Dogs’ back or hind leg instability or shaking may be a nightmare for many pet parents, as it can be a severe problem to handle. Dogs’ hind leg tremors can be a symptom of various underlying medical conditions that sometimes can be life-threatening if not treated properly.
In this post, we will discuss the possible reasons for dogs back legs shaking, the diagnostic methods and procedures, medical treatment choices, mobility aid equipment, and the risks associated with this condition.
Table of Contents
Understanding Leg Tremors/Shaking in Dogs
Leg tremors or shaking in dogs can present themselves in various ways, such as twitching, quivering, or rhythmic motions.
Tremors or shaking in the hind legs can affect either one or both limbs, and they can be either intermittent or persistent. Leg tremors or shaking legs often accompany additional symptoms, such as difficulty in standing up, back end weakness, spinal disc hardness, decreased appetite, or limping.
When a dog has limb tremors, it may also display indicators of distress such as vocalization, excessive panting, or feeling pain.
Here you can better understand dogs’ hind legs being weak and shaking, along with their body fur.
Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Shaking?
Dogs may experience tremors in their hind legs due to several different circumstances, including the following:
- Neurological disorders (epilepsy, brain, and spinal cord, injuries, or degenerative myelopathy)
- Muscle degeneration or other degenerative diseases that result in muscle spasms or weakened leg muscles.
- Age-related degeneration
- Anxiety/stress (Let’s understand how stress affects my weak back leg weakness, legs, and tremors)
- Spinal injuries or bone fractures (especially acute injury of the nervous system/nerve signals)
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Joint pain due to degenerative joint disease or other underlying medical conditions
- Liver or kidney problems
- Infectious diseases
- Poisoning from medications or toxic substances
Diagnostic Methods and Procedures
If you see that your dog’s back legs are shivering or shaking in any way, it is imperative that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible and discuss the root cause of uneven gait.
In order to discover the underlying cause of limb tremors in dogs, your veterinarian will do a physical exam, lab tests, and other diagnostic procedures on your pet. X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds are some of the diagnostic procedures that could be performed.
Medical Treatment Options
Dogs may exhibit hind leg tremors or their front legs shake for various reasons, and the medical treatment choices may vary according to the ailment that is causing the shaking or tremors.
The following is a list of some of the medicinal treatments that are available for dogs that have back limb tremors:
Anti-seizure medicine may be provided if the leg tremors are caused by a serious neurological disorder or illness such as epilepsy.
These drugs may help lessen the frequency of seizures and their intensity, which may help minimize leg shaking.
Supplements that relieve inflammation and discomfort in weak legs of dogs with joint disorders include glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids. A veterinarian can recommend these supplements in the case of the hind leg.
If your vet suspects that the trembling in your dog’s legs is brought on by pain, he or she may recommend medicine to help ease the discomfort.
The weak and shaking side can be alleviated by taking pain medication, which can also help reduce inflammation and swelling.
A veterinarian may recommend muscle relaxants to treat a dog’s leg tremors if the tremors are caused by muscular weakness, muscle atrophy, or degeneration.
In more challenging situations, surgical correction of the underlying problem that is producing limb tremors may be required.
For instance, surgery can be necessary to remove a tumor or repair a damaged spinal cord.
When giving medication to your dog, it is essential to do it in accordance with the directions provided by your veterinarian.
It is essential to watch how your dog reacts to medicine and to inform your veterinarian if any bad effects occur while your furry friend is on medication since some drugs might produce side effects.
To assist in easing the hind leg tremors, in addition to medicine, your veterinarian may suggest various therapies like physical therapy, massage therapy, or acupuncture. These may be used in conjunction with the medication.
These techniques can help relieve pain and inflammation, induce relaxation, and increase muscular strength and mobility.
Mobility Assistance Equipment
It may be helpful for dogs with limb tremors or muscle weakness, to use mobility assistance devices/equipment with regular exercise since these aids can help them keep their mobility and independence, improving their quality of life.
The following is a list of some of the mobility aids that may be utilized for dogs that have been diagnosed with limb tremors:
Harnesses are a valuable tool for assisting and lifting dogs suffering from limb tremors.
These devices may assist the dog in maintaining its balance and avoiding falls, particularly while climbing stairs or passing through obstacles.
Dogs with weak legs or shaking legs may benefit from leg braces’ support and stability.
These braces can potentially lessen the severity of the dog’s tremors while enhancing his balance and movement.
Dog wheelchairs or carts might benefit dogs with tremors or paralysis in their back legs. These devices will support the dog’s back legs, and the dog’s legs shake and young dogs will have an easier time moving around as a result.
Wheelchairs are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, and they may be modified to meet your dog’s particular requirements.
Dog ramps can be used to assist dogs that suffer from limb tremors in navigating steps, entering and exiting vehicles, and accessing elevated surfaces.
You may tailor ramps to meet the exact requirements of your dog, and they can be constructed from various materials, including wood, metal, or even plastic.
How Hazardous Is Your Dog’s Hind Leg Weakness?
The inability of your dog’s back legs to bear weight properly can be a severe problem, especially if a neurological condition or a spinal cord injury brings it on.
If your poor pup has shaky legs, it may be difficult for him to walk, climb stairs, or get up from a reclining position. Moreover, it can result in muscular atrophy and incontinence.
If you observe any symptoms of weak hind legs in your dog’s rear legs, you must get him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can Stress or Anxiety Cause a Dog’s Back Legs to Shake?
Certainly, a dog’s back legs may shake or the dog’s muscles’ strong shivering may occur if he is anxious or under a lot of stress. In most cases, this is a transitory condition, and the shaking should stop as soon as the dog is able to calm down. But, if the shaking does not stop, getting in touch with a qualified veterinarian is preferable.
Are There Any Breeds That Are More Prone to Hind Legs Shaking or Weak Hind Legs?
There is not one dog park or a particular breed of dog that is more likely to exhibit this behavior than another. On the other hand, old age dogs and canines suffering from various medical issues may be at a greater risk of experiencing this problem.
Back or shaking hind legs in dogs are a frequent health concern in a dog that needs immediate care. If you observe your dog’s rear legs trembling or shaking in any way, you should take them to the vet as soon as you possibly can.
With the correct diagnosis and treatment, your dog may enjoy a happy and healthy life, free of leg tremors and other health problems.