Dogs are energetic creatures. Of course, some dogs are more active than others, but all dogs need some kind of exercise and movement.
It’s for this reason that seeing our dog struggle to rise after laying down might be alarming.
This concern will be amplified if the instability remains as they walk.
After sitting for an extended period, we may develop stiffness, particularly as we become older.
Dogs are no exception, but age isn’t the only factor.
What may other reasons cause a dog to have trouble standing and walking?
Why Is Your Dog Having Trouble Standing And Walking?
Differentiate between a dog with difficulty standing and a dog who is entirely unable to stand.
It is mainly linked to whether they have a short-term or long-term issue.
Because the former may often lead to the latter, treating mobility issues as soon as feasible is critical.
When a severe issue causes the dog trouble in standing and walking, we may be able to help.
If it is a broken leg, for example, we may be able to repair it and get them back on its feet.
On the other hand, degenerative disorders are a significant cause of dogs’ inability to stand up correctly.
The trouble standing and walking will worsen until movement is entirely lost in some instances.
It is critical to slow this growth, but stopping it may not be feasible.
Finally, physical leg weakness is not the only cause of a dog’s trouble standing and walking.
Because the brain coordinates leg movement, neurological issues might occur, making it difficult for individuals to stand or walk.
These may be degenerative, but they might also be acute, and with time and the right therapy, they will recover.
Let’s look at the specific reasons why a dog can’t stand or walk correctly to figure out what therapy options are available.
Arthritis is another degenerative condition that causes a dog to be unable to stand or move.
It is a broad phrase that encompasses a variety of joint problems, but they all cause pain and stiffness.
It makes basic motions difficult for the dog, such as trouble standing and walking.
Dogs with arthritis can exhibit a variety of symptoms, and they do not always exhibit the same symptoms.
The following are the most common signs that dog owners may notice:
- Having trouble getting up and down, stiffly walking, and lameness in one or more legs, joints are swelling, stiff, or in pain
- Reluctance to jump (onto/off furniture or into/out of a vehicle), or go up and/or downstairs, or reluctance to have certain parts of the body touched
Arthritis in dogs has a variety of causes, but it is a prevalent issue in senior canines.
Because the dog’s joints deteriorate with time, this is the case.
Improper exercise, obesity, and trauma may all aggravate this condition.
There is a hereditary component to arthritis, similar to hip dysplasia, which implies that some breeds are more prone to get it.
Arthritis in dogs is treatable in various ways, but the goal is to delay the progression of the disease and control the symptoms.
NSAIDs will most certainly be prescribed to address the pain and inflammation, as well as dietary adjustments to strengthen joints and lower obesity risk and changes to their exercise routines.
Dogs are notorious for concealing their distress.
They may not display any evident indications of discomfort when they are injured.
However, this depends on the degree of damage.
They might experience several types of trauma.
Dogs may get injuries from a car accident, or they may fall from a great height or even a dog fight.
The canines’ injuries may not be visible at first.
The dog may not have any apparent wounds on its skin if the damage is inside.
Their movement will be affected if they have a fractured bone, a torn ligament, or a cartilage injury.
It might indicate that they have trouble standing and walking with a peculiar stride.
Although many traumas are manageable, they may have long-term consequences if they are not addressed right once.
A fractured bone in a dog may be set, but if it isn’t, the bone will mend incorrectly, resulting in lameness.
If we notice our dog has been in a serious accident, we should take them to a veterinarian for an evaluation, even if there are no evident indications of harm.
3. Neurological Disorders
Many neurological illnesses may cause ataxia. Thus, it’s worth investigating them further.
The brain is affected by neurological diseases when it cannot effectively deliver messages to the rest of the body.
When a dog’s brain isn’t working correctly, the impulses that should alert them to get up might become mixed up.
Thereby it can be the reason the pet has trouble standing and walking.
A dog’s age is one of the essential factors in the development of a neurological illness.
Just like a dog’s joints, their neurological functions might decline as they age.
