Dog Experiencing Difficulty Standing or Walking

Dogs are energetic animals who enjoy being active. Of course, some dogs are more spirited than others, but a healthy dog needs to move around and exercise occasionally. This is why seeing our dog struggle to get up after lying down might be unsettling. This anxiety intensifies if the instability persists while they are moving. After sitting for a while, we could feel a little stiff, especially as we become older. Dogs are no different in this way, although a dog’s inability to stand or walk may not just be due to old age.

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AnimalWised comprehends why your dog is unable to stand or move normally. We examine the numerous root reasons.

Why isn’t my dog able to walk or stand up?

There is a distinction between a dog who struggles to stand and one who is completely immobile. Whether they are dealing with an acute or chronic issue usually accounts for this variation. Mobility issues should be treated as soon as feasible because they frequently precede the latter.

Dogs’ inability to stand or walk can be caused by urgent issues or degenerative disorders. While some treatments may cure the problem, slowing down the progression is crucial. Neurological conditions, both degenerative and acute, can also cause leg issues. 

Understanding the specific causes of a dog’s inability to stand or walk properly is essential for understanding available treatments.


Dogs conceal their anguish far too well. Depending on the degree of the trauma, they may not exhibit any overt indicators of discomfort when they are injured. They may go through a variety of traumas. They might be hurt in a car accident, fall from a great height, or even get hurt in a dog fight.

The damages the dogs can sustain might not be immediately apparent. The dog may not have any external wounds if the damage was internal. Their movement will be impacted by any broken bones, torn ligaments, or cartilage injury. It could imply that they have trouble standing up after lying down or walking.


It may surprise you to learn that diet-related illnesses can impair a dog’s movement, but it is feasible. Dogs with diabetes have impaired insulin sensitivity or insufficient insulin production in their cells. When this occurs, the dog’s blood sugar levels may be impacted.

Low blood sugar in a dog can have a variety of physiological implications. One of them is a difficult time getting to your feet. Low blood sugar makes it unlikely that they will be able to walk for very long if they have problems standing. Dogs with diabetes will require a variety of therapies, such as dietary changes and insulin injections when their blood sugar levels are low.

dysplastic hips

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that has a strong genetic component, but it is also plausible that lifestyle factors could contribute to its development. It is a bone condition that affects the hip joint, making the ball joint fit the socket incorrectly.

Dogs with hip dysplasia typically do not exhibit symptoms until they are at least 6 months old, though this is not always the case. The German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, English Bulldog, and many more breeds are more susceptible to hip dysplasia. We must be careful not to worsen hip dysplasia if the dog is predisposed to it. Overworking dogs with this illness and canine obesity are both risk factors.


Arthritis is a different degenerative condition that makes it difficult for dogs to stand or walk normally. This is a catch-all phrase for a variety of joint problems, which can cause both pain and stiffness. The dog finds it challenging to do some fundamental actions, including standing up straight.

Dog arthritis has many different causes, but it is frequently a concern in elderly dogs. This is due to the dog’s joints deteriorating with time. Improper exercise, obesity, and trauma can make this worse. Similar to hip dysplasia, there is a genetic component to arthritis, making some breeds more prone to the condition.


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There are many ways to treat canine arthritis


Another general word for a variety of canine illnesses is ataxia, specifically those that affect the dog’s ability to walk normally. We often notice it since the dog often walks erratically. It is a symptom that can accompany a wide range of diseases rather than being a condition in and of itself.

Among the causes of canine ataxia are:

Dog distemper

illness of the ears

disc herniation

brain cancer

A wobbler condition

drug side effects


Several infections

Ataxia in dogs has many different types and causes, and a wide range of treatments are available. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, and whether the condition is acute or chronic will determine how to reduce the symptoms.

neurological conditions

Although numerous neurological illnesses can also cause ataxia, it is important to examine these in greater depth. Because of neurological abnormalities, the brain cannot communicate with the rest of the body as it should. The signals that should prompt a dog to get up may be misinterpreted if their brain is not operating properly.

Age is one of the most important factors in neurological disorders in dogs, however there are other factors as well. Just as a dog’s joints might degrade with age, so too can their neurological capacity. Senior dogs should move more slowly than younger canines, however some may shift dramatically. Dementia can affect older dogs, changing their attitude and behaviour.


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What should I do if my dog is unable to stand or walk correctly?

The reasons a dog can’t stand are numerous, as you can see from the list above. Although some may be transient, it is crucial to assess the potential extent of the harm. Take your dog to the vet right away if you notice them straining to stand up or walking with an abnormal stride. They will be able to evaluate their medical background and conduct tests that will result in diagnoses.

Veterinarians may perform physical or neurological exams to diagnose a dog’s problem. If inconclusive or neurological, more comprehensive exams may be needed. The veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment, and in severe cases, euthanization may be more humane. AnimalWised is not responsible for veterinary treatment or diagnosis.