What to do when your dogs legs start giving out?

Answered by Willie Powers

If your dog’s legs suddenly start giving out, it can be a frightening and concerning situation. There can be several potential causes for this, including neurological issues, musculoskeletal problems, or even injury. It is crucial to act quickly and seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible.

1. Stay calm and assess the situation: Try to remain calm and assess your dog’s condition. Look for any signs of pain or distress and try to determine if the collapse is limited to the hind legs or if it affects all four legs. This information will be helpful when you speak to the veterinarian.

2. Call your veterinarian or a local pet emergency hospital: Contact your regular veterinarian’s office or a nearby pet emergency hospital immediately. Explain the situation and ask if they can accommodate an urgent visit. If they cannot, ask for recommendations on where to bring your dog for emergency care.

3. Transport your dog safely: If your dog is unable to walk, you may need to assist them in getting into the car. Use a blanket or towel as a makeshift stretcher to help support their body while minimizing any movement of the affected limbs. Be gentle and cautious to avoid causing further injury or discomfort.

4. Provide comfort and support: While waiting for veterinary care, ensure your dog is comfortable and secure. Keep them in a quiet and warm area, away from any potential hazards. Offer them water if they are able to drink, but avoid feeding them anything without veterinary guidance.

5. Follow veterinary advice: Once you arrive at the veterinarian’s office or pet emergency hospital, they will perform a thorough examination and may recommend further diagnostic tests such as X-rays or blood work. Based on their findings, they will provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your dog’s specific condition.

6. Discuss treatment options: Depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s leg collapse, treatment options may vary. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, such as in the case of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Other conditions may require medical management, physical therapy, or pain medication. Trust your veterinarian’s expertise and ask any questions you have to ensure you understand the recommended course of action.

7. Provide post-treatment care: If your dog undergoes surgery or receives medical treatment, follow your veterinarian’s instructions for post-operative care or medication administration diligently. Provide a comfortable and quiet space for your dog to rest and recover. Monitor their progress closely and communicate any concerns or changes in their condition to your veterinarian.

Remember, every dog’s situation is unique, and this answer provides general guidance. It is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for your dog.