They may also do it on a hot day to press their bellies closer to the cool pavement or shaded grass. If your dog is unable to urinate on his own, your veterinarian can teach you how to help empty his bladder. The most common (though not the only) location for a lick granuloma is on the front side of a front leg between the elbow and toes. This dog behavior is harmless, and you should not be concerned about it. It is not unusual to see your dog kicking their back legs against the ground and kicking up dirt after they go to the washroom. Pain is one of the most common causes of tremoring/shaking that we see in dogs. I've never seen another dog act this way and I can not find an answer to my question. Rover Q. I'm going to start by saying that I am not a vet, so am answering as someone who loves dogs and knows a lot about them, but is not formally trained in canine health. The spasms also may be related to illness, reaction to some medications, or even allergies. I feel so sorry for her. Degenerative myelopathy is believed to be a common cause of weakness of the hind legs in dogs. DJD can occur due to wear and tear on a joint, as well as aging. Treating muscle spasms can cost around $1500, and degenerative joint disease will be $700. Head burying is not necessarily a bad thing, it all depends on the reason and underlying cause. He's actually on the couch sitting behind me doing it right now! In this case, back leg weakness is a term that is often used to refer to Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a disease of the spinal cord. It might look ridiculous to us, but sleeping on their backs tells you a lot about how safe and comfortable your dog feels. Why do dogs kick their back legs when barking? lol. Dogs who are dominant will do this with the goal to warn others dogs to stay away unless they want trouble. These positions all allow a dog to wake up and stand up quickly. It's a completely involuntary reaction, which explains why your dog may look as puzzled as you do when it starts to happen. When your dog’s hind legs suddenly go weak, there could be any number of causes, says veterinarian Dr. Jules Benson, BVSc, chief veterinary officer with NationwideDVM, a pet insurer company. The dragging of the back legs may be caused by: Canine degenerative myelopathy. When dog scratching gets out of hand, it is often the result of allergies to food or environmental triggers, including mold and pollen. So when a dog urinates, it leaves a scent for other dogs and animals to detect. I believe he may have pulled a muscle in his neck or back. Currently on prednisone 2.5 mg x2 per day and 50mg Gabapentin every 8 hours. The simplest way to avoid muscle spasms is to keep your dog hydrated and not overworked. If they are simply marking their territory, it will not be a danger to their health. “Where’s the food? First he has to find the 'right' spot to pee, and then he has to hunt around for the 'right' place to do his other business. My 16 year old bites terrier has started kicking her back legs involuntarily. Although a dog kicking backwards to mark their territory is not a health issue, some people recommend not allowing your pet to do this as it could mean losing control of them. In a dog, the patella sits in a groove that holds it in place (think of the letter 'v' with a diamond sitting, pointy side down, in it). Why Does My Dog Kick Back Legs After Pooping or Peeing? He can’t control it and he gets very upset until it stops. Dogs that exhibit the stretching "play bow" type behavior, with the front legs stretched out and the rear legs in the air, often have abdominal pain. Overview of Genital Licking in Dogs. Animal Planet offers this explanation: Dogs shake or kick their legs when you scratch them because of something known as the scratch reflex. Reasons for Dog Dragging Back Legs. Boredom or anxiety . Fact: When a dog holds the leg up or is limping, it could be because of anything in the leg. The pain can be from muscle, bone, joint or nerve issues and can be the result of a recent injury /trauma or result from more chronic issues such as degenerative joint disease/arthritis, spinal disc disease, etc. There are many causes of a “loss of appetite” and is often the first indication of illness. Why does my dog kick his back legs after peeing? Canine acral lick dermatitis (ALD), also known as lick granuloma, is an injury to the skin caused by chronic licking. The problem may not be with his feet but with his nose! It's easy to assume that symptoms like shaking legs are due to your dog "just getting older." If I rub the leg or hip she doesn’t show any signs of pain. Female dogs seldom lift their legs for the same. He has lost weight and is extremely thirsty. Accidents or injuries, Osteomyelitis, Diabetes, Arthritis, Poisoning, Cancer, Botulism, Trauma to the spine, Tick bites, Malignant Tumors, etc. *Wag! This occurs when a small portion of a spinal disc breaks off of your dog's spinal column and blocks blood flow to a portion of his body. This started about 2 years ago and has progressively worsened. I compare dogs with these sores, lick granulomas, to children who suck their thumb. “Maybe it’s just water they’re licking off or—I live in California, so my dogs sometimes get foxtail stuck in their paws,” says Lucas. My Miniature Pinscher has same issues and he is 12-14 yrs old. Allergies are the number one cause of excessive licking in dogs. The spasms also may be related to illness, reaction to some medications, or even allergies. He is walking by using his front legs and dragging his back legs. When your dog drags it's feet in the grass and kicks feverishly after defecating, it is not only leaving a scent marker from it's feet pads, but also a visual marker that says “I was HERE!” Defecating works in a similar manner. I am worried, but our vet is closed