Q:

What causes the back legs of dogs to be weak?

A:

Quick Answer

According to petMD, weakness of the hind limbs in dogs is a common symptom of degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease that affects the nervous system and spinal cord. Degenerative myelopathy is more common in older dogs, and there is no specific cause for the disease. Additional signs include loss of muscle mass and exaggerated spinal reflexes.

Know More
What causes the back legs of dogs to be weak?
Credit: Doxieone Photography Moment Open Getty Images

Full Answer

VCA Animal Hospitals explains that weakness of the back legs in dogs often occurs with lumbosacral syndrome, a condition that affects the lower parts of the spinal column. Lumbosacral syndrome is caused by pressure on the nerves that exit the spine. As the condition progresses, symptoms include pain and wincing when pressure is applied to the back and slow rising and lameness in the hind legs.

According to Kilgore Small Animal Hospital, intervertebral disc disease, also referred to as slipped discs, is a common condition in dogs that causes weakness of the hind legs and pain and stiffness. Slipped discs are more common in dogs with shorter legs and longer backs. If discs slip suddenly, it is referred to as acute disease. Discs can also slip in a slower fashion, leading to pinched nerves and chronic back pain. Slipped discs in dogs are often treated with steroids or surgery.

Learn more in Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do dogs move their legs when scratched?

    A:

    When you scratch a dog on its belly, it will kick or shake its legs due to a scratch reflex. This reflex is a completely involuntary reaction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What breed of dogs other than Spitz have tails that curl over the back?

    A:

    The Spitz is not a breed of dog, but is a term that refers to several different dog breeds that share common traits, including long and curly tails that extend up and over the back. Other characteristics of the breeds include a thick layer of fur and pointed ears and muzzles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes lethargy and loss of appetite in dogs?

    A:

    The most common cause of lethargy and loss of appetite in dogs is an infection in the body. Other reasons a dog would be lethargic and uninterested in eating are pain, medications, liver disease, heart disease and diabetes mellitus, according to WebMD. There are many conditions that would cause a dog to become weak, lethargic and have a loss of appetite, so it is important to bring a dog to see a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes head tremors in dogs?

    A:

    According to petMD, localized involuntary muscle tremors can cause a dog's head to shake slightly. Involuntary muscle tremors can also cause a dog's entire body to shake. Localized tremors that affect only the hind legs are also common.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore