Hind Leg Weakness In Dogs – Signs And Symptoms

Hind Leg Weakness In Dogs – Signs And Symptoms

The hind leg muscles are responsible for supporting the front part of your body. These muscles are called as hamstrings or gluteus medius. They contract when walking forward, but relax when you stop moving forward. When they become weak, it means that your dog’s hind legs will not support him properly and may even collapse under his own weight.

When your dog walks with his hind legs collapsed, he cannot walk straight forward and is prone to fall down. If you notice that your dog is falling down from any reason, then immediately take him to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. You need to make sure that all other parts of his body are intact so that he does not suffer severe injuries.

Symptoms Of Hind Leg Weakness In Dogs:

If your dog is having trouble standing up, he might start to look like a little pogo stick. He may also have difficulty sitting down. He will often lie on his side while walking. His hind legs will shake and wobble around when he stands up.

Your dog may also show signs of panting when he walks, which indicates that his hind legs are weakened too.

The dog will have a hard time standing up. It may look as if he is about to fall over. He might start to drag his hind legs when walking as well. Due to this hind leg weakness, he may also have a hard time walking up or down the stairs and will choose to crawl instead.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Old Dog Weak Back Legs Treatment:

If your dog is suffering from hind leg weakness, it is important that you start treating him immediately. There are a lot of things that can cause hind leg weakness such as kidney failure, Cushings disease, and spinal disc problems. These are conditions that need to be treated by a veterinarian routinely. If not treated properly and in a timely manner, it can cause permanent damage.

As mentioned above, if your dog is old, then you need to make sure that his hind leg weakness is not due to old age. Old age can cause the animal’s muscles to weaken, which can also affect the hind legs. A lot of older dogs start having trouble with their back legs. If you are constantly lifting your dog and putting him on places, it may put a strain on his back legs.

Hind Leg Weakness In Dogs – Signs And Symptoms - Dog Puppy Site

This can cause hind leg weakness over a long period of time.

If you believe that your dog is suffering from hind leg weakness due to old age, there is not much you can do except to make his life more comfortable. Always pick him up if he cannot get up by himself and put him on a couch or bed. Try not to pick him up by his hind legs as this may cause further weakness and pain. If you do it rarely, it should not be a problem.

How To Help An Older Dog With Weak Back Legs:

The following video shows an elderly dog with hind leg weakness. As you can see, it has a hard time standing up and needs to lie down every once in a while. While this video features a Labrador Retriever, the same principle can be applied to any dog breed. If your dog is old and is having trouble walking, then it might have weak hind legs and will need some time to rest.

Watch the video to learn more:

1. Elevate The Food Bowl

The first thing you can do is to elevate the dog’s food bowl. Of course, you would not want the bowl to be elevated too high as the dog might not be able to reach it. Try putting a small block underneath the bowl. This should elevate it to a comfortable level such that it is easy for the dog to eat but hard for him to just push it away with his nose.

If you have a big dog, then you might need something stronger such as a milk crate or a plastic bin. This will help him to reach his food and water without having to strain himself too much. This is especially useful for older dogs as it reduces the pressure on their back and hind legs. Elevating his food bowl is one of the best things that you can do for your dog if he is having difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time.

2. Get A Wheelchair For Outside

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Sometimes dogs, especially old ones, do not want to walk as much as they used to. If your dog is just reluctant to go for walks but is otherwise fine, then you can always get a wheelchair for him. These wheelchairs are designed specifically for dogs and are very safe. They have high wheels that easily go over grass and sidewalk bumps without throwing the dog off balance.

They can support a large amount of weight and are very durable.

Dogs with weak hind legs will find it easier to go for walks and runs if they use one of these wheelchairs. They do not have to put any pressure on their back or hind legs, which means that their joints and muscles will not easily tire out. You can find a wide selection of dog wheelchairs online or at your local pet store.

3. Regular Exercise For The Hind Legs

Your dog needs to keep his hind legs in shape just as much as he needs to keep his front legs in shape. If you have a bicycle, you can easily rig it up so that your dog can peddle and run on a stationary bicycle. This is good because it gets him to use his hind legs but it does not strain his back or hips.

If you do not have a bicycle, then you can rig up some wood to the bottom of his feet and have him walk on that. Another option is to get a treadmill and set the speed low for your dog. Basically, just give him something that will let him walk or run. However, make sure that he will be able to stop himself from falling if he does not keep up his pace.

You do not want him to get hurt.

4. Shorten His Walks

If you have been walking your dog for miles every day, then you might want to cut back on the distance. A tired dog is a happy dog, but an over-tired dog is just one with a lot of health problems. Limit the walks to less than a mile and make sure that your dog is not overexerting himself. If he refuses to walk anymore, then pick him up and carry him the rest of the way.

Hind Leg Weakness In Dogs – Signs And Symptoms - Dog Puppy Site

5. Take Care Of His Diet

Dogs get health problems just like humans do and one of the most common issues is poor diet.

Did you know that many dog foods contain a lot of salt?

This can put a strain on your dog’s body and can cause him to become weak and less active than he normally is. Look at your dog’s diet.

Is it filled with preservatives and unnecessary carbohydrates?

If so, then you might want to consider changing his diet. Get some natural food or even cook for him if you are really concerned. A dog with a clean bill of health will be much more active than one that is constantly getting sick due to bad food.

6. Get A Girlfriend For Him

Dogs are very sexual animals and many will extend their youth if they regularly have a mate. If you do not want to go out and find you a new girlfriend, then just get your dog one. You might think that two dogs in the house is bad, but it really isn’t. Dogs are very clean animals (compared to humans) and get along with each other better than most people.

If you are really concerned about the possibility of your dogs having puppies, you can always get your dog neutered. This way, he will be less likely to fight with his mate and cause unexpected pregnancy.

Sources & references used in this article:

Apparent tick paralysis by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) in dogs by D Otranto, F Dantas-Torres, VD Tarallo… – Veterinary …, 2012 – Elsevier

Neosporosis in Beagle dogs: clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, isolation and genetic characterization of Neospora caninum by JP Dubey, MCB Vianna, OCH Kwok, DE Hill… – Veterinary …, 2007 – Elsevier

Tolerance of peripheral nerve to intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT): clinical and experimental studies by TJ Kinsella, WF Sindelar, AM DeLuca… – International Journal of …, 1985 – Elsevier

Experimental cervical myelopathy: effects of compression and ischemia on the canine cervical cord by S Hukuda, CB Wilson – Journal of neurosurgery, 1972 – thejns.org

Neuromuscular manifestations of hypothyroidism in dogs by S Fors – EJCAP, 2007 – researchgate.net

Animal models of muscular dystrophies by I Nonaka – Comparative Medicine, 1998 – ingentaconnect.com

Murine, canine and non-human primate models of Krabbe disease by DA Wenger – Molecular Medicine Today, 2000 – Elsevier

Canine neosporosis by DS Lindsay, JP Dubey – Journal of Veterinary Parasitology, 2000 – researchgate.net