hind leg)

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. You should see a vet to check what is causing the problem. It can be many things ( rupture of the ligament, muscle injury, joint dislocation…)

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Broken bones, fractures, sprains, dislocations, ligament tears, joint trauma, and spinal injuries can all cause moderate to severe limping in dogs, and in some cases the dog may not be able to put weight on the affected leg at all.
If your dog has pulled a muscle you may notice him limping or walking on 3 legs. He may hold his leg up when he is standing still or sitting. You may also hear him whine or cry and may go off his food if it is very sore.
Degenerative myelopathy is a condition that affects the nerves in the lower spine. It causes weakness, gradual paralysis of the hind legs, incontinence, and can sometimes even affect the front legs. Most dogs with degenerative myelopathy develop symptoms at around nine years old.
The main orthopedic cause of hind-limb weakness in dogs is chronic joint inflammation/pain (osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease). While the arthritis itself is obviously painful, it is frequently accompanied by muscle aches and pains, called compensatory pain.
Dogs can have pulled muscles just like humans, and it can be heartbreaking to watch your dog walk around with a limp. The muscles most often injured are those in a dog`s front or hind legs and the most common symptom is a limp.
If your dog is suddenly limping on its back leg, it is important to have them seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible. There are many possible causes of sudden limping in the back leg of dogs, including a ruptured ACL, strain and sprains, IVDD, fracture/dislocation and iliopsoas muscle injury.
When a dog starts holding up one leg, this is a symptom of lameness, and is usually due to some soft tissue injury, trauma, or musculoskeletal orthopedic problem of the particular limb. Occasionally neurological problems of either the discs in the neck or lower back or hip areas can also cause pets to hold up one leg.
Take your dog on regular, brief walks each day, as these short bursts of low-impact exercise will gradually rebuild their hind-leg strength. Take your dog swimming in a safe place to allow them to work their muscles gently and with less friction.
A dog`s inability to walk is typically due to either a problem with the dog`s joints or issues with his spinal cord. Arthritis is probably the most common reason for a dog`s inability to walk. It often develops with age, but can even occur in very young dogs.
Acupuncture will help to strengthen the nerve-muscle connection and is our go-to therapy when there are incontinence issues along with the hind end weakness. With acupuncture there is an increased circulation to problematic areas, nerve and muscle stimulation, and usually a general sense of well being for the patient.
Things that can make your dog lethargic and weak can range from infection and disease to pain and medication. And because weakness and lethargy can indicate anything from a chronic condition to a life-threatening illness, you should always talk to your vetwhen you notice either symptom.
Cushing`s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is a serious health condition in dogs that occurs when the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol (cortisone) in the animal`s body. Excess cortisol can put a dog at risk of several serious conditions and illnesses, from kidney damage to diabetes, and can be life-threatening.
Recovery of Muscle Tear in Dogs

Be prepared for a minimum recovery time frame of four to six weeks. The road to recovery for your pet must be a slow one. The prognosis is good, though sporting or working dogs may not recover to the level of ability present before the injury.

Leg weakness can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, some of which are serious. Possible causes include stroke, systemic diseases, inflammatory conditions, nerve damage, muscle disorders, and medication side effects.
Canine Degenerative Myelopathy – a type of spinal disorder – causes coordination problems in the hind limbs, leading to difficulty walking. Symptoms may include foot-dragging or the “knuckling” of paws.
Answer: Fortunately for us, dogs do not understand they are going to be put down and what happens after they are given the injection that puts them to sleep.
Sometimes limping will go away on its own, especially if you provide some at-home support like a brace. Other times limping may be a sign of a more serious injury or condition that will require veterinary intervention.
Dogs can start to show signs of arthritis as early as 1 year of age. According to the Vet Times (pdf), the degenerative joint condition can be found in 20% of dogs before their first year and 80% of more senior dogs at or over age 8.
Some of our favorites include blueberries, turmeric (fresh root, powdered, or in supplement form), fatty fish, sweet potatoes, fresh ginger root, spinach, and pumpkin. Don`t be afraid to add these “people foods” into your dog`s meal rotation for a healthy kick. You can read more about what foods to stay away from here.
Back Leg Stretch

Decreased mobility of the hips and deterioration of the knee are major problems for elderly canines. Keep your dog perky by loosening up their hip, lower back, and leg muscles. Take hold of their rear leg near the knee and gently pull the leg back in an extended position. Move slowly and confidently.

