Dog Bends Backwards: Putting It To Sleep, Causes And Tips

Are you shocked to find that your dog is unsteady on its feet? Does your dog bend backwards and does it happen more and more often?

Due to age, the gait pattern often deteriorates and our senior dogs are generally no longer so stable on their feet.

But what if the dog isn’t that old yet? For example, what does it mean when a puppy buckles from behind?

We will explain the various causes and possible diseases to you! You will also receive valuable tips on how to help your dog.

Why is my dog bending backwards?

If your dog buckles backwards, it can be a sign of neurological deficits in the hind legs. In addition to age-related weakness, damage to the spinal cord, brain or nerves can also be responsible for the sudden buckling.

Diseases such as hip dysplasia, arthrosis, epilepsy, a herniated disc or degenerative myelopathy can also explain why the hind legs often buckle.

In any case, it is important that you take your dog to a veterinarian immediately!

Dog bends backwards: the causes

There can be many reasons why your dog’s hind legs slip off more often.

Unfortunately, some of them are really bad. You should definitely take the signs seriously and find out what’s wrong with your dog. Please consult a vet!

Possible causes of the hindquarters buckling can be:

  • Age-related weakness and muscle wasting
  • Narrowing in the spinal canal
  • Degenerative myelopathy (slowly progressive death of the long spinal cord)
  • disc prolapse
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • hip dysplasia
  • Vestibular syndrome (neurological balance disorder)
  • epilepsy
  • Cauda equina syndrome (acute or chronic pain in the back and hind legs, sometimes with
  • signs of paralysis)
  • Partial paralysis (paraparesis)
  • spinal cord trauma
  • Sports injuries (bruise, sprains, torn muscle fibers…)
  • meningitis (spinal cord infection)

What can I do if my dog’s hind legs slip behind?

Did you just notice for the first time that your dog’s hind legs are slipping?

Then you should first keep a close eye on him!

It can also happen that the hindquarters wobble, a paw drags or the dog seems stiff. Dogs, like us, can be misplaced or their limbs have fallen asleep.

If something seems strange to you, it’s better to take your dog to the vet instead of hesitating! Without an exact diagnosis, you can safely forget our following tips.

4 tips for you on what to do if your dog’s hind legs slip off:

1. Strengthen muscles

If your dog’s hindquarters are age-related, some muscle building can help them regain stability.

At best, you don’t start muscle building training when you are old, but make sure that your dog is vital and fit throughout its life.

Maybe a dog grandpa has moved in with you and you can now start slowly building muscle. The best way to do this is to get tips from an experienced dog physiotherapist!

There are many different ways to strengthen the muscles in the hindquarters. With a professional at your side, you can create an optimal training program for your dog.


Many senior dogs want to participate fully in life despite their poor gait. Maybe get a dog buggy for your senior to take a break in when the walk gets too long! Would that be something for you?

2. Lay out carpets

If your dog – for whatever reason – is having trouble sorting his legs, a slippery floor is an additional obstacle for him.

Many dogs have problems with slippery parquet.

Just lay out a few more rugs for your “handicap dog”.

The non-slip islands give him extra support and he also manages to get up more easily.

3. Wheelchair for dogs

Of course, the first thing to do here is to determine the cause of the hind legs buckling.

If it is clear that the function of the hindquarters is permanently impaired and is getting worse rather than better, a dog wheelchair can be a great help.

Many dogs regain their zest for life!

4. Dietary supplement for the musculoskeletal system

You supply your dog with important nutrients, trace elements and minerals through nutrition.

Therefore, a balanced and species-appropriate diet is absolutely necessary so that your dog is healthy and vital into old age.

There are excellent nutritional supplements that will benefit your dog’s musculoskeletal system.

These include, for example, green-lipped mussel, collagen, devil’s claw, willow bark, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid.

Do the reflex check:

To do this, fold one of your dog’s paws over so that the “top” of the paw is on the ground. If your dog puts its paw back in the right position straight away, there is no sign of neurological damage. Things are different when he leaves her as she is or only slowly puts it back.

Dog buckles backwards – when should I put my dog to sleep?

As you already know, there are a number of reasons why dogs can buckle their hind legs.

Some of these can be treated with veterinary medicine. Others can be managed with alternative healing methods and physical therapy.

Other diseases and conditions can no longer be treated or improved. In this case, the question arises, “When should I put my dog to sleep?”

There is no ONE answer to that. If you feel that your dog is no longer enjoying life and is outweighed by their handicap or the pain that comes with it, it may be time to let them go.

You don’t have to make this decision alone! Consult at least one veterinarian. He will know when it’s time to release your dog.

But before you take that last step, you should leave no stone unturned. Maybe a dog buggy or dog wheelchair can actually extend and beautify your dog’s life!

Puppy buckles backwards – what should I do?

Small dog children are of course very unsteady on their feet at the beginning of their life. The more they run, romp and fight, the better their muscles develop.

Even as a young dog, most dogs are still very lanky and a shaky hindquarters is not uncommon.

However, it often becomes apparent at an early age whether the dog has congenital hip dysplasia, for example. Be sure to take your pup to a vet to be sure.

Many diseases can be treated well and it is an advantage if they are recognized early!

Please don’t worry directly, but keep a clear head and see how you can help your dog. It’s definitely great that you’re finding out!

Conclusion: Why does my dog ​​buckle backwards?

If your dog frequently slips on its hind legs, it CAN be a sign of serious neurological spinal cord damage!

A herniated disc, epilepsy, vestibular syndrome, cauda equina syndrome, degenerative myelopathy, arthrosis and many other causes can also be behind the weakened hindquarters.

Please bring your dog to a veterinarian. There are many therapy and treatment options for the different diagnoses!

Age-related weaknesses should also be evaluated by the veterinarian. It can’t be that people keep saying “Oh, the dog is just old. It’s normal for him to be unsteady on his feet!” – Yes, the dog is old. But does that mean that you no longer need or can help him? no

In order to make life more worth living for your dog again, a dog buggy or dog wheelchair can help in the long run.

Do you have any questions or are you unsure about your dog’s hind legs? Then leave us a comment here and we’ll see how we can help you!

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