Why Has My Diabetic Dog Got Wobbly Legs?

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Why Has My Diabetic Dog Got Wobbly Legs?“.

If you’re like me the slightest sign that one of your dogs is in pain or carrying an injury will make your head spin.

They seem to be in pain. Would it be possible for me to help? If so how much will it cost?

I’m whirling around in my head with all of these thoughts. 

Today I would like to explore the problem of wobbly back legs.

I recently “lost” a 15-year-old Golden Retriever whose back legs were weak and wobbly for the last several years of her life.

Despite this she never lost her zest for life. 

In this research I will look at whether wobbly back legs are a sign of diabetes in some dogs. 

What is diabetes?

Firstly it would be useful to give a bit more information about diabetes. 

When insulin which is made naturally in the body does not work properly we are said to have diabetes. 

Diabetes is caused by two different insulin errors each resulting in a different type of diabetes. 

When the body does not produce enough insulin we have the first kind of diabetes. 

Another type of insulin resistance occurs when the body produces enough insulin but the insulin is not absorbed properly. 

The role of glucose

In order to make all of this make sense I must explain something about glucose. 

The food a dog eats is broken down into various things one of which is glucose. 

A dogs body relies on glucose for energy because it provides the body with energy. 

Glucose is absorbed by thousands of tiny cells in a dogs body in order to accomplish this. 

Insulin is the only thing that can help it achieve this. 

If your dog does not produce enough insulin or if their bodies cannot absorb insulin then the glucose would not be absorbed and they would not be able to have enough energy. 

Your dogs body will be overloaded with glucose which could damage major organs. 

Are wobbly legs a symptom of diabetes in dogs? 

In all likelihood shaking legs wouldnot appear on a search for “symptoms of diabetes in dogs”. 

Among the classic symptoms that would be listed repeatedly would be increased urination excessive thirst and weight loss. 

What would be the point of that wouldnot it? 

You should not give up yet. 

Undiagnosed diabetes can be a cause of wobbly legs. 

There is evidence that higher than normal sugar levels damage nerve endings over time. 

As a result your dog will stand walk or move differently due to this. 

The condition is known as diabetic neuropathy. 

What causes a diabetic dog’s legs to wobble?

Diabetic dogs usually have weak back legs because they have had diabetes for a long time and no one has noticed it. 

The nerves have been damaged by the long-term effects of excess glucose. 

These nerves are poisoned by an excess of glucose and no one knows how. 

There are many things we do not know about diabetes in dogs.

There is no way of knowing how many dogs have diabetes that has not yet been diagnosed. 

Dogs with diabetes are estimated to be one in 500.

As an example of how common diabetes is in people it is estimated that just over one in ten of us has the disease. 

Despite this 46% of patients remain undiagnosed. 

Are the wobbly legs a permanent or temporary feature?

A dogs weak legs can cause him to be temporarily or permanently disabled depending on how long he goes without treatment. 

When a dog is diagnosed with diabetes soon after they appear to have problems with their back legs the nerve endings might recover and the legs will be totally fine.

If diabetes goes undiagnosed for a long period of time the likelihood of permanent damage increases. 

What dogs are more at risk of diabetic wobbly legs?

Dogs in four different groups are more likely to develop diabetes than the general dog population.

Here are their names:

  • Dogs in their golden years
  • Unspayed females
  • Obese dogs
  • There are certain breeds (such as mini Poodles Dobermans and Golden Retrievers).

Therefore those are the same four groups most at risk of developing wobbly legs due to diabetes.

I would like to add another group of dogs to this list. 

Then there are dogs who already suffer from a condition that results in the weakening of their legs.

The chances of these dogs’ legs becoming more wobbly would dramatically increase if they develop diabetes. 

Are there any leg strengthening exercises that can be done? 

There are certainly some exercises that your dog can do to help them maintain their leg strength and mobility.

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet or medication that will reverse the damage and decline. 

In addition to exercising swimming can be a good choice.

You will know in all likelihood if your dog enjoys water or not.

Dogs can benefit from this exercise as it is among the best leg exercises.

Due to its non-weight-bearing nature. 

Those who live near rivers lakes or the sea can do this exercise for free.

In addition if your dog loves swimming he or she would not even notice that they are doing some physiotherapy.

Walking is another simple form of exercise.

Just be careful to not overdo this.

There is no point in overdoing it when walking your dog; only you can determine how much he can handle. 

How will I know if it is diabetes?

One way to be sure that your dog has diabetes and that it is causing their leg problems is to take a blood test.

The best way to do this is to visit the vet and subject your dog to quite a few tests. 

Though you might think that a simple blood test can detect diabetes a more thorough set will allow your vet to determine how severe the condition is and whether any other diseases are contributing to it. 

In the final section of this research I will describe other illnesses that can cause your dog to have weak back legs.

Four (other) main causes of wobbly legs in dogs? 

Diabetes is not the only disease that can cause the legs to be weak wobbly or shaky. 

It would take me my whole arm to provide a comprehensive list so I am going to provide you with just the major ones. 

Degenerative Myelopathy

You’ll see German Shepherds with sloping backs as a classic example of this.

In most cases however older dogs are affected.

In simple terms it is when the nerves at the end of the spinal column start to die.

When the back legs weaken the dog starts dragging and scuffing its feet as they walk. 

There is no pain associated with it. 

IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease.)

This occurs when there is a herniated disc in the spine. The condition is often triggered by exercise. 

Surgical intervention is likely to be necessary due to the extreme pain.

Dachshunds which have a long back are particularly vulnerable.  

Canine Arthritis 

Human experience is seen through the dogs eyes. 

With arthritis the joints between the bones become inflamed and any movement can be extremely painful. 

Patellar Luxation

It occurs when one or more of a dogs knees slips in and out of place. 

I know you are wincing at the thought.

Dogs of small or toy breeds are most at risk for this condition such as Bichon Friches Chihuahuas and French Poodles. 

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

Why Has My Diabetic Dog got Wobbly Legs? (Watch Video)

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