Egg, fish, beef, chicken, lamb, and rice all rank high on the scale. When picking your pup`s food, ensure one of these quality protein sources is listed in the first few ingredients. And of course, whole foods should always be a focus.
Dogs who have hip dysplasia may sway back and forth when they walk. They may also have a bunny-hopping gait or may stand flat on their back feet. All of these potential gait issues are related to the pain they feel when they suffer from hip dysplasia.
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. When she walks: 2 avoid that leg pain she has completely taken the weight off& is now only using 3 out of 4legs whats causing her pain?(left hind leg)
ANSWER : A. You should see a vet to check what is causing the problem. It can be many things ( rupture of the ligament, muscle injury, joint dislocation…)

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.

Q. My dog has a hard time walking on his front legs. I was told he has nerve damage and he was walking on three legs now it seems to be both front legs
ANSWER : A. Problems with walking in the front legs can be caused by a large number of things. Arthritis in older dogs can cause joint pain and stiffness which may make walking hard. Nerve or muscular damage may also cause problems.

With nerve or muscle damage there is often a loss of muscle tone in the affected limbs. Limbs may look skinnier than unaffected ones, and may lose overall muscle mass. In some cases, treatment for pain or soreness may help improve symptoms some. Depending on the severity of the damage, some dogs may recover while others have permanent damage.

It may also be that if your dog was putting all his weight on one front leg to help the other, that the good front leg is now stiff and sore. Restricting exercise, giving a supplement to help joints and bones and following your veterinarian’s recommendations for care can all help your dog to feel a little better.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Hello.. My jack russel has started to get a bowed front leg at the ankle and is causing him to limp quiet a lot.. Is there anything that can be done.?
ANSWER : A. It is possible an injury or deformity of the leg is causing the limp and physical changes you are seeing. Sprains, breaks, strains and even nutritional deficiencies may cause the leg to bow and pain/limping to occur. Having a vet take an X-ray and examine the leg is best to determine the cause of the changes and limp as well as the treatment needed. Casting, bed rest, and medications to treat pain may all be needed to help the leg heal. Until you can get to the vet, a regime of strict kennel rest with leashed walks only to go potty outside will help reduce any further injury to the leg and decrease pain.

Read Full Q/A … : Jack Russell FAQs Page!

Q. My pet shows weight loss and has a hard time walking, like he has lost strength in his legs and has no control to maintain balance. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Loss of balance or inability to control the limbs can be caused by a wide range of problems and is usually cause for concern. Damage to the nerves or muscles can cause loss of balance, as well as neurological disease or some illnesses. Having your vet perform a complete examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Weight loss can refer to the actual loss of fat and weight on your dog, or may also be due to the loss of muscle tone in the body. If there is a problem with one of the limbs, it may be that the weight loss you are seeing is actually loss of muscle in that area. Weight loss can again be caused by a wide range of problems from neurologic disease, illness, parasites or disease. Making an appointment with your vet is best.

Q. My pomeranians back leg is bothering her I believe it is sprained she cant walk on it.she can stand on it and is not in any pain should she see vet
ANSWER : A. If you believe the leg may be sprained or you are seeing signs of injury such as pain, swelling, limp or loss of use of the leg, then scheduling a veterinary appointment is best. Your vet can examine the leg, and may also recommend an X-ray to check for breaks, sprains and dislocations that can all cause these issues. Until you can get into your vet it is best to limit all activity to strict kennel rest and leashed walks outside ONLY to go potty to help reduce the pain and decrease further injury to the limb.