My dog doesn't walk normally, what's going on?
Any dog owner doesn't like to know that their little furry friend is in pain or discomfort! There are many reasons why your dog's gait may be different - some are serious, others can be treated at home with a simple diet or lifestyle change.
Whether it's ear infections, arthritis, neurological problems or weight gain, it's extremely important to take your dog to the vet if he has any of these conditions...
Is your dog dragging its leg?
Weak hind legs can make your dog very uncomfortable and make it difficult for him to simply walk. Depending on the severity of the situation, your dog may be completely unable to use his back legs. This type of weakness is extremely common in older dogs, but can also affect young dogs depending on their breed and genetics. Limping, difficulty standing, stiffness, weight gain, incontinence and loss of balance are some of the signs your dog may exhibit when he loses the strength in his hind legs. Depending on the cause of the weakness, symptoms may appear suddenly or develop slowly over time.
If you notice any of these signs, it's best to get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible; the sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you'll be able to help your dog in the right way. Your veterinarian will tell you what the best treatment is, depending on the age and severity of the problem.
When the condition is not too advanced, many owners use physical therapy and stretching to keep their dog's legs active.
Does your dog have a gait that seems odd?
If your dog shows signs of an abnormal gait, it could be due to a multitude of reasons. Symptoms typically include difficulty walking, or a slight tilt of the hip when taking a step or a preference for a particular side when walking. Unfortunately, one of the main causes of abnormal gait is canine arthritis, which usually affects older dogs or those with a genetic disease.
Changes in your dog's physical movements may start out extremely minor, with no noticeable difference, but worsen dramatically.
When your dog suffers from pain and discomfort in his joints, it can affect his movement and impact his mental state more generally.
Supplements are an often overlooked corrective and preventative solution for joint pain in dogs. Many owners are unaware of how far science has come in the area of joint care for dogs.
Over the past two decades, joint strengthening supplements have entered the pet supplement market that could change your dog's life. Fish oil is one ingredient to keep in mind; The omega-3 in fish oil has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory ingredient, and studies have shown it to have the same effect as a pain reliever on arthritis pain. And we know that at Hello Jack, that's why you can find it in our two products; Shine and Move ;)
Your dog is spinning right ‘round, baby right’ round ;) ?
Have you ever noticed that your dog walks in circles before going to bed? Or spinning two or three times before doing his business? Don't panic, it's perfectly normal, but if he's spinning around regularly throughout the day, there may be something more serious behind it.
Your dog's regular circling could be a sign of an inner ear infection, an injury or even an OCD. Inner ear infection is the most common reason a dog may start spinning... It usually comes with redness on the ear, head shaking and a strong smell. If this is the case, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment as soon as possible. It is very easy to avoid ear infections in your dog, just do annual checks of his ears and eyes, to limit any risk of infection in the future.
Does your dog have a tendency to lift one of his legs and hop around?
Have you noticed that your dog hops with every step when you take him for a walk? It's probably not a little joke your dog is playing on you, but more likely a dislocated patella. It could be a luxation of the patella. This condition occurs when the dog's kneecap is dislocated from its normal position in the hollow of the thigh bone. This type of problem is extremely common in small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Pekingese, so if you have a small dog, keep in mind that this is a potential problem. Take your pooch to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms, as your dog may need surgery.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this from happening, as it is usually a hereditary condition for your dog. However, there are things you can do to help your dog if he suffers from this problem, to ease his pain. Lower the furniture in your home so your dog doesn't have to jump to reach things, this should prevent him from having to overextend his knees. You may also want to avoid taking your dog on long walks, as this can become difficult and cause pain.
Does your dog seem very fit, even overly active?
In contrast to weak legs and an abnormal gait, you may have noticed that your dog's pace is faster than usual. Pacing may be a sign that your dog is suffering from anxiety, restlessness or is having trouble relaxing.
If your dog tends to pace around waiting for someone to come home, it's perfectly normal, he just misses you. But if your dog is pacing every day... it could be a health problem.
One of the most common causes of this "disorder" is stress and anxiety, so you may want to try to find ways to support your dog during times of discomfort. You may want to consider natural, dog-specific calming aids... Be sure to source a reputable brand that makes its products with ethical and natural ingredients. Chamomile is a good ingredient to look for when evaluating product formulas. It is a natural sedative that helps reduce anxiety and stress.
Does your dog stand on his hind legs?
If your dog stands up on his hind legs on his own when you are near him, it is generally considered a sign of affection! Some dogs even do it together when playing with one of their furry companions. If it's a brief behavior, it's fine!
You only need to worry if you see a dog walking on its hind legs long enough to realize there's a problem. Dogs are not designed to walk on their hind legs. It is not natural for a dog to walk this way and it can cause long-term damage. So don't encourage this abuse by sharing/forwarding videos of dogs walking on their hind legs "like humans" and don't try to do the same to your dog.
When there is a problem, your dog can't always tell you what is wrong.
So when there is a change in the way your dog walks, it becomes a visible cause for concern! While there are many reasons and causes for these changes, it is wise to have them examined by a veterinarian! We can't stress this enough, but the sooner you find the source of the problem, the sooner you can help your pooch feel better! Your dog's health and well-being are very important. Making sure he is comfortable and healthy is your primary responsibility.