Why Is My Dog Lifting Back Leg When Standing? Reasons Explained

Why Is My Dog Lifting Back Leg When Standing? Reasons Explained

When we become a parent of a doggo, we must be fully prepared to tend to his needs when your pup falls sick. It might be unbearable for us to see our babies in pain, but it’s essential and a priority to get them back on track. Many pet parents forwarded us a question about one of the most common and concerning problems in dogs.

Have you ever noticed your dog lifting his back leg when standing? It’s a common problem that arises in dogs regardless of their age. You might see issues in your dog’s hind legs, such as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, fractures, etc.

Let’s find out in-detail!

Why is my dog holding his back leg up?

There are several reasons why your dog lifts its back leg when standing. The main medical reasons for this are orthopedic, neurologic, metabolic, and cardiac causes, or it could also be pains caused by old age. When either of them affects your doggo, he might be in severe pain.

Your pet will sometimes stop giving weight to that leg to minimize or bear the pain in a tolerable way. He might hold his back leg up while standing most of the time.

Other than the dog lifting the back leg when standing, numerous other symptoms will lead you to notice your dog’s discomfort in his hind legs.

Slipping and sliding while walking or running, slow rising speed, reluctance to exercise, shaky legs, half sitting rather than standing are some.

We know how utterly heartbreaking it can be to watch your dog’s back legs start to shake or completely fail him.

Even if we can’t help when old age begins to take the best of our dog, in other situations, your quick noticing and fast decisions can save you both from much trouble.

Thereby we compiled a detailed article to help you win this case. Keep reading to find more about why your dog is lifting his back leg when standing and much on hind limb problems.

Why is my dog lifting his back leg when standing? 

Let us give you more thorough information about the causes of this problem mentioned earlier in the discussion. We hope this will help you get your buddy out of his pain as soon as possible.

Neurological Reasons

  • IVDD (Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease)

This condition primarily arises amongst old doggies. IVDD minimizes the shock-absorbing quality and capacity of the vertebrae in the dog’s spine.

Doctors can treat mild infections medically, but in difficult situations, surgery is mandatory. In IVDD, your dog will face pain in his neck and back.

Moreover, his posture will change unhealthily. Your dog will also try to avoid jumping, running, or going up or down the stairs.

If the disease worsens to the max, you will notice your dog refusing any movement, and his hind legs could get paralyzed.

  • Spinal tumors

This, too, will show similar symptoms. Medical tests such as CT, MRI, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis are required To diagnose spinal tumors.

Other than these two, Lumbosacral Stenosis, Degenerative Myelopathy, and exercise-induced collapse are other common diseases.

Orthopaedic Causes

Main causes of this are arthritis, degenerative joint disease, bilateral anterior ligament, and fractures. It’s widespread amongst obese dogs.

Metabolic Causes

Metabolism, too, could cause weak hind legs in puppies. Keep an eye out if your dog has medical conditions such as Low Blood Sugar, Low Red Blood Cells, or Low Potassium Levels.

Also, Addison’s disease and Hypothyroidism can be caused for dogs lifting back legs when standing due to pain.

Cardiac Causes

If your buddy doesn’t receive enough cardiac functions, he could face cardiac diseases. The best examples are heartworm disease, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and pericardial tumors.

No matter what’s causing your dog to weaken his hind legs, symptoms are most common in these diseases.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above in Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), contact your dog’s doctor as soon as possible without staying very late.

Why is my dog not putting weight on his back leg?

There are many symptoms that concern medical officers about the health of your doggie’s back limbs. A dog lifting his back leg when standing is a big sign that he’s in pain.

But sometimes, your pet might opt for ceasing every way of putting weight on his affected leg. He might also keep his leg up while he’s standing, walking, running, or moving at all.

If your dog is now doing that, then bear in mind that your fluff ball can no longer take the pain caused when using his weakened leg.

Animals and your pet dog cannot clearly express their feelings and discomforts to their parents. It’s up to us to notice and take necessary actions to put him out of that misery.

After all, your best friend deserves to be happy and comfortable in his years of life.

How can I help my dog?

No one can avoid getting sick during their life. But we’re pet parents. So it can hurt us so much to watch them catch a disease.

Still, if we’re aware of these common diseases around dogs, we can be prepared or avoid these altogether.

The first step on this ladder is to make sure your pet receives the best and proper amounts of nutrients every day in every meal. It’s essential to keep your pet healthy and strong.

Next, train your dog to have a good amount of exercise every day. 30-40 minutes a day, being highly active is enough for him. It will help the dog maintain a healthy metabolic level and digest food properly.

Last but not least, have regular checkups with your veterinarian. Twice a year is enough, and it will essentially help diagnose your buddy with a disease.

If you can do these, that’s the most significant help you could do for your pet dog. We hope you’ve received a proper answer to your question about why your dog lifting back leg when standing.

Forward us any questions you have regarding your pet, and we’ll do our best to give you top answers for them.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. Have a nice day!


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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