Hind leg weakness in dogs

Hind leg weakness in dogs is often linked to serious health problems. Spotting the problem early allows for more effective early treatment. It's important that you know the basic information regarding hind leg weakness because the condition is often difficult to spot in dogs.


Unlike with cats, dog hind leg weakness is subtle. Don't look for debilitating weakness; instead, note any slight slowdown in your dog's running speed. Also, if the dog tends to shift weight off his hind legs, this is a sign of weakness.


Hind leg weakness can be caused by diabetes, lumbar-sacral syndrome, degenerative myelopathy or nerve damage. The causes typically are treatable, and diabetes is preventable.

Diabetic Treatment

In the case of diabetic leg weakness, the dog's diet must be regulated; in some instances, daily insulin shots are needed. Diabetic hind leg weakness can be avoided altogether with healthy diet and exercise.

Lumbar-Sacral Syndrome Treatment

According to, lumbar-sacral syndrome can be inherited and also can occur if a dog is severely injured or overweight. The disorder can be cured through surgery designed to relieve spinal cord pressure. While healing from surgery, dogs need rest and mobility assistance.

Degenerative Myelopathy Treatment

Degenerative myelopathy is a spinal cord disease. Though incurable, the condition is manageable. The University of Florida's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital recommends exercise, dietary management, medication and other supportive measures.

Nerve Damage Treatment

Nerve damage caused by injury can lead to leg weakness. Nerve damage is irreversible, but usually it is manageable with anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve pressure.

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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.