A dog’s mobility may change for many reasons such as an illness, injury, or chronic condition. These are reasons that often require a dog to be put on medication, have surgery or deal with other challenging treatments.
However, sometimes these changes in mobility are not due to a medical condition at all, but rather because your dog is aging. Mobility is an important part of your dog’s quality of life, and if a change in mobility occurs, it is important to take action.
Dogs need exercise; they need to be able to run, walk and play. If they are unable to do these things by themselves because of a disability, you may want to consider a mobility aid for your dog.
What To Do When Your Dog Suddenly Starts Having Trouble Walking?
If your dog suddenly starts having trouble walking, it’s important to keep an eye on him. If he’s not responding when you talk to him or seems tired and listless, take him to the vet for a checkup. He might have a neck injury or spinal injury that will need immediate medical attention.
When a dog suddenly starts walking with a limp, there can be several causes of this problem. If the lameness is associated with difficulty jumping or climbing stairs, it’s more likely due to an injury in the hip joint or back.
Dogs do not jump up onto beds and couches as easily when they are in pain. They often seem weak and unsteady when getting up from sitting down.
Limping can also be caused by arthritis related to old age, or problems with the spinal cord in addition to hip joint problems.
If your dog suddenly starts walking with a limp, he will probably avoid putting weight on the affected leg. A dog that is hobbling walks slowly, often with the toe touching down first. This gait pattern may be accompanied by noticeable weakness in the hindquarters and a stiff neck.
When your dog slows down his exercise routine because he is tired or seems sore and stiff, take him to the vet for a checkup.
Why Does It Happen?
Dogs can suddenly start having trouble walking because of a variety of reasons. The most common cause is arthritis. Other causes include spinal disc disease, intervertebral disc rupture, or a slipped disk.
Your dog’s sudden difficulty in walking may also be due to an injury to the spinal cord, nerve damage, poisoning, or side effects from one of his medications.
What You Can Do. If your dog has an injury to his spinal cord, you’ll know it because he will be unable to move any part of his body down and backward from the neck. If this is the case, your dog needs emergency veterinary care as soon as possible, so contact your veterinarian or local animal emergency center for instructions on how to proceed.
If your dog seems unable to move any part of his body either backward or forward from the neck, don’t panic! A dog with a pinched nerve will be able to move some of his body parts, so recognize that this is not an emergency.
If you know your dog’s normal walk and he seems unable to move normally, take him in for an examination. Your veterinarian will determine if your dog is suffering from a pinched nerve based upon your description of his symptoms, medical history, and results of the physical examination.
Common symptoms of a pinched nerve include: You will notice that in all cases the cause is an injury to the neck, specifically the cervical vertebrae. The spinal cord is located between the vertebral bodies of these bones.
When the vertebrae become dislocated or fractured, there is a chance of pinching the spinal cord. The most common causes of a pinched nerve in dogs include: Your dog’s condition will require immediate medical attention if he is displaying constant severe pain and cannot move any part of his body at all.
How to Avoid It?
Sometimes dogs develop a sudden problem with walking. This could be caused by an injury or medical condition. It’s important for the owner to know when it might happen so that they can take appropriate steps in advance.
Some general symptoms are limping, slow movement, and reluctance to put weight on a leg. The most important thing is to keep the dog calm and prevent any additional injury from taking place.
A veterinarian should be contacted as soon as possible to rule out any major problems like ruptured cruciate ligaments or bone fractures.
How to Treat It?
If your dog has suddenly started having trouble walking, you should immediately make an appointment with a veterinarian. They will assess the dog and make a diagnosis. The vet may want to run some tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, to determine the cause of the problem.
The vet may tell you that surgery is needed to fix a spine or disk problem. If this is the case, ask your vet about options for funding the surgery.
If you notice any of these signs for your dog, take him to the vet immediately. He could have a neurological illness or spinal injury that needs medical attention.