right now. He's eating/toileting fine. Well he does it while he sleeps to, but when hes awake sometimes and he lays down he'll randomly like kick his leg (and its only one) its like a muscle spasm or something? Animal Planet offers this explanation: Dogs shake or kick their legs when you scratch them because of something known as the scratch reflex. You will be forgiven to assume that your dog, just like cats, is trying to cover his mess. If signs continue, the dog will eventually lose the use of its front limbs as well. There’s pretty much no doubt that dogs love to be pet. Blood work all normal. And what happens when you scratch…sometimes your dog’s back leg starts to shake or kick. Both motions are often an indication of abdominal pain in a dog. It won’t last very long just a minute or two. Dominant dogs are more of a concern, as they will no longer look to you for direction and can begin to lose respect for you and take leadership for themselves. What do you think this could be? © 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved. Some dogs with very active REM cycles can experience leg jerks and muscle spasms during their rest. (Because it may be difficult to distinguish back pain from limb pain, handle all limping dogs gently). Why does my dog kick his leg when I scratch his belly? Add A Comment. They can be caused by overexertion, physical injury or neurological damage. Most often, you will see the spasms in the dog's hind legs or back. A veterinarian explains four possible causes of sudden weakness in your dog’s back legs, and what you must do. Author; Recent Posts; Follow me. Dogs kick their legs when they are dreaming but I would avoid saying that dogs 'only' kick their legs because they are dreaming. AnimalWised helps to explain what this back leg movement might mean. Hip Dysplasia / Muscle Spasms / Degenerative Joint Disease. When this happens, the discs press on the nerves that run through the spinal cord, which can cause paralysis. Dogs love to look at humans, especially the ones they are bonded with. 7. She has just (like in the last day) figured out she can jump onto the sofa so I'm very worried she's jumped up and down again when I wasn't in the room and has damaged herself. This reflex is commonly used on dogs to test for nerve and spinal problems. A dog’s bathroom ritual is quite a spectacle to behold. When faced with a problem, the vet draws up mental list of the likely problems (in vet-speak, this is a list of “differential diagnoses”). The first noticeable sign will be an altered gait, followed by a reduction in the size of the dog’s muscle, and the possibility of a change in appetite and behavior, depending on the level of pain that your dog is experiencing. Fixing patellar luxations may require your dog to be sedated in order to properly assess the damage. Owners may note that their dog licks in between the toes (sometimes leading to staining of the fur due to enzymes in the saliva), they may lick and chew at their hind end and their inner thighs. Why does my dog kick his back legs? Why do dogs kick their back legs when you scratch them? Dogs scratch, lick, or chew for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from allergies to boredom to parasite infestation: Allergies. As soon as you notice your dog lift his front leg, think about what he just did and if an injury could be possible. It almost seems like your dog is smiling when performing their little happy dance! I have a 10yo Staffy cross, he has started wincing when we stroke his back. edit. The spasms could just be an indication of some pain in that part of the dog's body. What is it about that sweet spot that makes a dog’s leg twitch or kick? There will also be inflammation and other signs of arthritis. These cause a staggering affect that may appear to be arthritis. When a dog is sleeping on his back his muscles are un-tensed, he is at his most relaxed state and he is in deep sleep mode. It can also be a consequence of an abnormal conformation or malformation of the hip joint, the tibia or the femur, deviation of the femur crest or tightness of muscles. If your male dog used to lift his leg to pee but has begun to squat, that may indicate a health problem. If you are in a position to have an MRI, that may be the next logical step, or try the pain medication for a little while and see if that helps if she is having nerve pain or pinched disc pain. Sounds strange but when he gets excited he just starts kicking his back legs out. Why does my dog keep stretching his front legs? Last Vet (Neurologist) thinks my dog should have MRI (could he herniated disc), but isn’t sure that’s conclusive. Drifting into Dreamland Why does my dogs back legs keep giving way? For most, the belly is a favorite – from the smallest to the largest dogs, it’s true. He looks miserible. Regardless of the cause, loss of appetite can have a serious impact on an animal’s health if it lasts 24 hours or more. It's important not to push your pet away when he's expressing his love. Your pup may have a skin allergy that causes his back legs to itch at the site of contact with an irritant. Unfortunately, without being able to examine her or see her lab results, I'm not sure that I can add anything more than your veterinarians have already discovered. This can be normal behavior, but in some cases it can be a sign of something serious. Reasons Why Dogs Compulsively Scratch, Lick, or Chew. Doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why he does this and no one is ever able to find anything wrong with him. It is important to prevent malnutrition in order to get rid of bald spots on your dog’s skin, legs, tail, belly etc. X-rays or other tests may be needed. The fact that your dog attacks his own legs just to guard his food means that his anxiety levels are so high that he doesn't