Why are my dogs legs giving out?

  • Sarah,
  • March 15, 2022,
  • 2412

Osteoarthritis of the hips and knees may eventually lead to hind leg weakness. This may cause your dog to have difficulty rising or walking and you may notice his or her hind legs collapsing. Additionally, arthritis may affect the front legs, back, and other joints.

Why is my dogs back legs giving out?

If he is having a hard time walking, or he is staggering and wobbling on his feet, this back leg weakness may be a result of muscle atrophy, pain, or nerve damage. Other signs that can alert you to this condition are a reluctance or inability to stand, lameness, or paralysis in the legs.

Why do older dogs back legs give out?

Dogs, like people, may experience weight gain as they get older. If weight gain is the cause of back leg collapse in your older dog, you're in luck – it's the easiest to remedy. Be sure your older dog gets plenty of exercise and maintains a healthy diet. Older dogs do not require as much food as younger dogs.

Why do old dogs back legs give out?

Other Common Causes for Old Dogs' Back Legs Collapsing Other diseases can cause generalized weakness which is often first noticed in the rear legs. Many serious health problems lead to weakness that can cause a dog's back legs to collapse, but there are usually other symptoms, too.

Why are my dogs front legs splayed out?

Dogs can sometimes suffer from joint instability that results in weak joints. This may be due to malnutrition as a puppy or hypermobility (a condition where the ligaments are looser than they should be, also known as double-jointed in humans). If the wrist cannot properly support the leg, then the foot may turn out.

What to do when my dogs back legs give out?

Don't panic. Seeing your older dog's hind legs collapse can be heart-wrenching, but there's no reason to panic. Take your pup to the vet to determine the cause of your dog's weakness and follow your vet's advice, and you will give your pup the best possible chance at recovery.

What causes dogs back legs to give out?

Causes of Back Leg Weakness in Dogs Degenerative myelopathy. Injury. Fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy. Intervertebral disc disease.

Why has my dogs back legs give way?

Degenerative myelopathy (also called Canine Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy or CDRM), is a disease that causes the nerves in the lower spine to stop working properly. It causes weakness, paralysis in the back legs, and incontinence (both urinary and faecal), all of which get worse over time.

What to do when dogs back legs give out?

If your dog's back legs suddenly collapse, plan on an emergency vet visit at a local pet emergency hospital or your regular veterinarian's office. Sometimes dogs with IVDD can recover without surgery, but other cases require IVDD surgery in dogs.

What causes a dog's back legs to suddenly give out?

When your dog's back legs suddenly give out or show paralysis, there are numerous potential causes. One of them is intervertebral disc disease or IVDD. This is when the cartilaginous disc in the backbones herniates and pushes the spinal cord. This places pressure on nerves preventing hind limb motor function.

Why are my dog legs slipping?

When an old dog's back legs start slipping or being splayed out, it's most likely due to one of four things: arthritis, degenerative myelopathy, lumbosacral instability or IVDD. Hind leg weakness in dogs can come on suddenly or gradually.

Why are my dogs legs swollen?

Due to damage or an obstruction in the lymphatic system, a buildup of fluid occurs resulting in swelling of your dog's legs or other parts of the body, including the face and abdomen. The causes of lymphedema may be from a chronic illness or an acute condition such as an injury.

Why is my dog bow legged?

Dog Breeds with Bowed Legs Often, it has to do with the aforementioned factors such as nutritional deficiencies, genetics, fast growth, and injury. Still, some breeds are more at risk. Bowed legs is actually a breed standard in bulldogs according to the AKC.

Why is my dogs leg twitching?

Most of the time twitching is just normal doggy behavior, but some cases may be due to factors like stress, advanced age or an underlying health condition. Here's everything you need to know about dog twitching, including when you should take your pup to see a veterinarian.

Why is my dog's leg spasming?

Overexertion or Injury If your dog has been getting more exercise than usual, then muscle fatigue may be what's causing the spasms. However, an actual muscle tear or injury can also be the cause. It's a good idea for your dog to get plenty of rest in either case.


Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m a professional dog trainer who specializes in aggressive dog rehabilitation and bite prevention. I have owned and trained dogs since the age of 10, when my family adopted our first family dog – an Australian cattle dog named Rex – who did not know how to play with toys or come when called! I have spent over 10 years training dogs of all shapes, sizes and species – including among other things obedience, agility and tricks classes – as well as working with rescue organizations specializing in aggressive animal behavior.

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