‘foreign bodies’ (ie. Pieces of glass, metal or plant material) that can get lodged in the pad or in the toe. There are other causes as well such as arthritis or even a tumour.  Even if you think that just the pad is affected, other parts of her leg could be the culprit.

Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and may suggest x-rays. X-rays can be very helpful in determining if tissues in the toe or leg (bone, ligaments and other soft tissues) are diseased. If an infection is present, antibiotics and daily warm water soaks with Epsom salts may be recommended.  Staying active is a good thing and I’m glad that she seems to ‘work out of it’ – but I would have it checked out as soon as possible to prevent further discomfort.