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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How do I give a schnauzer a haircut?

    A:

    To give a Schnauzer a haircut, clip the hair along the dog's back and flanks, brush and trim the legs, clip the throat and chest, clip the face and ears, and shape the eyebrows and beard with scissors. This 45-minute process requires clippers, a comb and scissors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do dogs have tonsils?

    A:

    Dogs have tonsils that are located in the upper portion of the throat near the back of the jaw and that help fight infections. Sometimes the tonsils themselves become inflamed from bacterial infection, resulting in tonsillitis. Although tonsillitis is not rare in dogs, tonsillectomies are infrequently performed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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:

    Why do dogs kick their legs after defecation?

    A:

    It is believed that dogs kick their legs after defecating to mark their territory. In addition, a dog has scent glands located in its paws. By kicking its paws out and upturning dirt, a dog can release more scent into the area and better mark it.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore