Dog lying on the ground Dog Health 24.05.2024

Dog can no longer get up: What to do?

What you can and should do.

What to do if your dog can no longer get up? It's a terrible sight and an even worse feeling when you see your beloved four-legged friend suddenly struggling to get up. In this blog post, I will explain various possible causes and give you advice on what you can do in such a situation. At the end, I will also explain when it is essential to consult a vet.

Possible causes if your dog can't or won't get up

Dog age as a cause

One of the most common reasons why a dog can no longer stand up is simply old age. Just like us humans, dogs also get older and their mobility decreases. Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia and other age-related conditions can cause your dog to have difficulty moving.

Injuries to the legs

Another possibility is that your dog has injured himself. This can be caused by an accident, a wrong step or even excessive romping. A sprained foot, a broken bone or a tendon injury can mean that your dog can no longer stand up.

Illnesses as a reason why your dog won't stand up

There are numerous illnesses that can cause your dog to be unable to stand up. Some of them are:

  1. Arthritis: Inflammatory joint disease that causes pain and restricted movement.
  2. Herniated disc: Severe disease of the spine that affects the nerves.
  3. Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can also lead to weakness and immobility.
  4. Neurological diseases: Diseases of the nervous system, such as degenerative myelopathy.
Schwarze Französische Bulldogge steht auf Schreibtisch Depositphotos / AllaSerebrina

Being overweight

Being overweight can also be a major factor. If your dog weighs too many kilos, this puts enormous strain on his joints and bones. This can lead to long-term damage and ultimately to immobility.

Muscle loss

Lack of exercise, prolonged illness or simply old age can lead to muscle loss. If the muscles are no longer strong enough to support the body, the dog has difficulty standing up.

Die Pfote eines schlafenden, faulen Hundes Depositphotos / Elegant01

What to do if your dog can't get up?

First of all, don't panic! If your dog suddenly can't get up, keep calm and observe the situation closely. Try to find out whether there is an obvious cause, such as an injury or an accident.

Rest and observation

Let your dog rest for the time being and take it easy. Sometimes the body just needs a little rest. However, keep a close eye on him and look out for signs of pain or discomfort.

Heat and cold

Depending on the cause, it can help to warm or cool the affected area. A warm grain pillow or a cooling compress can work wonders. However, make sure that it remains comfortable for the dog.

Helping your dog to stand up

Try to gently support your dog when he wants to stand up. Gently lift him up and help him to find his balance. There are special carrying aids and harnesses that can be very useful for this.

Gentle exercise as training and a trial

Once your dog is back on its feet, provide gentle exercise. Short, slow walks can help to strengthen the muscles and improve mobility. But don't overdo it and make sure your dog is not in pain.

Physiotherapy with your dog

Physiotherapy can be very helpful in many cases. There are specialized therapists who focus on dogs and their specific needs. They can show you exercises and massages to help your dog get back on its feet.

Shiba Inu Hund einen Termin bei der Kosmetikerin in einem Schönheitssalon. Nahaufnahme. Depositphotos / Aksakal

When should you go to the vet if your dog refuses to get up?

There are some clear signs when you should see a vet immediately:

  • Severe pain: if your dog is in obvious severe pain, they should see a vet immediately.
  • Paralysis: If your dog can no longer move one or more limbs at all, this is an emergency.
  • Swelling or open wounds: These can indicate serious injuries.
  • No improvement: If your dog still can't get up after a few hours of rest, you should go to the vet.
  • Other symptoms: If your dog is also showing other symptoms, such as fever, loss of appetite or lethargy, a visit to the vet is urgent.

It is always worrying when your dog is suddenly unable to get up. There are many possible causes, from signs of ageing to injuries and serious illnesses. It is important that you keep calm, take care of your dog and support him if necessary. If there is no improvement or your dog is in severe pain, a visit to the vet is essential. They can determine the exact cause and initiate the appropriate treatment.

Take good care of your pets and give them the love and support they need. Stay alert and act responsibly so that you can recognize and treat many problems in good time.

All the best for you and your four-legged friends!

Banner: Depositphotos / Cavan
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