Paralysis of the hindquarters in dogs

Does your dog have trouble getting up? He can’t stand on his hind legs? It may be paralysis of the hindquarters. This state of paralysis affects dogs for several reasons. When your pet suffers from paralysis of the hindquarters, it is important to seek relief and find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.

How does paralysis of the hindquarters manifest in dogs? What are the causes of this paralysis? How to help your dog? We give you all the answers in this article.

Manifestation of paralysis of the hindquarters in dogs

Paralysis of the dog’s rear end is manifested by the impossibility for your animal to stand on its hind legs. He will no longer be able to perform movements that require the use of the hind legs. Your pet may rear up on its front legs, but it will only drag its hind legs behind it. Besides the impossibility of performing the movements, you will also notice that the dog’s hind legs have lost strength and tone.

This paralysis causes the dog great suffering. Your pet may emit constant cries, whines, complaints and barks. The dog can also be very aggressive when you try to touch him. For this, you must handle it with great delicacy. In some cases, paralysis of the hindquarters causes loss of appetite in the animal.

Causes of Hindquarters Paralysis in Dogs

There are several causes that can lead to paralysis of your pet’s rear end. This may be due to the aging of the dog. Paralysis can also be caused by shock or trauma. This state of paralysis can also be triggered without any traumatic event.

Dog’s old age

Aging leads to dysfunctions in your pet’s body. With aging, we notice certain changes in the dog namely lameness, difficulty getting up or stiffness of gait. The bones weaken, leading to canine osteoarthritis.

The joint capsule thickens, and the pain becomes more intense with cold and excessive physical activity. All of these factors can act on your dog’s hind end and cause paralysis.

Spinal trauma

The spine plays a very important role in the functioning of a dog’s body, especially with regard to its joints and its movements. In case of trauma, paralysis can occur easily. The trauma can result from a serious fall, a fight, a hunting accident or a public road accident.

The vertebrae can therefore fracture or move during the fall. In more severe cases, the trauma can impact the spinal cord. This plays a role in transmitting information from the limbs to the brain, and from the brain to the muscles. It therefore plays a vital role in the functioning of the dog’s muscles.

herniated disc

It’s’one of the most common causes of paralysis of the dog’s hindquarters. These are displacements of certain intervertebral discs. The displaced disc compresses the spinal cord preventing the transmission of nerve impulses. Some dog breeds are more prone to herniated disc than others. These include breeds whose discs degenerate and harden quickly.

Likewise, breeds with short legs and very elongated bodies are frequently prone to herniated discs. Also, this situation concerns dogs whose spine is highly stressed. In addition, remember that a herniated disc can occur in all dogs.


Tumors that affect the vertebrae or the tissues that surround the spinal cord can lead to paralysis of the dog’s hindquarters. Indeed, these tumors increasing in size, compress the spinal cord. Certain inflammatory diseases can also lead to paralysis of the dog’s hindquarters.


Whether it is the sudden onset of symptoms or a gradual loss of motor skills, veterinary diagnosis is essential. We must not forget that the earlier the paralysis is diagnosed, the better it is treated and the better the chances for your dog to have a good quality of life.

Before the visit to the specialist

If your dog suffers from hindquarters paralysis, the first thing you need to do is keep him still to prevent further pain. He must remain still, without trying to make movements requiring the use of the hind legs. Take care to calm her down, cover her up and warm her up. Show your pet that you are there for him.

However, medication should be avoided as much as possible. Self-medication is totally prohibited. All these first actions are to be done while waiting for the veterinarian. As soon as you can, take him to a specialist.

Consultation with the veterinarian

The consultation of a dog paralyzed in the hindquarters poses the problem of transport. Indeed, transportation can be difficult. It is up to you to drive your animal in good conditions. When transporting, you must ensure that his spine is kept straight. If you can, place the dog on a stretcher for added safety. For small dogs, you can carry them in your arms.

Large dogs should be carried by two or three people. Moreover, in case of paralysis of the dog’s hindquarters, it is preferable that the intervention of the veterinarian be done at home. Therefore, the specialist can prescribe painkillers, and if possible anesthetize the animal to facilitate its transport. Anyway, remember that the veterinarian is the only one who can detect the cause of your pet’s paralysis. He is also the only one authorized to prescribe medication for her.

For his diagnosis, the veterinarian may prescribe a series of imaging tests. He may request a scanner, myelography or magnetic resonance. The results of these examinations will lead him to make an accurate prognosis of your pet’s paralysis. He will finally offer you the possible treatment options, whether medical or surgical.

Equipment for Paralyzed Dog Rear Train

Although it is always difficult to face the handicap of your animal, it is quite possible to ensure a happy life for your dog suffering from paralysis.

As an owner, you can help your dog maintain mobility and regain some independence. Since man’s growing awareness of the importance of animal welfare, the offers ofequipment for disabled dogs or with special needs are multiplying. Thus, several solutions are at your disposal:

  • from positioning harness recommended for aging dogs (also used during hind leg rehabilitation sessions)
  • from carts for handicapped dogs to promote movement
  • from access ramps (for the car, for the sofa or for the bed)

These devices, light and robust, adapt to the size and weight of the dog and allow him to have an almost normal life.

Leave a Comment