Dog Has Trouble Getting Up But Walks Fine 5 Possible Causes

Dog Has Trouble Getting Up But Walks Fine: 5 Possible Causes

Last Updated: August 20, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Dog Has Trouble Getting Up But Walks Fine: 5 Possible Causes“.

When it comes to your dog you want nothing but the best for him. You are reading this blog for the same reason as all other responsible dog parents. You may have an older Rover or your Rover may have suffered from an injury or a genetic condition. Regardless he has trouble getting out of bed but once he is up he seems fine and dandy. You wonder why the strange thing is happening. He can not be faking it can he?

During this article we’ll explore some common reasons why your pooch has trouble getting up but then walks just fine.

Dog Has Trouble Getting Up But Walks Fine 5 Possible Causes

Hip Dysplasia

Larger dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia so if you have a mastiff or a St Bernard watch for the telltale signs. Its not necessarily off the hook though if your little fur kid is a small breed since some of them can get it too. This inherited condition is generally recognizable by your dogs stiffness and difficulty getting up when hes lying down. In addition Mr. Schnoocums may have difficulty climbing stairs or standing on his hind legs. If you have any doubts get him examined by a vet.

How do you define hip dysplasia? In this condition the hip joint is abnormally formed. In other words the leg bone moves too much due to the looseness of the joint. Its like a key that does not quite fit the lock its meant for. You could potentially cause your poor pet some awful pain that gets worse over time. 

The condition can show up at any age even when your pooch is a puppy. Because its inherited theres nothing you can do to prevent it. The effects can be controlled however with targeted exercise a healthy diet keeping your pooch warm and dry when he sleeps and in extreme cases special meds. These poor pups generally benefit from swimming. He has a greater chance of living a long healthy life if he swims.


Yes it affects animals as well! Dogs with a bit more life experience are more likely to develop arthritis. The tell-tale sign of arthritis in dogs is when they have trouble getting up but can still walk around just fine. Like “please do not make me get up!”. Suddenly everything ends!” your heart melts with a look of sadness in those puppy eyes. Whimpering and whining will accompany the struggle to get up. The moment they are up they’re going about their business as if nothing happened.

As with most diseases affecting dogs overweight dogs suffer more than their healthy cousins. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is even more important here since the weight they’re carrying could really make matters worse.

Changes in gait and general discomfort are some common symptoms of arthritis. Theres a good chance they would have trouble lying down as well – you’ll hear those grunts and see them fidget as they try and fail to get comfortable. Your dog might lick his legs or paws and he might limp even before exercising if arthritis is causing discomfort. After a walk like that he would be a little stiff and probably would not be interested in jumping either. Poor thing.

Arthritis cannot be cured but it can be managed. Medications and supplements may be prescribed by your veterinarian to keep your pup comfortable. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule is also recommended. Rather than doing a one really long walk you might want to take several short ones. Go just far enough so he gets his heart pumping and tail wagging but not so far that he gets stiff. You should stop what you’re doing if he tells you something hurts and try something else tomorrow or whenever hes ready.

If necessary you could opt for laser therapy or one of a variety of mobility devices such as slings rear-end harnesses wheelchairs or carts. Your pooch will stay active with these without taking a huge toll on his body.

Perhaps you should make some changes around the house as well. You can prevent Coco from slipping by putting down some non-slip pads on your slippery floors. You can also put down ramps or help her climb the stairs or get onto the couch. Make sure her bed is soft and comfy and warm! When the weather is cold arthritis gets worse so turn on the heater if you have to.

Back Leg Weakness

An inherited condition called Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is known as Back Leg Weakness. In this case the protective layer around your dogs spinal cord degenerates exposing the nerve fibers. As a result the hindquarters of your dog become weaker and they might even become paralyzed if this continues.

There are many symptoms associated with Back Leg Weakness and most of them overlap with other conditions. You should take your dog to the vet if you notice some of these symptoms especially if they get worse over time. Lameness loss of coordination loss of balance a stumbling gait difficulty standing up reluctance to exercise pain incontinence swelling weight gain and loss of muscle mass are some of the symptoms. Its pretty scary to see all of these.

This condition can be treated which is good news. A vet might recommend surgery and will probably prescribe pain medication as well. As Fido recovers its important to keep his weight under control so a strict diet may be required. For them to stay mobile and fit regular exercise – whatever they’re able to do at the time – is crucial. It will also help them maintain a healthy weight.

Muscle Atrophy

Thinner muscles are an indication that your dog has this condition. As an example your hand can suddenly be closed around their thigh when it used to be too large. Additionally they might be losing weight – you might not be weighing your dog regularly. Upon picking him up you’re likely to notice that he seems lighter than usual.

In addition to physical weakness muscle atrophy has another common symptom. As a result your dog might have difficulty getting up or prefer to use his front legs rather than his hind legs. Also Coco might be in pain or a bit sluggish which is all part of the underlying problem.

In addition to having many possible causes muscle atrophy can also be treated in different ways. Make sure you have your fur kids checked out by your vet as soon as possible. No matter what causes the problem you should exercise them regularly. All of us including our fur babies need a good workout. Afterward your veterinarian will probably prescribe some protein supplements along with a healthy diet so your pooch gets all the nutrients he needs to heal.

Overgrown Nails

Where do we go from here? When they get up long nails can dig into their paws especially if they have long nails. Because this is painful they might take a long time to get up and may even whimper or whine as they do so. The gait of a dog is affected by overgrown nails only in severe cases.

Luckily this one is extremely easy to treat. Simply trim your nails! Before you get started with a clipper however there are a few things you need to know. In addition to the nails the quick becomes longer when your dogs nails grow long.

This is where the blood vessels and nerve endings are located so it is important not to nip it while trimming. If you do it correctly you can make the quick recede over time returning your pups feet to normal and making them jump for joy.

To keep your poochs nails trimmed trim them about every four days a little at a time. You can do some sensitivity training with whatever tool you choose to get them used to get their nails trimmed if they do not like it. A lot of different nail trimming tools are available on the market so you can find the one that floats your boat and puts your pup at ease with a little research.


It is possible that your dog has trouble getting up but then walks fine and runs without any issue. The correct treatment can cure some of them while others can only be managed. If your dog is showing any symptoms you should take him to the vet for a thorough examination. In that case you would be able to identify whatever the cause is early on and start treatment right away.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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