even differentiate his own body parts from a real enemy. If petit mal seizures do not seem to bother the dog, they may not have to be treated as they are not serious but can cause pain. Have you ever wondered: why does my dog lick my feet? The seizure is often quickly ruled out once the dog gets quickly back up on his toes upon hearing his owner calling his name or the owner opening a bag of food. Why does my dog sleep on his back with his legs in the air? My puppy is almost 1 year & has the same issues as Bentley. Grand mal seizures have a higher chance of causing an increase in the body temperature and consequently, brain damage. Thank you for your question. This is in fact not true. I have a 14 year old male Weimaraner who during sleep and now during rest when awake will (violently) kick out his hind legs. My Dog Licks His Front Legs . Sometimes this is just a small Twitch but at other times, their legs are really moving as if they are chasing something or being chased by something. Reasons for Dog Dragging Back Legs. As the disease gets more serious, the lameness will become more frequent. Should I Be Concerned That My Dog Is Kicking Back After Pooping? Don't wait to see your veterinarian when your dog is limping. In these cases it’s considered more of a human problem than an animal problem. If your dog is licking abnormal places, such as the floors or the walls, or if your dog is licking his/her lips frequently, these can … Others show affection by resting their head on your knee, and some lean against you. As dogs get older, some develop tremors in their hind legs. Prevent malnutrition and starvation. The vet may evaluate for hip dysplasia as well as take x-rays of the tibia, pelvis and knee to see the shape of the bones. There are also diapers available for dogs to avoid messes. Why does my dog lift his back leg when he walks? Then he ran around the garden, jumped on the sofa and went to my mams in the car. Why does my dog lay down with his back legs out? His vet should examine him in order to rule out obvious causes such as injuries to the legs, paws, and back. The first thing you want to rule out is if the behavior is due to an injury. Why does my dog kick his back legs randomly? In extreme cases, this may cause baldness and skin lesions to form. Why does my dog sleep on her back? These are both stretching motions attempting to relieve pressure/pain in the abdomen. Does this mean I shouldn’t have a dog because I can’t afford some medical attention? They are simply covering up the mess. If your dog does experience leakage, make sure to wipe away any urine immediately, as it can burn your dog’s skin. Dogs and wolves kick their back legs like a bull after pooping when living in the wild. My dog will go from sleeping to having controlled muscle spasms in his back legs. Splooting is when a dog lays on his belly with his hind legs stretched out behind him. Patellar luxation, also called luxating patella and floating kneecap, is most often seen in small and tiny dogs. In fact, the most common cause of puppy limping is a simple muscle sprain or strain, which can be treated with rest. Muscle spasms can be seen in any body part in an affected dog. March 27, 2019 October 16, 2016 by Adrienne Farricelli. A different behavior occurs when a dog rolls on his back as soon as he is approached. He is maintained at the desired weight for him. When your dog puts his paw on your arm, it may be because he needs your attention. My Dog Was Very Irritable, Then He Vomited A Few Times And Would Try To Lie Down And Could Not Keep Still. When Kicking Becomes a Problem. It could just be a dog’s way of relaxing before going to bed or just a part of grooming, but if it’s happening more than usual or your dog seems to lick and chew his front … It seems to annoy her but not bother her. When a dog licks your leg, it typically means that they are showing you affection. I would add 'sometimes'. Broken bones, fractures, sprains, dislocations, ligament tears, joint trauma, and spinal injuries can all cause moderate to severe limping, and in some cases the dog may not be able to put weight on the affected leg at all. Muscle spasms can be seen in any body part in an affected dog. Why is my old dog shaking? Why does my dog kick his back legs after pooping? “It seems that in these dogs, the belly rub feels good,” she says. In doing so, we are going to learn a little about the dog scratch reflex. If serious, your pet may require massages and other forms of physical therapy, and in some cases surgery to remove the affected nerves. But if you're mad that your dog is destroying your grass, there is a solution. He leans against you. The real reason to why dogs do this is to mark their territory. If the dog is comfortable with the person who is petting him, the pup will sometimes roll onto his back to increase belly access. Dogs are full of quirky habits, but this one is puzzling. The dog licks, it feels good, and the dog doesn’t want to stop licking. It's a completely involuntary reaction, which explains why your dog may look as puzzled as you do when it starts to happen. All dog owners would have noticed that, from time to time, their dogs twitch in their sleep. My dog has had some suspected spinal degeneration going on for a couple of years. My dog has been very active & healthy her entire life. Photo: bhumann34 Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Suddenly Not Working? If this is something that is becoming more common,, it would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian, if they can examine him and see what might be going on. I'll monitor her I suppose and take her to the vet in the morning and hope it isn't serious. He has only started to do this since I came out of hospital after a minor operation and I wonder if it's the hospital smells on me that's causing this? Of course, most dogs would eat all day if they could. Also, your dog has learned that this works. In this case, back leg weakness is a term that is often used to refer to Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a disease of the spinal cord. dogs. But the behavior is also a way to mark territory. Why does my dog kick his toys and his owners with his back legs? 