What does it mean when dogs drag their back legs? The Ultimate Guide

How do I know my dog has issues with proprioception?

The signs a dog is dragging their paws are fairly apparent. Dogs that knuckle under will walk on the top of their paw. and often drag their nails while walking causing the nails to wear unevenly. When walking your dog on pavement listen for sounds of dragging nails. If you notice any of these signs it’s likely your dog has proprioception issues.

First you should speak to your veterinarian and set up a time for them to examine your pup. A simple test your vet may try is to flip your dog’s back paw so that he is standing on the top of his foot. If your dog corrects their paw to stand normally, then your dog has a normal perception of their paw placement. A dog who does not correct their foot and adjust to stand normally, likely has problems with proprioception.

Causes for Dragging Paws and Knuckling in Dogs

Most pets drag their paws and knuckle under due to an underlying neuro condition. Here are a few of the most common conditions that cause dogs to drag their paws:

  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Spondylosis
  • Arthritis
  • Cervical Vertebral Instability or CVI
  • FCE or spinal stroke
  • Traumatic injury that damaged a dog’s muscle, nerves, or spine
  • Spinal tumors
  • Neurological issues
  • Things to Consider When Your Dog Can’t Walk on Its Back Leg Suddenly

    Lameness can happen gradually or all of a sudden. Gradual, progressive lameness is generally caused by an underlying condition, such as osteoarthritis, bone cancer, or neurological disease. Sudden lameness, on the other hand, is usually caused by some sort of acute injury.

    Some common reasons your dog can’t walk on its back leg suddenly are:

  • Toenail injury
  • Paw or leg injury (including something stuck in the paw pad)
  • Broken or fractured bone
  • Torn ligament, muscle, cartilage, or tendon
  • Dislocated joint
  • Medial patellar luxation
  • Spinal injury
  • In this article, however, we will take a closer look at some possible neurological explanations.

    IVDD Symptoms – Dragging Back Legs