Walking is a big part of being a dog. Most dogs need to go on at least one walk a day and they love to run after balls, potter around the garden and are generally found walking around the house. So, being unable to walk can be highly distressing for the dog and their owner. If your dog is suddenly showing signs of being unable to walk, you should take them to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Your dog may be diagnosed with one of the following conditions:
Hip dysplasia is a result of wear and tear to the hip joint and is a hereditary condition that can begin developing in your dog from as early as sixteen weeks old. It is generally only thought to affect larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, Saint Bernard’s and other breeds that carry a lot of weight, therefore, putting increased pressure on the hip joints. However, it is possible for hip dysplasia to affect smaller breeds and it should not be ruled out. Symptoms include difficulty using the rear legs, lower levels of activity, and evidence of pain in the hip joints. Owners may want to consider a canine wheelchair for treating hip dysplasia in dogs and allowing their dog to retain the same level of freedom and activity.
This is perhaps the most common reason for a dog to be unable to walk. It is most commonly found in older dogs, although a dog can develop arthritis at any age. In one in every five dogs, it is a result of wear and tear on the joints. This could be due to obesity, joint infection, extra stress from heavy exercise, cruciate ligament tear, or poor nutrition to name a few. Signs that your dog is suffering from arthritis include taking great care with their joint movements, difficulty getting up after resting, licking joints more frequently, and moving very slowly.
This condition occurs over time due to degeneration of the spinal cord’s white matter. It tends to develop as weakness in the rear legs, which can lead to paralysis. The cause of this condition is unknown and it tends to develop more in German Shepherds than any other dog breed. The symptoms are very similar to those of hip dysplasia and arthritis, however, in this case, the dog will wobble, stumble and fall.
Intervertebral Disc Disease:
This is a condition which causes the discs between the spinal vertebrae to rupture so that they are no longer adequately cushioning the discs. They then rub onto each other. This causes pain for the dog and can also lead to a loss of feeling and function in the legs. In severe cases, it can even lead to paralysis. The discs may either rupture suddenly or degenerate gradually, but in both cases, it is due to everyday wear and tear leading to disc deterioration.
Has your dog been diagnosed with any of the above conditions? What do you do to help them live a fulfilled, comfortable life?