Weakness in Hind Legs & Vomiting in Dogs

Written by jennifer gittins
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Weakness in Hind Legs & Vomiting in Dogs
Dogs with either symptom should seek a veterinarian for proper diagnosis. (dog image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

For dogs, weakness of the hind legs and vomiting are two different symptoms that are not usually associated with each other. Owners of dogs who are experiencing either of these symptoms should seek veterinary care immediately to rule out any serious diseases or illnesses.

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Causes: Weakness in the Hind Legs

There are potentially dozens of causes of weakness in a canine's hind legs. This symptom can stem from various infections, congenital defects, neurological diseases or muscle issues. Some causes of weakness in a dog's hind legs include toxoplasmosis, arthritis, Cushing's disease, lumbar-sacral syndrome or simply due to old age.

Causes: Vomiting

There is an endless list of possible causes of vomiting in a dog. Most cases of canine vomiting are caused by some form of gastrointestinal upset, often due to an infection or following consumption of a toxin. Some reasons for canine vomiting include eating foreign objects or contaminated food, canine distemper, leptospirosis, liver disease and in severe cases, cancer. However, some dogs may vomit simply because they ate their food too quickly, due to overexcitement or due to exercise immediately after eating.

Diagnosis

Dogs who are exhibiting either of these symptoms will likely undergo several different tests at the veterinarian's office. For dogs suffering from hind leg weakness, the veterinarian will perform a physical exam to check for physical deformities. The affected dog may undergo tests including blood tests and X-rays to determine the underlying cause. Dogs with vomiting will also undergo a physical examination, and the veterinarian may inquire about changes in diet, new treats or potential toxins. Additional tests for vomiting may include blood tests, a urinalysis or an ultrasound.

Treatment: Weakness in the Hind Legs

The treatment for canine hind leg weakness varies from dog to dog based on the underlying cause. For example, if hind leg weakness is occurring due to old age, there may not be much the owner can do other than supportive therapy and medication for pain management. Meanwhile, other treatment options for weakness in the hind legs include various medications such as glucosamine for arthritis or surgical removal of tumours, if cancer is present.

Treatment: Vomiting

Due to the vast number of sources for canine vomiting, there is also a large number of treatment options―some of which may be dependent on the underlying cause of vomiting. For example, if a bacterial infection causes the vomiting, antibiotics may be prescribed. Other treatment options include a change in diet, withholding food for 24 hours, deworming if parasites are present, medications for kidney failure or medications for pancreatic or liver issues.

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