My dog keeps sitting down while walking. What is causing this?
Original Question: Dr. Greenway, my 8-year-old Standard Poodle Griffin sometimes just stops during a walk and either sits or lies down. I am concerned but I'm not sure if this has something to do with the anal glands? - Tulin
Thanks for your question.
These clinical symptoms are difficult to be certain about without a physical consultation, but there are a few things that could cause it.
- Anal glands may be the problem but you’d often see them dragging their bum or licking intensely back there. Dogs, however, respond differently to anal gland irritation so I recommend you visit your local veterinarian for an anal gland expression which should help identify and resolve the problem.
- Arthritis pain is possible and a veterinarian should be able to get an impression of this by feeling the joints. They may recommend radiographs to investigate to investigate the problem which would be ideal, but you could also request a short course of anti-inflammatory medication as a trial to see if it helps and suggest arthritis as a possible diagnosis. Medication trials are not ideal medicine and veterinarians will have differing opinions and comfort with this strategy.
- Exercise intolerance is another possibility. This is where a dog will just run out of steam on a walk for various reasons, such as heart disease, a neurological disorder or general weakness from an illness.
I would start with a consultation and physical exam with your veterinarian. Have the anal glands expressed and the joints palpated as this will likely give you an idea of the problem.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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