I did the exact same thing for my 16 year old golden, now my 13 year old golden is starting to have leg weakness and I hate to think about what will come next. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. The signs depend partly on your dog’s build, strength, age or nature. Is there a chance of having to euthanize the dog? My nine week old puppy has weak back legs she’s not in pain and when she walks her legs form an arch. You can help at home by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, especially as they age. Pain management medications as well as joint support and physical therapy can minimize the effects of arthritis, which in turn encourages your dog to exercise and restore his muscle mass. Spinal taps or hormone testing can also seek out the source of your dog’s weakness in their legs. In a controlled environment, your dog can exercise by swimming. Some conditions, such as a herniated disk, fractures of the vertebra or tumors might require surgery. Obviously, ignoring any unusual symptom in your dog is a bad idea. We took him to the vet and they did exrays and examined him but said everything looked normal. Does your dog appear sick – loss of appetite, feverish or lethargic? This is usually linked to trauma (which didn’t apply to Murphy) or problems with blood clotting. Was at vet and he gave us a few exercise to do with him. This is called the “placing reflex” and tests the nerves going from his paw up into the spinal cord and brain stem. Labrador dogs are more at risk for fibrocartilaginous embolisms. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. Finding the root cause of weight loss is the first step. Physical therapy and dietary changes should be recommended by a professional, rather than implemented on your own judgment. Typical Lab! Hind Leg Weakness: When Your Dog’s Back Legs Give Out. Communication between the brain and the nerves supplying the lower body is lost. Foods high in carbohydrates are a big no-no if your dog is losing muscle. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 39,909 times. Dogs can even reap the benefits of jacuzzi-style whirlpools. Find Out Why (and How to Clean), Do Puggles Bark a Lot? What You Need to Know, Everything You Need to Know About the Teacup Pomeranian Dog…, Corgi Beagle Mix – Interesting Facts You Need to Know…. Making sure that your pet doesn’t put on excess weight. I discussed this with Murphy’s people, and quite rightly, they preferred to get Murphy seen by the specialist, just in case something else was going on. It eventually leads for loss of bladder control and paralysis and at this stage euthanasia is the kindest option. Once your vet has the results of all the tests they can make a diagnosis and decide on a treatment plan. DM is similar to ALS and Lou Gehring disease in humans. But proper TLC can extend and enhance your dog’s life, even when that beloved muzzle turns white. I took him to the er and all they did because all I could afford to do was get meds and take him Home. Dog hind leg weakness from some of the above mentioned causes can be treated effectively. While all breeds of dog may be affected by diabetes, Poodles, Keeshonden, Miniature Schnauzers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers tend to be more susceptible. I have a 7 or 8 week old pitbull/boxer puppy and he was wobbly in his hind legs and kind of staggering. Mobility carriers, such as a dog lifting aid, can help support your dog’s hips and abdominal areas as they move around their home. Plain in simple is do not get an animal if you cannot properly take care of him or her. If you notice your dog losing balance in their hind legs, your first concern is to, of course, return them to full health. Once the parasites are gone, your dog’s weight should stabilize. If you feed your dog a raw diet, be sure to include foods rich in antioxidants and specific vitamins. Remember that weight loss in old dogs isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. Most vets will sedate dogs for this procedure. Within a week, she was having trouble standing using her back legs, but for some reason, still able to jump up from the floor to the couch without real issue. The last time, the sores were everywhere. Your vet can tell you what you should test for and if your dog’s weight loss is part of them getting older. When it comes to the spinal cord and nerves, early treatment can often prevent or minimise permanent damage. unable to walk properly, staggering and unable to get up without difficulty. The takeaway: the normal aging process can cause some complications such as your old dog losing weight and muscle mass. Decreased appetite should return to normal, as well as their weight. There are treatment options for these conditions so they need to be ruled out before deciding that a dog has DM. supplements are also a wise addition to your senior dog’s routine. At other times the specific signs will be related to the cause. Any help would be greatly appreciated. He’s 2 and healthy until now, he’s up to date with all his vaccines. Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, also referred to as DM, is the most common reason why older dogs develop progressive weakness in their back legs. Special chews are available, which are formulated to prevent oral disease. If caught early enough, oral treatment is enough to keep your dog from feeling the side effects of Addison’s Disease. Over the last few days her situation has significantly changed for the worse. This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Older dogs should have regular appointments with the vet, so these scary conditions can be caught early on. Avoid sharing human treats regularly – save them for special occasions. Cushing’s disease usually develops in older dogs that are more than six years old, though it has been known to show up in dogs younger than six years as well. Weight gain or loss of muscle mass. The best thing you can do is not try to figure it out for yourself. With great nursing care, many dogs go on to make a full recovery. