Dogs are subject to many of the ills that ail humans. If you've ever pulled a muscle, you are aware that the pain can range from mild to severe and can take a long time to heal. A dog with a pulled leg muscle needs rest and should not risk further injury by continuing with the same level of exercise. While most pain medication for dogs are prescription drugs, there are home remedies for relieving the pain of a dog's pulled leg muscle. Consult your veterinarian before treating your pooch's pulled muscle with at-home treatments.
Your dog cannot always communicate effectively that he is in pain, but an observant owner will notice subtle changes in the behavior of a dog in pain. If your dog starts to avoid certain activities like jumping up onto the couch or climbing stairs, it could well mean that he is in pain and may need pain medication. Sometimes the fact that your dog is in pain and has pulled a leg muscle will only be apparent if the dog is limping. Limping is a pain-coping mechanism in which the dog changes his normal walking gait to accommodate for the pain caused by the injury. The dog will resist putting pressure on the leg with the pulled muscles and this results in the limp. If the limp persists you should consult your veterinarian for a correct diagnosis.
If a dog has pulled muscles in his leg, the first thing that you can do at home to help him heal and relieve the pain is to restrict his activity. Do not try to coax your injured dog to jump up onto couches or beds if he has stopped doing this. The pain of his pulled leg muscles is preventing him from jumping and he needs a period of limited activity in which to heal. He'll require at least a week or two for the healing process. You should not exercise him at this time and try to stop him for jumping and running.
Mineral Salt Bath
Many dog spas offer mineral salt baths using Epsom salt or other mineral salts. You can easily do this at home to help relax and soothe the pulled muscles in your dog's leg. After the bath, rub the dog's injured leg with eucalyptus oil, which is a natural remedy that can relieve pain and soothe aching muscles.
Pain management care for pulled muscles in a dog's leg can include chiropractic as well as herbal remedies. Massage is another home remedy to help relieve your dog's pain. This can be especially effective after a warm bath in mineral salts. Massage has many benefits including reducing tension and stress. It is a non-invasive technique that helps restore flexibility, relaxes the body and disperses the pain in tensed muscles.
Do not be tempted to make the mistake made by some pet owners who end up accidentally poisoning their dogs by giving them at-home pain medication meant for humans. Dogs are not humans; they respond differently to medicine that helps relieve pain in humans. Giving a dog human medication could have fatal results.