Shake It Off: How to Understand and Treat Weakness and Shaking in Dogs’ Back Legs

Dog back legs

Dogs are active animals that sometimes move in strange ways. It’s normal for a dog’s back legs to shake or tremble, which can be scary but isn’t always a sign of something serious. This article will discuss why a dog’s back legs might shake when you should be worried and how to help your pet.

Why do dogs shake their back legs?


Dogs can get cold, just like people, and they might shake or shiver when they do. If your dog’s back legs are shaking, it might just be trying to get warm. If your dog is shaking because it’s cold, give it a warm blanket, sweater, or heated dog bed.


Dogs can feel anxious, making them shake or tremble, among other things. Anxiety can be caused by several things, such as loud noises, the fear of being alone, or changes in routine. If your dog is shaking because they are scared, try to figure out what makes them scared and try to get rid of it or make it less scary. You can also create a calm environment for your dog or talk to your vet about anxiety medicine.

When a dog is in pain, their back legs may shake or tremble. Arthritis, an injury, or an underlying medical condition can cause pain. If you think your dog’s back leg is shaking because of pain, you should talk to a vet to find out what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Muscle Weakness:

A dog’s muscles can weaken, making its back legs shake or tremble. Muscle weakness can be caused by many things, like getting older or having an underlying health problem. Suppose your dog’s back leg is shaking because of weak muscles. In that case, your vet can suggest exercises or medicines to help your dog’s muscles get stronger.

Neurological Issues:

When a dog’s back legs shake or tremble, it could be because of a problem with its nerves. Several things, such as spinal cord injuries or degenerative diseases, can cause these problems. If you think your dog’s shaking back leg is caused by a neurological problem, you should see a vet as soon as possible.

Video by Dr Katherine Nova

How to know when to worry?

Even though a dog’s back leg shaking isn’t always a sign of something serious, there are times when it is. Suppose your dog’s back leg is shaking and has other symptoms like trouble walking or standing, losing appetite, or being tired. In that case, you should see a doctor immediately. These symptoms could be signs of a more serious health problem, so getting treatment right away is important.

How can you help your dog?

If your dog’s back leg shaking isn’t caused by something serious, you can do a few things to help them feel better:

Provide a Comfortable Environment:

If your dog is shaking because it is scared or cold, give it a comfortable place to be. This could be something like a warm blanket, a comfortable bed, or a sweater.


Working out can help your dog get stronger and keep a healthy weight, which can help keep muscles from getting weak. Talk to your vet to determine what exercise routine is best for your dog.


Massaging your dog’s muscles can help them relax and ease muscle tension. Massage your dog’s muscles with light, circular motions, and avoid sore or painful spots.


If your dog’s back leg shaking is caused by pain or anxiety, your vet may suggest medication to help control these symptoms.

Why are the back legs of my dog weak and shaky?

When a dog’s back legs are weak and shaking, it can be scary and upsetting for the dog and its owner. This problem can happen for different reasons, and it’s important to find out what they are so you can treat them properly. This article will discuss the possible reasons a dog’s back legs are weak and shaking and the possible treatments.

Possible reasons why a dog’s back legs are weak and shaking

Degeneration of the spinal cord:

Degenerative myelopathy is a disease that affects the spinal cord and gets worse over time. It is one of the most common reasons dogs’ back legs weaken and shake. The disease usually affects older dogs and can cause many symptoms, such as muscle loss, trouble walking, and a loss of coordination.


Arthritis is a common reason dogs, especially older ones, have weak back legs and shake. Arthritis can cause joint pain and swelling, making muscles weak and tremble. Intervertebral Disc Disease occurs when the discs between the vertebrae in the spine become damaged or herniated, placing pressure on the spinal cord. This can make your back leg weak, painful, and difficult to walk.
Injuries, like a sprain or strain, can make a dog’s back legs weak and shake. Accidents, fall, or rough play can all lead to injuries.


Some infections, like Lyme disease, can cause dogs’ back legs to become weak and shake. An infection can also cause fever, tiredness, and a loss of appetite.

Different ways to treat a dog’s back legs that are weak and shaking


Dogs can take medicine to help with the shaking and weakness in their back legs. Anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, and muscle relaxants may be given to help reduce pain and swelling and make it easier to move around.

Physical therapy:

Physical therapy can help the muscles get stronger, and the range of motion in the back legs gets better. This can be done by walking, swimming, or getting a massage.


Back leg weakness and shaking may sometimes require surgery to treat the underlying cause. This could mean having surgery to fix a herniated disc or stabilize an arthritis-affected joint.

Supportive Care:

Supportive care can help improve your dog’s quality of life and control its symptoms. This could mean giving them a comfortable and safe place to live, helping them move around with a harness or wheelchair, or changing their diet to help treat any underlying conditions.

Alternative Therapies:

Some dog owners may try alternative treatments, like acupuncture or herbal supplements, to help with their dog’s weak and shaking back legs. But it would be best to talk to a vet before starting alternative treatments to ensure they are safe and effective.

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How to stop dogs’ back legs from getting weak and shaking?

Even though back leg weakness and shaking can’t always be stopped in dogs, there are things owners can do to make it less likely that their dog will get this problem. These things are:

Regular Exercise:

Your dog’s health, strength, and flexibility can all be maintained with regular exercise. Talk to your vet about what kind of exercise routine is best for your dog based on age, breed, and health.

Proper Nutrition:

Giving your dog a healthy, well-balanced diet can help its muscles stay strong and help them move around. Keeping your dog on a leash and watching it play can help prevent back leg weakness and shaking.

Regular Checkups:

Taking your pet to the vet for regular checkups can help find and treat any health problems before they worsen. Vets recommend that dogs go to the vet at least once a year or more often if they have underlying health problems.

Proper Hygiene:

Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed can help prevent skin infections, which can make the back legs weak and shake. By giving your dog regular baths, brushing their fur, and cleaning their ears, you can help keep them from getting sick.

Ensuring your dog’s safe and comfortable environment can also help keep his back legs from weakening and shaking. This means giving them a comfortable bed or crate, making sure the floors are safe and keeping them from getting to stairs or other places that might be hard for them to get around.


Dogs’ back legs Shaking can be caused by several things, and while it can be worrying, it doesn’t always mean something is wrong. If your dog’s back legs shake, write down any other symptoms or behavior changes; if you’re worried, talk to a vet. Back leg shaking can sometimes be stopped or improved with the right care and exercise. You can help your dog keep their strength, flexibility, and overall health by giving them a comfortable place to live, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right medical care.

Shaking back legs can be frightening for both the dog and its owner. But if you find out what’s causing the problem and give your dog the right treatment, you can control the symptoms and improve your dog’s life. Dogs are less likely to have weak back legs and shake if they exercise regularly, eat well, get regular checkups, keep clean, and live safely. If your dog’s back legs are weak or shaking, you should talk to a vet to find out what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Remember that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Pay close attention to how your dog acts; talk to a vet if you have any worries. Your furry friend can stay happy, healthy, and active with the right care and attention for many years.

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