It can be quite disconcerting to observe that your dog is stumbling on the front legs. Upon seeing your dog stumbling on his front feet, you will probably want to know the reason. You will also want to know if/how the stumbling problem can be addressed. This article has the answers.
Common reasons for dog stumbling front legs include injury, stroke and tumors. Inner ear problems and arthritis and can also cause a dog to stumble front legs, as can conditions like wobbler syndrome.
To identify the specific reason for dog stumbling on front legs, you may need to look at what other symptoms may be present.
Take, for instance, a case in which the dog stumbles on front legs and has muscle atrophy. This may be due to a condition like wobbler syndrome.
Take another case in which you find the dog losing balance in front legs, and also shaking head with eye flickering. Here, the cause may be something like an inner ear problem.
The dog’s history also matters. If, following a recent accident, you find the dog dragging front nails and stumbling, then it may be due to injuries. These may be injuries sustained in the accident.
Even the size of the dog may be a worthwhile consideration. Take, for instance, a case in which a (small dog) Chihuahua front legs give out. This may have different implications from another case of a (bigger dog) Labrador front legs giving way.
And of course, a case of an old dog front legs collapsing has different implications from that of a puppy stumbling.
Thus in understanding the exact reason for dog stumbling front legs, there are so many considerations to make.
What Are The Common Causes For Dog Stumbling Front Legs?
There are many possible causes for dog stumbling front legs. If you find your dog stumbling on front legs, it is worthwhile to first understand these common general causes of the problem.
That can be helpful in figuring out the specific reason for your dog stumbling on front legs.
So, what would cause a dog’s front legs to give out and start stumbling? What would cause a dog to be off balance to this extent of stumbling?
One very common reason for a dog stumbling front legs is simply injury. Others include inner ear problems, neurological problems and wobbler syndrome.
A dog may also stumble front legs due to arthritis, due to tumors or following a stroke.
So those are the common reasons for dogs stumbling on front legs. A dog falling over front legs may also be due to these reasons. Even dogs front legs buckling problems can be due to these factors.
We will now proceed to look at these common reasons for dog stumbling front legs in turn.
Injury As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
Perhaps the most common reason for a dog stumbling on front legs is injury.
Sometimes, that turns out to be injury directly on the dog’s legs. A dog with a very nasty injury on both its front legs may start stumbling.
You can also find a dog unsteady on feet suddenly due to some injury.
There are also cases in which the injury turns out to be affecting the dog’s spinal cord. This can in turn make the dog stumble on front legs.
That is because the dog’s limbs coordination center is in the spinal cord.
The cause for the injury may be an accident that the dog had. Or it could be due to a fight that the dog had with another one.
The key thing to understand, whenever you find your dog stumbling on front leg is that it could be due to an injury.
Inner Ear Problems As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
We need to start by pointing out that ears play an important role in maintaining a dog’s balance.
Now if a dog has inner ear problems, that may lead to stumbling on front legs.
The inner ear problems in question here could be due to an infection. Or they could be physiological in nature. This is also the context in which we find the vestibular syndrome.
Sometimes, the situation gets so bad that you start wondering, why is my dog walking weird on front legs?
Thus the cause for the dog stumbling on front legs may be in the most unexpected of all places: the inner ear.
Neurological Problems As A Reason For Dog Stumbling On Front Legs
It is important to understand that the dog’s limbs coordination depends on its central nervous system.
If there is a problem somewhere in the dog’s nervous system, its balance may be affected. And this may lead to problems like that of the dog’s front legs stumbling.
The problems may be in the head (the CNS control center), the spinal cord or the spinal cord’s sheath. It is also possible for the problems to be in the actual nerves that serve the dog’s front legs.
Some infections may cause a condition we refer to as encephalitis (brain inflammation). That in turn gets the dog to start stumbling on front legs.
Even the consumption of certain toxins can trigger neurological problems that cause the dog to start stumbling on front legs.
And encephalitis may also be a sign of problems like liver and kidney failure. If these are not effective in getting rid of toxins, the toxins build up in the dog’s body.
Eventually, the dog may develop neurological problems due to the toxins. And that then gets its front legs to stumble.
The dog neurological problems front legs stumbling cause is worth exploring if the symptoms look particularly bad.
Sometimes, the neurological problems can even lead to the dog walking on front legs only. This may be the case if the dog develops some sort of paralysis due to the neurological problems.
