Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

Senior Dog That Is Having A Hard Time Getting Up And Down? 2 Possible Causes For This

by Calvin Newman

If you have a senior dog and notice they are having a hard time getting up and down, this can be due to many things. Below are two of these things, along with the symptoms and treatment available, if any. You can then get your dog the care they need.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is more common in larger dogs, such as Great Danes, St. Barnards, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dog, and more. This can also happen to a dog at any age, but it's more common in older dogs. Hip dysplasia affects the hip joint, and if an older dog gets arthritis, this will affect this joint. If your dog has this, they will have severe pain in their hip. They will also have problems getting up and sitting down. In the beginning, your dog may only feel a little pain, but if not treated, the pain will become much worse. You will also notice that your dog walks differently, such as leaning more to one side, or they may put both their hind legs together and hop as they walk.

Take your dog to the veterinarian if they are showing signs of hip dysplasia. The vet will first manipulate the joint to check the range of motion in the hip and then take a series of X-rays. The X-rays will show if your dog has hip dysplasia.

If your dog only has mild hip dysplasia, exercise routines and changing their dog food may help. If the problem is more severe, however, surgery will be needed. The vet will also prescribe medication to reduce the inflammation in the hip.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) causes back leg weakness. The weakness becomes so bad your dog will have problems sitting down and getting back up. Your dog will also have a hard time walking, which will be slight at first, but in the end, they will not be able to walk at all. This disease affects the spinal cord and prevents the brain and spinal cord from communicating.

Your dog may stumble while walking, and they may scuff their hind feet as they walk. In many cases, you will notice their hind legs cross as they are walking. The rear paws will wear away, and their nails will wear out because they have to scuff their feet. You will notice your dog's rear legs shake while they are standing.

Your vet can do tests to determine if your dog has DM. There are no treatments available, and your dog will eventually die from this disease. In most cases, euthanasia is needed once the dog becomes completely paralyzed.

Talk to a veterinarian at a clinic like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital about these two health problems to learn much more about them.