In older dogs, there should be some sluggishness, but some dogs may alter dramatically.
Dementia may affect older dogs, causing problems with their attitude and behavior.
Dogs may acquire neurological abnormalities for a variety of causes that aren’t related to their age.
Head trauma may cause harm to the dog’s stride or possibly paralysis of its limbs.
You may not believe it, but diet-related disorders can influence a dog’s mobility.
Diabetes is a condition that impairs a dog’s capacity to create enough insulin or the ability of its cells to react to insulin.
Dogs, cats, and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans can develop diabetes, which is a chronic disease.
It may affect the dog’s blood sugar levels when this occurs.
Low blood sugar in a dog may have a variety of consequences.
One of them has a difficult time standing up.
It’s improbable that they’ll be able to walk for any length of time if they can’t stand because of low blood sugar.
Diabetes in dogs will need a variety of therapies, including dietary changes and insulin injections, when blood sugar levels fall too low.
If your pet shows these signs and has trouble standing and walking, you should review more about diabetes in dogs.
Diabetes can be successfully managed even though there is no cure.
On our page about insulin for dogs with diabetes, you can read more about treating diabetic symptoms.
Ataxia is another word for a group of conditions that affect dogs’ gait.
We notice it frequently because the dog appears inebriated.
It is a symptom of many distinct conditions rather than a sickness in and of itself.
Ataxia in dogs or trouble standing and walking may be caused by several factors.
- Distemper – It is a disease that affects dogs
- Different types of illnesses
- Vestibular illness – It’s a condition that affects the ears and the sense of balance
- A disc that has herniated
- Medications’ side effects
- Tumors of the brain
- Wobbler syndrome – A condition in which a pet is unable to stand
The therapy for canine ataxia is as numerous as the causes and kinds of ataxia.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. The speed of recovery from the symptoms depends on whether they are acute or persistent.
For instance, if a dog cannot stand because of a medication’s side effects, this is likely to change once he/she is no longer taking the medication.
6. Hip Dysplasia
It’s a condition where the hip joint does not function; hence dogs get trouble standing and walking.
The most common clinical signs are weakness and pain in the back legs.
The dog seems unsteady and takes a long time to get up from a sitting or lying position.
Some dogs limp or are hesitant to climb stairs.
Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition with a vital hereditary component, but various lifestyle factors may also cause it.
It’s a bone disease that affects the hip joint, causing the ball joint to fit incorrectly in the socket.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs typically do not appear until they are at least six months old.
Although puppies as young as a few months old can show these symptoms, dogs between the ages of one and two years show them the most frequently.
Regardless, if signs show up later – standing and walking can be a big issue for your dog.
Hip dysplasia is more common in some breeds, such as the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, English Bulldog, and several others.
If the dog has a history of hip dysplasia, we must be cautious not to aggravate the condition.
Over-exercising dogs with this illness, as well as obesity in dogs, are risk factors.
If you have a dog breed susceptible to hip dysplasia, keep an eye out for issues standing or walking.
We should still take the dog to a veterinarian for testing, even if we don’t.
Trouble Standing And Walking In Dogs – What Can You Do?
As you can see from the list above, there are various reasons why your dog may be having trouble standing and walking.
Some may be transitory, but it’s crucial to assess the extent of the harm.
You should immediately take your dog to the veterinarian if you see your dog straining to get up or walking with an abnormal gait.
They’ll be able to analyze their medical history and conduct tests that will lead to a diagnosis.
A veterinarian will most likely take x-rays or conduct an ultrasound if he/she detected physical concerns.
If these tests are equivocal or a suspected neurological condition, more extensive scans like an MRI or CT scan may be required.
The veterinarian will recommend the right course of therapy after identifying the underlying reason.
The dog’s prognosis might be bleak in certain circumstances if the issue has gone far enough.
In these circumstances, euthanizing the dog rather than allowing it to suffer in severe pain or confusion may be the most compassionate option.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.