If your dog begins to limp, make sure to give him as much rest as possible and avoid long walks and exercise, as any further pressure on the defected leg could result in more serious damage.
Examine Toes and Pads
Look for thorns, nails, or redness between them. Check the pads for cuts or wounds, then check each toenail for breaks. Apply mild pressure to each toe and notice your dog's response. You will notice that dogs tend to pull their legs back when you touch a hurting area.
Check for Swelling
Swelling is a sign of inflammation, so if your dog’s foot is swollen, try alternating heat and ice packs to reduce the inflammation.
Avoid giving your pet any medications unless your vet prescribed them, as they may not be appropriate for your dog’s overall health condition.
Look for Other Signs and Symptoms
If your dog shows other symptoms like fever, sudden unwillingness to walk, bleeding, or broken bones, then you should head immediately to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.
Monitor Your Dog at Home
If you believe that your dog's condition isn’t severe, you can monitor him yourself for up to 48 hours. However, if the limping persists, it's time to pay a visit to your veterinarian.
A Good Vet Is All You Need
Your veterinarian is the perfect candidate to figure out what's causing your dog's pain and how severe it is. He might even ask for further diagnostic tests, for example, neurological tests, blood tests, or x-rays, depending on the results of the physical examination.