Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Weak After A Seizure

Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Weak After A Seizure?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The body is put under a great deal of strain during seizures. We shouldn’t be surprised if there are some aftereffects. Neurological. You can help your dog exercise their back legs by exercising its back legs. If necessary, you can allow them to rest while playing games to keep them entertained. You should also be aware of other symptoms, in addition to weak legs in the aftermath of seizures, large breed dogs or those that are overweight or old are more likely to experience weak legs.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Weak After A Seizure?“.

Do your dogs back legs feel weak after a seizure? 

Why Are My Dog’s Back Legs Weak After A Seizure

The thought of our furry friends suffering from a seizure can be very frightening as well for their owners. 

Having a seizure for the first time is unavoidable as you wonder how long it will last what caused it and what the aftereffects will be. 

Have you noticed your dog pacing around much slower than usual? Maybe you have noticed they avoid standing on their back legs altogether. 

Take a look at some of the effects a seizure can have on dogs and whether its normal for their legs to suffer so much afterward.

Our discussion will cover whether some dogs are more susceptible than others how long the effects will last and whether you can exercise your dogs legs back to health.

It is always a good idea to seek advice from a veterinarian if you are concerned about your dogs behavior. 

What is epilepsy and can it cause weakness in a dog’s back legs?

Epilepsy could be the cause of the seizure. A person with epilepsy suffers from repeated seizures. 

Dogs with this condition are most likely to suffer from neurological disorders. 

The brains abnormal electrical activity causes sudden changes in body movement such as convulsions. 

An epileptic dogs legs can become weak after the seizure

An ataxia-related disorder that affects speech balance and coordination. 

Walking and balance may be difficult for the dog if they lose muscle control in their legs. 

A seizure puts a lot of stress on your dogs joints and his limbs may not be able to be used for a few days afterward.

Is a seizure more likely to affect the front or back legs?

There will be more of an effect on the back legs. 

Is there a reason why the back legs are used rather than the front legs? 

The back legs of dogs are much more important than the front legs. 

There is also a tendency for the seizure to affect the front legs but its much less evident.

It is possible that the seizure caused temporary paralysis of the spinal cord in the back legs more than in the front. 

To avoid further muscle atrophy its important to get your dog moving again as much as possible.

What are the other main side effects of seizures?

Can you tell me if there are any other side effects? 

‘Grand mal’ seizures are the most common type of seizure. 

Convulsions and unconsciousness occur in dogs. 

However there are other side effects as well. 

Dogs can lose control of their bladders and bowels due to excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth. 

It is also possible for the facial muscles to twitch causing the mouth to open and close violently. 

It is also possible for the muscles in the legs and neck to stiffen. 

Look out for paddling movements with the legs and vacant expressions on the face as well as rolling eyes. 

Despite some dogs being able to continue as normal its not uncommon for some to remain dazed for up to 24 hours. 

As well as weakness in the legs there may be a lack of energy.

How long could this weakness last?

Your dog may be feeling weak and its natural to worry about it. 

A typical 24-hour period can be expected. 

General disorientation or confusion may also accompany it. 

It is also possible to experience temporary blindness increased urination and thirst during the post-seizure recovery period.

In spite of the fact that it may appear concerning it is important to take into account the strain your dog has gone through if they have suffered a seizure. 

In order to recover their bodies need time.

Should you walk your dog after a seizure?

You may be wondering what to do with your dogs daily walk while he or she is recuperating. 

The dog will be back to its normal bubbly hyperactive self soon after recovering from a seizure. 

Just keep a close watch on them while you take them out for exercise as usual. 

The same day may also not be the best time to overdo it.

It can take 24 hours for other dogs to recover. 

Until your dog shakes off the effects of the seizures you should not take them on walks. 

However your dog can still shake off boredom in many ways.

Try tossing a squeaky bone into their toy basket and see if they enjoy tug-of-war. 

Alternatively they might want to rip their favorite stuffed animal to pieces!

Concentration games can help build cognitive function in your dog especially after a seizure. Additionally it can make them feel better! 

Having a seizure can be a very traumatic experience for your pet so keeping their spirits high is a good idea. 

Exercising in moderation while using your brain to the fullest is the key. 

Apart from epilepsy what are the main causes of weak back legs in dogs?

A dogs hind legs can weaken for a variety of reasons including epilepsy. Inflammation of the joints can be a cause of chronic pain. 

When pressing down on their legs the dog will feel a lot of pain so they may avoid them as much as possible. 

Due to lack of use this results in further weakening of the muscles.

Back leg weakness and loss of coordination can also be caused by degenerative myelopathy. When your dog drags its legs you’ll notice it.

A major cause can also be arthritis diabetes or hip dysplasia. Getting a second opinion from a veterinarian is also a good idea if you notice anything unusual. 

Theres no need for all of it though. There is a possibility that your dog is overweight and feels the strain on its legs because of it!

Are there any simple exercises to strengthen a dog’s back legs?

Your dog will undoubtedly be hoping to return to its best as soon as possible. 

There are times however when they require some help especially in the form of exercise.

You can start by keeping a short lease on your dog and signaling to them that they should gradually shift their weight onto their legs. 

Rear support harnesses can also be used for this. 

In addition to exercising on a treadmill or walking up steep slopes dogs can also strengthen their back legs by exercising in water.

What are the main medications used to treat epilepsy in dogs and is a side effect that a dog’s back legs go weak?

Phenobarbitone is a medication that may be prescribed to your dog if they have regular seizures and are diagnosed with epilepsy. 

A fast-acting epilepsy medication this is the best. It takes two weeks for you to notice a difference. 

Orally administered sedatives stabilize neuron activity in the brain allowing dogs to reach a relaxed state. 

Aside from agitation and anxiety increased thirst is another side effect.

Can a weakness in the back legs cause a dog to be incontinent?

If your dog has a weakness in the back legs has it ever suffered from incontinence? 

Theres no doubt that both are linked although they almost certainly arise from the same cause: a seizure. 

It is possible for neurological disorders to directly affect the bladder. 

There is a possibility that the nerves controlling the bladder have been temporarily disrupted during seizures causing enormous pressure on the body.

Anxiety could also be the cause.

What dog breeds are most likely to suffer from epilepsy?

Are certain dog breeds more likely to have an epileptic fit than others? Unfortunately thats the case. 

St. Bernards Bernese Mountain Dogs and Shetland Sheepdogs are among the most vulnerable dogs. 

There are also Poodles Golden Retrievers Labrador Retrievers Dachshunds English Springer Spaniels and Beagles.  

What dog breeds are most likely to have weak back legs?

As far as which dogs are more likely to have weak back legs sadly the larger breeds also fall into this category.

As dogs age they have less capacity to support themselves and overweight dogs are also more likely to develop this problem.  

It can make a dogs legs stronger and less vulnerable to injury later in life if you take them on lots of walks when they are young.


Why does your dogs leg weakness occur after a seizure? The body is put under a great deal of strain during seizures. We should not be surprised if there are some aftereffects. Neurological 

You can help your dog exercise their back legs by exercising its back legs. If necessary you can allow them to rest while playing games to keep them entertained. 

You should also be aware of other symptoms in addition to weak legs

In the aftermath of seizures large breed dogs or those that are overweight or old are more likely to experience weak legs.

You can help to prepare them for later life by doing regular leg exercises.

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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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