When my pug Beans was about 11 years old, I noticed she would limp after sleeping. Most of the time she’d only walk with a limp for a few minutes after standing up. It seemed to be worse if she had slept for a long time (such as overnight) vs if she had just taken a short nap. In all cases, she’d go back to walking her normal way after a short time period.
I brought it up with the vet one day while we were in. She said it was likely arthritis, which is common in senior dogs. She said we may notice it happening more in the winter or with weather changes.
After the vet mentioned that it may be impacted by the weather, we noticed it definitely was. She definitely limped more severely and for a bit longer when it was really cold, or around storms. I assume the storms cause the arthritis to flare and cause worse limping due to barometric pressure. My boyfriend had a knee injury in high school, and he has knee pain when it storms, too. We noticed that he and Beans would often have ‘bad bone days’ at the same time!
After determining that it was arthritis, we were able to talk to our vet to get her on a dog-friendly pain reliever.
Why is my pug limping after sleeping?
When your dog limps after sleeping regularly, it could be arthritis. If it is only occasional, it may be that the limb “fell asleep” while your dog was laying down. If your dog has a sudden onset of limping, it could be an injury.
When to be concerned about pug limping
I think you should always be at least a little concerned about your dog limping. It is a sign of pain or at least discomfort.
However, the time to be most concerned about limping is when there is a sudden onset. When your dog starts limping suddenly, it’s possible that your dog was injured in some way. Even if you’ve been around your dog the whole day and know that they didn’t fall or get injured by anything in their environment, something in their body could still get injured. For example, they could pull a muscle or have a dislocation without falling or being hit, etc.
Another reason to have a high level of concern is if the limping doesn’t fade. With a leg that “fell asleep” or arthritis, they usually get more limber after walking around for a minute or two. If they’re continuing to limp even after moving around, I’d be concerned that they have an injury.
Another time to be highly concerned about limping would be if you notice other changes. If their eating habits suddenly change or their mood or demeanor changes, this is a reason to get into the vet as soon as possible. Behavioral changes accompanying limping could mean that your dog is in really severe pain, or has a more significant problem than arthritis.
How To Help A Pug Dog That Limps After Sleeping
- When you see limping, it’s a good idea to look over your pug’s limbs and paw pads. Check for any cuts or other visible injuries. Check the toenails to see if may have been cracked. Check the paw pads to makes sure they don’t have a splinter. Check between the toes to make sure they don’t have something stuck.
- Head to the vet to try to determine a cause for your limping.
- If the vet determines that your dog has a condition causing pain, seek out pain relief medication for them.
- Try to make their resting areas more comfortable. You may want to consider an orthopedic dog bed to help support your dog’s body better while they rest.
- If overweight, helping your dog to lose weight can reduce painful conditions in many cases. For example, if your pug has arthritis or hip dysplasia, having a lower weight will mean less pressure which can mean less pain.
- Keep them reasonably active. Like people, there is some truth to “if you don’t use it, you lose it!”. Keeping your pug active can keep their muscles strong and help support their joints.