Having a dog means caring for him until the end. As heartbreaking as it is, we have to face the truth that our senior dog’s aren’t as capable as they used to be. Very often their hind legs will give up on them and they will struggle to do even the easiest tasks. But there are ways to help your dog regain some of his old mobility. Here’s how to strengthen old dog’s hind legs.
Signs that your dogs legs are hind
- He has trouble getting up from sitting down or laying.
- Your dog is no longer enjoying walks or exercise.
- He can’t jump on the bed or the sofa anymore
- Hind leg tremors
There are many potential causes of hind legs in dogs. Before knowing how to treat it or help your canine, you will have to learn what the underlying cause is. However, a veterinarian will be the one giving the ultimate diagnosis for your dog’s collapsing back legs.
Common causes of hind legs in dogs:
Arthritis is a disease that can affect many different animals, including humans and dogs. It’s especially common in older dogs. Arthritis causes stiffness of the joints that then cause hind legs and back leg weakness in canines. As our dogs ages, the cartilage between the joints can deteriorate which causes inflammation and pain. The condition can develop even further and become what is known as Degenerative Joint Disease. This is basically the dog version osteoarthritis. If the back legs of your dog are collapsing, be on the lookout for these signs of osteoarthritis:
- Inability or difficulty getting up
- Pain after touching your dog’s legs
- Difficulty squatting when doing their business
This is a chronic disease that is caused by a malformation that causes the hip joint ball and socket to rub together. After a while, this rubbing will cause significant loss of cartilage which can then cause osteoarthritis and therefore hip dysplasia. While hind back legs is one symptom, other possible symptoms include:
- Difficulties getting up
- Joint stiffness
DM is a genetic and incurable disease that is caused by the deterioration and therefore loss of the function of neurons. Neurons aren’t the only part of the nervous system that are affected. However, they are the ones suffering from the deterioration the most. The most common symptom that can help differentiating DM from other diseases causing hind legs is that there isn’t any pain associated with it. Additionally, dogs may show symptoms such as:
- Dragging their back legs
- Loss of coordination
Weight pays a huge role in the overall mobility in your dog. Older dogs gain weight more easily as their metabolism slows down. However, obesity will make it much harder for your dog’s legs to function properly. Make sure to keep the diet of your older dog healthy and that he gets enough exercise while he still can.
How to strengthen old dog’s hind legs
Thankfully, there are actually different options out there on how to strengthen your old dog’s hind legs. However, always make sure to take your dog to the vet first so that be can determine the appropriate cause. The vet may also suggest different treatment options. There are different orthopedic braces out there that may also help your dog regain some of his mobility.
Besides orthopedic braces, you can also help your dog with different lifestyle changes.
Make sure that he gets a healthy diet, with all of the nutrients that your dog may need. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Vitamin K may help your dog’s overall condition. However, always consult your vet before adding any supplements to their diet. If your dog is overweight, the best option would be to lose that extra weight. Ask your vet for advice on how to help your dog slim down in a healthy way.
Additionally, exercise can also help tremendously. If your dog’s mobility is compromised, try with some easy exercises like moving his legs gently and doing circles. If your dog is still able to walk, go on slow paced and easy walks together several times a day.
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