Old dog can’t walk on back legs

Spread the love

There are several reasons why your older dog may not be able to walk on his back legs. The causes may not even be associated with age.

Because of numerous reasons, it may be difficult to ascertain the exact reason for this except with the intervention of a vet. Haven said this, it is also necessary for every dog owner to know the possible causes for this condition.

As dogs age, they tend to have pains and aches, just the same as humans. It is advisable that if you notice any problem on your dog’s back legs, you should seek medical attention for them immediately.

Signs of back leg problems in dogs

Difficulty in walking is often attributed to one cause or the other. Depending on the root of the problem, here are some of the following signs that affect their legs:

  1. Weakness standing on back legs
  2. Unable to walk on their back legs
  3. Stiffness in legs and joints
  4. Staggering
  5. Paralysis
  6. Unbalanced nature
  7. Not being active

These and many more signs show that your dogs may be having problems walking. Also, you should watch out for other unusual behaviors that they have not previously been displaying.

Some of these other unusual signs include seizures, licking their legs, fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, and so much more.

Causes of Back Leg Weakness in Dogs

The following points are potentially the reasons why your dog may not be able to walk on his back legs. The issues include the following:

  1. Infectious diseases: A lot of parasites and microorganisms can lead to paralysis and inflammation in the spinal cord and nerves of your dog.

Ticks and roundworms are some of the parasites and microorganisms that are likely to cause infection in dogs that can as well lead to an issue in your dog’s back legs.

  1. Low blood supply: Just like we have with humans, blood is needed around the body for a smooth function of their body operation.

If a part of our body lacks blood supply, it may lead to weakness and possibly also result in paralysis.

As for dogs, if they are deprived of enough supplication of blood in their spinal cord, it is likely to cause havoc to their back legs and make them weak.

  1. Poisoning: Poison in the form of toxins in pesticides and plants could also be the reason why your older dog may not be able to walk on his back legs.

If your older dog comes in contact with toxic plants or pesticides, then there is every chance that it can cause paralysis by affecting their back legs at first.

  1. Nutritional disorders: This problem does not only affect older dogs but all dogs. If your dog is not being fed with the right nutrition, they are likely to develop issues with their back legs.

For instance, Vitamin B1, which is also known as thiamine deficiency by poor diet, can also lead to weakness in the back legs of dogs.

Asides from weakness, there are other signs which lack of Vitamin B1 can cause in your dog. For your dog not to experience back leg weakness, you must make sure you feed them with the right diet at the right time.

  1. Cancer and tumors: This may come as a shock to some people, but cancer and tumors can also make your dog unable to walk with their back legs.

In fact, dogs are capable of developing dangerous tumors and cancers in their back legs from the age of 6 months.

However, if you visit your vet with your dog regularly for check-ups, your vet can easily spot cancer or tumor at its early stage and recommend an efficient remedy.

  1. Injury: Severe injury on your dog’s nerves or spinal cord could also be a hindrance to a smooth flow and walking ability on their back legs.

For your information, injuries are one of the most common causes of back leg weakness and pain in dogs. You can solve this issue by simply going to your vet and seeking proper medication.

  1. Genetic problems: If your dog’s related predecessor experienced back leg problems, then there is every chance that your dog will also experience the same problem.

While the problem may seem inevitable, it is still something that can be managed if your dog is cared for. Some of the more genetic issues experienced in dogs include arthritis, myelopathy, and slipped disks.

  1. Old age: Old age is also significant, and it can play a great part in your dog’s inability to walk with their back legs.

This is a problem that is almost impossible to avoid, and it occurs in virtually all dogs when they reach a certain age.

Prevention of back leg problems in older dogs

Here are some of the ways to ensure your dog continues to walk on their back legs for a long time:

  • Providing your dog with a healthy and balanced diet: This point is very crucial and should not be underrated. A good meal is important for overall good health status for your dog.
  • Visiting the vet regularly: Frequent check-up is essential in making sure that your dog remains in the best health condition that also concerns their back legs.
  • Ensuring your dog gets daily or regular exercises depending on their age: Exercises are also needed to keep your dog’s back legs firm and stable.
  • Make sure your dog does not go close to a toxic plant or anywhere near a toxic parasite and pesticides. Instead, keep them away by providing chew toys and other toys they can use to keep themselves busy.

What step should I take if my old dog can’t walk on his back leg?

The best step to take is to visit your vet and seek a quick and possible solution. Also, ensure you see your vet immediately you begin noticing your dog’s problem so that proper medication or assistance can be rendered.

Your vet is a professional, and he/she will certainly know where the problem is coming from and what they need to do to correct the issue.


Older dogs may not be able to escape being unable to walk on their back legs once they reach a certain age in their lifetime.

On the other hand, back leg problems do not only occur in older dogs, as younger dogs also experience the same issue.

With a proper diet, enough exercise, and regular check-ups, your dog should be fine if they were previously unable to walk on their back legs.

Leave a Comment