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “Junk” food isn’t good for dogs of any age, but it can cause a whole new set of issues in old dogs. Advanced cases of periodontitis will require a professional cleaning at the vets. Their hind legs are suddenly weakened, maybe to the point where they cannot use those legs at all. DM has been found to occur in dogs as early as four years old. Sometimes, muscle loss is visibly apparent – especially in short-haired breeds. What can make a dog’s back legs weak, or cause a dog’s back legs to give out? Take your dog to the vet if you notice these signs – you might not be aware that your dog has hurt himself while playing or from a fall. Beginner’s Guide to Home-cooked Dog Meals, Tips for Choosing a Local Veterinary Clinic, My Dog Peed on My Bed in Front of Me! But don’t let your dog become a couch potato just yet. One and half thousand dollars closer to a diagnosis. In the absence of other problems, muscular atrophy is treated with regular exercise and weight loss. Keep a look out for pale gums in dogs too. Hi Sinead, Four weeks is far too young for a puppy to have left his mother. He’s on anti inflammatory and pain meds! Periodontitis sounds like a mouthful – and it is. Adding them to your dog’s regimen is an easy way to maintain health and slow the progress of age-related issues. Additionally, watch for signs of weakness, like your dog favoring its front legs, which may be an indication of muscle loss in the back legs. Ataxia is a condition relating to a sensory dysfunction that produces loss of coordination of the limbs, head, and/or trunk. In humans, you may notice muscle loss as muscles getting flabby. However, larger breeds of dog are also particularly vulnerable to these conditions. DM damages the nerves inside a dog’s spinal cord, creating ataxia in canines. With his person supporting him in a standing position, I examined the poor dog. Please ask for help, it’s simply not fair to the dog to go without treatment. Less activity due to lower energy levels also leads to muscle loss in your senior dog. A blood clot can damage the spinal cord. They are a gift from God. This was really unusual. However, there was still a faint possibility of disc disease that couldn’t be ruled out without an MRI scan. It’s a mouthful of bacteria, and it could be causing your dog’s lack of appetite. Easing back into exercise can be tricky territory for fragile older dogs. You should also customize your dog’s exercise plan to match their age; an older dog should not be taken out for as intense a run as a younger dog can handle! While the wrong food can cause weight loss at any age, elderly dogs are at a higher risk. A potential side effect of botulism is a weakness in your dog’s legs, in addition to seizures in extreme cases. A warm bath with jets feels great on us when we’re feeling sore – dogs are no different. This video can be informative when we talk about more serious cases. I wish with all my heart they were all cared for like you little “Poop” She will always be with you! There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. In a large dog, ten years is closer to 66 human years. Most vets will sedate dogs for this procedure. It is an infection of wounds. To help with muscle loss, try to encourage your dog to be more active. Treating the causes has benefits beyond keeping your dog at a healthy weight. An overweight dog with a high body fat percentage is susceptible to other health issues. But it’s not the kind of weight gain you’ll want to see. I hope you get her to a Vet ASAP. This normal muscle loss is mild and shows up mainly on his hind end, where muscling is most obvious. Seeing your dog in their twilight years is a bittersweet thing. Loss of coordination or balance; staggering or wobbling as they walk. Dog hind leg weakness shows up in many different ways. He’ll wiggle his tail, lift it and drop a poopy. If there is no clear medical diagnosis to explain your senior dog losing weight, changing their diet can help. It can be observed as a loss of muscle tone and is most obvious on the hind legs and hips of senior dogs. Prompt action meant the damage to his nerves was limited, and — fingers crossed — he should make a good recovery. Dogs that eat a diet rich in grains and sugars are at greater risk for diabetes. Last Updated: March 29, 2019 Things don’t always go the way the signs suggest, and confirming (or ruling out) a hunch is the best policy where feasible. They rely on us to care for them. I just need a little answer. A basic test flipping Murphy’s back paw upside down showed it stayed that way. If your dog is from the hound family, there's nothing really to be worried about; they all are really thin because they are hunting dogs that run very fast. That’s the problem when we know our pets are sick and we’re not rich, My dog is older and shows no signs of pain or discomfort but just looks sad.well he’s loosing mobility in his hind leg favoring the one but when lays on that side any length of time he struggles and on the couch will fall over……there’s a huge lump/knot round mid lower back area……does this a inductor of a spinal issue, Your email address will not be published.
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