First, I am glad that we can rule out neurological issues for Cassy. With those aside and the knowledge that she is worse when starting but warms with exercise; we'd be less worried about fractures or dislocations. Therefore, this means we have to be most suspicious that she may have strained or bruised the muscles in her leg or has traumatized or partially tore a tendon.
Now with this in mind, the first point of call if you have not already, will be to restrict her activity. Therefore, we don't want her jumping on/off furniture, using stairs or doing anything that would exacerbate this strain. Furthermore, for the next few days, we'd want to rest her and just offer a few short lead walks in the garden to do her business and then back to resting.
As well, as long her discomfort is mild and she isn't overtly acting painful, you can consider some supplements to naturally reduce inflammation and support her joints. For example, you can consider supplementing her with fish oil (omega 3 or 6; EPA/DHA) and/or glucosamine/chondroitin. In regards ***** ***** former, these can be helpful as they do have anti-inflammatory properties. In regards ***** ***** we tend to give this at a rate of 20mg per pound of their body weight. And while more a long term option, it could just help soothe her inflammation and get her more comfortable quicker.
Furthermore, you can use glucosamine/chondroitin here. These are a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). They work to aid joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Again more of a long term option, but it can help this soreness and any from aged related joint issues. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, these would be worth consideration for her as well.
Also, as long as she is amenable, you can also warm compress her sore leg. This can be done a few times daily to just relax the muscles, soothe the soreness and help reduce any swelling. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).
Finally, if you feel that she is very sore, you can consider offering her a low dose of buffered aspirin (as long as she is on no other anti-inflammatories and after food). This is a mild pain relief that we can use in dogs in these situations. Of course, if she is in severe pain, then we'd prefer a dog specific anti-inflammatory like Rimadyl, Previcox, Metacam, or Onsior. Still, you can read more about using aspirin and the dose for her size (HERE). And if you do give aspirin, remember to give it with or after food and consider pre-treating with an antacid (ie Pepcid, Zantac).
Overall, based on your description, we'd be less worried about dislocations, nerve damage or full thickness fractures but would be concerned about muscle sprains and possible tendon damage causing her signs. Therefore, we'd want to take the above approach to ease her soreness and help her settle. And if she is very sore or isn't improving over the next few days, then we'd want to speak to her vet about those strong dog specific pain relief options +/- an xray to pinpoint what she has damaged and get her back on her feet and feeling like herself.
I hope this information is helpful.
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All the best,
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