Why is my older dog splaying her legs more frequently and is there anything I can do to make this seated position more comfortable and getting up easier?

Original Question: My 16-year-old Basset Hound legs are splaying out more frequently. I have to pick her up when she says because she can't get up on her own. Is there anything that she can wear like boots or anything else that you can recommend? I'm concerned leaving the house and finding that she has been lying splayed for a long time. - Dan

Why is my older dog splaying her legs more frequently and is there anything I can do to make this seated position more comfortable and getting up easier? Aug 23, 2017

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your question.

The first thing I would recommend is to determine why this is happening in the first place. By booking an appointment and consultation with your veterinarian, it will give them a chance to feel the limbs for evidence of arthritis, muscle weakness, back pain or neurological disorders. They may want to perform some diagnostics to determine the cause of this problem and recommend a treatment so it doesn’t progress more rapidly than it has to.

At home, the best thing to do would be to put down rugs or ‘runners’. Something that she can walk on that is not slippery. I think you’ll find that putting boots on her may irritate her and could be bulky making it harder to move and advance her legs. The added benefit to laying down rugs or carpet is that when she is lying down there is a cushion present so that she doesn’t form calluses on her joints.

If she is overweight, I would strongly encourage you to speak to your veterinarian about a weight loss program. Have them determine the daily caloric intake needed to achieve weight loss so that she doesn’t have to lift so much weight when she rises from the floor.

I would encourage you to read our article that goes over some strategies for treating pets with arthritis condition. I also recommend you to check out our video on this topic, which covers more information about arthritis signs in pets, as well as how to prevent lameness and stiffness in dogs.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Clayton Greenway

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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