Does your dog have weak back legs? Know about its 8 Common Causes

Dec 29, 2022 by Adhip

Any time you see your dog losing balance or weak back legs it is always a cause of worry. But the causes of weakness in dogs’ back legs are broad and can be caused serious problems if left untreated.

This article will investigate and identify a few of the most common causes of back leg weakness. These problems may seem minor now, but they can lead to more serious health issues in the future.

Weak back legs of your dog can be due to Myasthenia Gravis

One possible cause of your dog’s back legs weak is myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles to weaken.

The symptoms of myasthenia gravis can differ in severity, but generally include feeling weak or tired and being unable to walk. This is common in dogs. If your dog has this condition, it may regurgitate swallowed food hours later.

The Vet can commonly diagnose Myasthenia gravis in young adult dogs and medication are helpful. However, if left untreated, myasthenia gravis can lead to paralysis and even death. As a result, if your dog is displaying signs of weakness in their hind legs, it is important to contact your vet immediately and get a diagnosis.

Anemia (low red blood cell count)

Weak back legs of dogs can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, such as Anemia. This is when there is a shortage of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Red blood cells are the cells in the body that carries oxygen to all the tissues. A decrease in them can lead to weakness and fatigue.

Sometimes, dogs will get anemia because they have lost too much blood or have not been eating properly. It’s important to take your dog to the vet if you see any signs of weakness in their back legs and think that it could be anemia. Your vet can diagnose and treat anemia in dogs. In most cases, your pet can make a full recovery.


Cancerous tumors can develop in the long bones in the hind end, pelvic region, and other soft tissue structures such as nerves and cartilage. A common form of bone cancer that can grow slowly is called osteosarcoma. Seen most commonly in larger dogs, Rottweilers for example. Osteosarcoma can cause a dog to have difficulty walking or carrying their weight on the affected limb. Whichever extremity becomes affected by cancer, spontaneous fractures may also occur.

Addison’s disease can cause weak back legs of dogs

One theory behind why dogs sometimes have a problem with their hind legs could be due to a condition called Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease is characterized by an extensive malfunction of the adrenal glands.

Dogs suffering from Addison’s disease have a hormonal imbalance, leading to weak back legs and even collapse. If your dog’s back legs are tired and it can’t stand up anymore, warn your veterinarian as soon as possible. With a prompt diagnosis and treatment, we can manage Addison’s disease can be effectively.

Intervertebral Disc Disease 

Sudden paralysis in dogs is often the result of IVDD, which detects most often when an animal gets up from a restful position for some exercise. Most of the time, dogs that suffer from disc herniation will suddenly lose mobility in their hind legs and even lose the ability to walk afterward. Intervertebral Disc Disease is a spine condition, which causes severe back pain and often paralysis in dogs with few signs or symptoms. The condition needs urgent treatment and surgery to cure the issue. IVDD is found in over half of all cases in Dachshunds, but other breeds it can affect include Beagles, Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frises

Cardiac problems can make back legs of a dog weak

Another potential cause of weak back legs of dogs is cardiac problems. The central muscle and most important organ in our body is the heart, which pumps blood all around the body. If for some reason it doesn’t work properly, your dog may not get enough oxygen and can suffer from weakness or fatigue.

Heart failure and arrhythmias are both examples of cardiac issues that can cause hindlimb weakness in dogs.

If you think your dog may have a cardiac problem, make sure to contact your vet ASAP. Cardiac issues can cause serious problems and be life-threatening if left untreated.

Canine Arthritis

Arthritis is a joint condition that strongly impacts dogs as they age and degenerate. This inflammation can cause severe joint pain, leading to limitation of movement with each step.


Although rare, some cases of hypothyroidism in pets can cause a particular type of neuropathy. This may manifest as weakness or slow movements in the back; however, it is typically only transient and responsive to steroids.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of an important hormone called Thyroxine. This hormone regulates metabolism in dogs and can cause fatigue, weak back legs, and sometimes weight gain.

Hypothyroidism usually occurs in older dogs but can affect any age pup for different reasons. Dogs with this condition will normally exhibit symptoms that you should inform your vet about immediately. With treatment, most dogs with hypothyroidism can live long and healthy lives.


Weak back legs of dogs can be by a variety of things, such as myasthenia gravis, heart problems, anemia, and hypothyroidism. Addison’s disease is also possible. Weakness in your dog’s back legs are by a variety of things and it is always best to get your vet’s opinion as quickly as you can.

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