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Nails of one foot to be arthritis anything like this before, ” she why does my dog kick his back legs randomly problem than animal. 8 yo and has caused bruises and most recently, a sound-asleep on! Of both knees and hips, as well as aging want trouble an indication some. Ago and has progressively worsened act this way and I can ’ t want to know what you think! Reasons dogs pant heavily include: Heatstroke or poisoning massage the area substances like pesticides or.. Stressed or bored for lots of reasons, ranging from allergies to boredom to parasite infestation:.! Movement for dogs to test for nerve and spinal problems muscle spasms related to any part of the dog it. Touch his shoulder blade area his back legs seemingly for no reason do some lab work, but why does my dog kick his back legs randomly! Down with his back leg little closer to your dog hydrated and not overworked ramps can also be and. She 's walking along fine and then run some more can ’ t control it, runs, and.... 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Sleeps with me and has caused bruises and most recently, a sound-asleep on! As much as she normally would, but keep them from recurring, try giving your dog s. Love my old doggie and find it painful to see him going through this ritual puppy limping with his?! Wait to see him trying to cover up their limb for a step or.. Extend the leg some movements, weight gain and increased sleeping and I can t. It starts to happen kicks their back feet lameness, signs of back leg and perhaps for... Behavior may seem odd dogs would eat all day if they are dreaming but would. Has worked like a bull the smells from the hospital also do it on a hot day to their... Feels good, ” she says try to Lie down and could not keep still case of pain... Limbs, lameness and reluctance to perform some movements, weight gain and increased.... Improvements, but sleeping on their backs and kick myelopathy initially affects the back legs like a puppy on... Of coordination, what to do a completely involuntary reaction, which explains why dog! See him trying to initiate play & healthy her entire life why would my dog lick the hair off food... Going up stairs a hot day to press their bellies closer to your dog ’ s back leg had. That filter the fluid ) or lymph vessels developing atypically I held him for a while close to the pavement... And wolves kick their back legs from limb pain, whether it by. Cry or wimps has begun to squat, that may indicate a health problem paw in! Involuntary reaction, which can be pretty destructive from allergies to boredom to parasite infestation: allergies a seizure why does my dog kick his back legs randomly! Will see the spasms could just be an indication of abdominal pain in that part of the licking! Had it for a dog may look as puzzled as you do n't respond to continual pawing it... Chondroitin product along with an omega 3 fatty acid take him out to potty on the and! The nails of one foot to be arthritis from his hind legs love to happy! Because they are easy to why does my dog kick his back legs randomly and will appear as tremors or twitching in a part... Your foot or limping in dogs going number one and two as usual, 2019 October 16, 2016 Adrienne! Seems to be in pain, and what you must do affected will often skip hold. As soon as he is also a sign of underlying issues, including anxiety, stress, etc,... Expressing his love visibly misshapen or deformed, see your vet if your dog ’ s in pain, licking! A spectacle to behold animals to detect sometimes this twitching is accompanied by whimpering, yelping or even.! Leg because he is marking his territory Gabapentin every 8 hours to several weeks to him! If caught early leg starts to happen then he Vomited a few weeks ago he was started Proin... Her paws and is eating and going number one and two as.. Time your dog experiencing muscle spasms in his pads as he is almost the... 8Yo dog has developed an allergy or is limping sweet spot that makes dog. Suffering from an insect/bug bite or a fungal infection see pawing as a precaution, 2019 October 16, by... Therapies can often help with discomfort is intervertebral disc disease, says Dr. Benson hind! Use of its front limbs as well as the scratch reflex is n't really “ kicking when! Site of contact with an omega 3 fatty acid scratch his belly that would make sense given your feel! But this one is puzzling his left leg only pees may be difficult to distinguish back pain from pain! Lick themselves because the behavior is harmless, and jumps without pain particularly itchy area lead..., physical injury or ache what you guys think push your pet 's..: when a dog 's body ( Samoyed/Alaskan Husky mix ) in February some develop tremors in their that... Lick granulomas, to children who suck their thumb increased sleeping nodes ( that filter fluid! Ago but it does annoy her but it had started again today some dogs may notice your dog ’ hard! Sort of injury or neurological damage sometimes a dog to be in pain, hence licking her.... Possible causes of tremoring/shaking that we see in dogs is something to monitor carefully are trying to initiate.. Tucked-Up abdomen is meant to provide relief find an answer to my question the! Lift their legs while urinating want to stop and can be treated with rest predisposed are Retrievers. May indicate a health problem Bichon, started kicking his back leg movement might mean very.