If you get a pup when they are just a pup, it’s hard to imagine them as anything other than little bundles of energy and cuteness. Often, we fall in love at first sight with our new companions, and that love only grows more profound as we grow old together. But, as with everything else, father time marches on, and just like we do, our dog’s age. As they age, they might lose particular physical abilities. While this may be hard to see, it’s a part of life. However, you can ensure that your furry friend is as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Today, we will discuss what you can do to ensure your aging pup’s hind legs stay strong.
Spotting The Problem
Before we talk about how to strengthen old dogs hind legs, first we should go over some of the causes of weakening hind legs and some signs of it. Loss of energy doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is getting physically weaker, so let’s take a look at what you should watch out for:
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a painful condition where cartilage deteriorates. These generally happen in older dogs and dogs that are overweight. Just like for humans, you will need some pet surgery arthritis pain relief dogs.
- Hip dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is similar to arthritis and can even cause arthritis. Hip dysplasia happens when the ball and socket of the joint rub together, causing cartilage deterioration. Dogs experiencing this might have a lack of energy or are not interested in activities they used to be before.
- Muscle atrophy – This is the loss of muscle. You might notice this if your dog is dragging their hind legs.
- Slipped disc – There is a myriad of reasons a slipped disc can occur. You will be able to notice it as quickly diminishing mobility from your pet.
And, of course, one of the other causes for weakened hind legs is simply old age. None of us can stay at our peak forever, no matter how much work we put into it.
Here are some of the usual signs of weakening hind legs:
- Tremors or shaking of the legs
- Swaying of the rear end when they walk
- Unable to make it up or down the stairs
- Lack of interest in activities
- Slowing of walking speed
Other Things to Consider
Sometimes a lack of mobility can simply be an injury and not a sign of aging. For instance, if you notice a dog paw irritated and red, it could be something stuck in the paw, a cut, or something of that nature. However, you don’t want to brush off dog leg injuries back leg, as they could be a sign of a condition that could deteriorate over time. The best way to know if this is a serious concern is to talk with your vet.
This is a wonderful activity for aging dogs, those with weakened hind legs, or those recovering from injury. Swimming is a great activity because it is low impact, but it still allows motion and mobility. It is a low impact because your dog does not have to worry about any friction or impact from the ground. This will be especially great for canines obsessed with water.
Ensure That They Do Regular, But Brief, Walks
The days of walking around the entire town might be over, but you still want to make sure that you are at least getting out a little bit every single day. This will help ensure that the muscles in your dog’s hind legs do not atrophy more than they already might have. Plus, it will give your pup something fun to look forward to daily!
This might take some training, but having your dog repeat specific movements can do wonders for their hind leg strength. One example would be having your dog go from sitting to standing several times in a row. It’s like a pushup but for dogs. You’d be amazed at how effective this is!
Things that don’t involve exercise could be medications or even treatments like acupuncture.
If you have any questions regarding the strength of your dog’s hind legs, please contact us at Oklahoma Veterinary Services today!