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Why does my dog drag his back legs?

Why does my dog drag his back legs?

Our dogs are usually very active creatures.  Like most creatures, they will eventually slow down with age. Unfortunately, they can also get sick and suffer from different diseases that may affect their bones, ligaments, and muscles. When your dog has difficulty moving around, he may only be able to use his front legs. It is very difficult to see dogs in pain or losing strength, so you may have questions about what causes these issues.

Why does my dog drag his back legs?

Your dog may be suffering from a variety of issues that can affect the strength of its back legs. There may be issues with the spine, ligaments, insect bites, or age. It is important to know that your dog is not necessarily in pain when it is dragging its back legs. A dog may continually drag its legs or it may only drag its back legs after certain activities.

Accidents can happen at any time, even when you are not around. If your dog is whining or crying while dragging its back legs, this could be a sign that your dog has suffered an injury. Your dog may have pulled a muscle or broken a bone in the lower leg. 

Why does my dog drag his back legs after getting up?

Sometimes, dogs of various ages may experience lameness. Puppies are very energetic and  love to get into mischief. They may end up over exerting themselves  without realizing it. Like human babies, the joints and bones in a puppy are not fully formed yet. As a result, if they do too much too soon, they can inadvertently cause damage to the structural foundation of their body. This can result in dragging their back legs when they get up.

Older dogs are especially at risk for osteoarthritis. A dog can experience weakness in the joints like a human. Canines can put on weight over the years. These excess pounds also cause weakness in the back legs. You can get support for your older dog by way of a brace for his back legs. If your dog is overweight, put your dog on a healthy diet and help it lose weight to take stress off its legs. Even older dogs need some form of exercise.

Why does my dog drag his back legs after exercising?

In less serious cases, your dog simply may have done too much while you were out walking and running. A dog of any age is capable of overexerting itself, especially when it is having fun. One solution involves trying shorter walks or being more careful during play time. There may have been a time when you could have taken your dog on a three-hour hike. Maybe it is time to slow down a bit with your pet.

Unfortunately, if your dog drags its legs after exercising or running, it may be experiencing a serious condition called Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. This painful disease is a progressive condition that affects the spinal cord by causing nerve damage. Dogs that are older than 7 years old are affected the most. Certain breeds tend to have this condition as well. Boxers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and German Shepherds are some of the top breeds diagnosed with this condition.

Why is my dog dragging his legs suddenly?

Herniated discs affect more than humans. Your dog may also suffer from this as well, with a condition called Intervertebral Disc Disease. A canine may suddenly drag its back legs due to one of the intervertebral discs slipping, protruding, or deteriorating. When one of  these discs falls out of place, it compresses the nerves and the spinal cord of the dog’s

If your dog has been outside, it may have gotten bitten by a tick. Ticks cause dogs great annoyance by making them itch when they attach to their skin. Sometimes a tick bite can be more serious than a simple itch. Your dog may be suffering from tick bite paralysis. In this case, the saliva of certain female ticks can release toxins into your dog’s blood stream. There are three different types of ticks that can cause such paralysis  – the Rocky Mountain tick, the lone star tick, and the deer tick.

Bone inflammation can be caused by a condition called Osteomyelitis.  An animal bite, bone fracture, or an injury can create infection in your dog’s body. Your pup’s mobility is affected when this infection happens in the spine.

What to do about my dog dragging his back legs?

One of the first things you should do is look out for your dog’s weight. An overweight dog has a lot of pressure on its back legs. If your dog’s weight is getting out of control, as mentioned earlier, feed it a healthier diet and try to take it on more walks. You may also need to give your dog nutritional supplements that can support the joints.

Even if your dog is overweight, you should still take it to see your vet immediately. The issue could be very serious and it is best to let your vet diagnose the problem.

Your vet will diagnose your dog by using a myelogram to check for damage to the vertebrae.Antibiotics are used to help treat bacterial infections that may be causing your dog to drag its back legs. However, you can only slow down degenerative myelopathy as there is no cure. Dogs diagnosed with this condition only live for up to another two years. In the meantime, you can help manage its pain by administering vitamins, supplements and perhaps physical therapy.