Or the neurological problems may lead to the dog constantly tripping over his front legs. And that inevitably gets you wondering, why is my dog tripping over his front feet constantly.
So that could be due to some sort of neurological problems.
Wobbler Syndrome As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
Sometimes, you may find a dog stumbling on front legs due to wobbler syndrome.
This is in fact still under the category of neurological problems. But it is worth a mention on its own because it is quite a common problem.
The root of the wobbler syndrome problem is in the dog’s spinal cord. So the syndrome causes some deterioration there, which ultimately manifests through things like making the dog front legs wobbly issues.
Actually, dog wobbly front legs are a later complication in this syndrome. It normally starts in back legs, before advancing to the front legs.
Whereas this is one of those diseases that are hard to cure fully, there are management measures that can be put in place after diagnosis. These may improve the dog’s quality of life greatly.
Arthritis As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
There are cases in which the dog stumbles on front legs due to arthritis.
In arthritis, the dog’s front legs joints become tender, usually with lots of swelling. This can worsen to a point at which it causes the dog to start stumbling.
Thus if your dog keeps stumbling on front leg, it could be due to arthritis. This is more likely the case if the dog is older.
Often, the discomfort from arthritis is so much that it even causes a loss of appetite.
Thus if you find dog front leg stumble loss if appetite and general fatigue symptoms in an order dog, arthritis may be the reason.
Again, arthritis is one of those conditions that are hard to fully cure. But once there is proper diagnosis, measures to make the dog’s life more comfortable can be put in place.
Stroke As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
If a dog recently had a stroke, it may start stumbling on its front legs.
In fact, stroke sometimes causes a dog’s legs to collapse completely, in some sort of paralysis.
Indeed, if you research on why do my dogs legs collapse, you will see that stroke is one of the possible causes.
At other times, you may find the dog tripping while walking due to a stroke.
Following a stroke, the dog may even develop a tendency to cross his legs in a very strange manner. And that gets you wondering, why does my dog cross his front legs in this strange manner.
Then the reason turns out to be due to a stroke that the dog suffered at some point.
Tumors As A Reason For Dog Stumbling Front Legs
Dogs with brain tumors often develop a tendency to stumble front legs.
Even dogs with tumors in the nerve sheaths may have this tendency to stumble on their front legs.
This can be one of the harder to diagnose reasons for a dog stumbling on front legs. Even after diagnosis, treatment can be hard.
But once there is proper diagnosis, measures to improve the dog’s quality of life can be put in place.
Why Is My Dog Suddenly Stumbling Front Legs?
There are many possible reasons for a dog suddenly stumbling front legs.
A dog suddenly stumbling front legs may be due to an injury: either to the actual legs or to the spinal cord.
You may also have a dog suddenly stumbling front legs due to an inner ear problem.
Another possible reason for a dog suddenly stumbling front legs is brain inflammation (encephalitis). That, for instance, may be due to consuming a toxin. Or it may be due to a liver problem, kidney problem and so on.
A tumor may make a dog to start stumbling suddenly, as may a recent stroke.
So there are so many things that can make a dog start stumbling on front legs suddenly.
Dog Stumbling Front Legs – What To Do?
The main thing you need to do, if your dog is stumbling on front legs, is to take him to a vet as soon as possible.
This problem of a dog stumbling on front legs is not one that you can ‘wait and see’.
Some causes of a dog stumbling on front legs require urgent attention. And some may worsen, if the dog doesn’t get urgent care.
Once the vet gets the dog, chances are that they will put the dog through very thorough physical examination.
The vet may also order tests, such as x-rays, MRIs and CT-scans. Blood testing may also be necessary in certain cases.
Sometimes, the vet may end up referring your dog to a specialist colleague. This is the case if the problem seems to be one beyond their level of expertise.
Ultimately, once there is proper diagnosis, the vet will recommend the right remedial measures.
Sometimes, all that may be necessary is to put the dog on certain medications. These may be short term or long term medications.
In certain other cases, implements such as braces and bandages may need to be put on the dog.
There are also cases in which quite radical surgeries may need to be performed.
Ultimately, you will have a chance to explore the problem and the possible solutions with the vet.
It is usually you who makes the final decision on the care you want the dog to get. The vet normally only gives you the available options.
The good news is that some cases of dogs stumbling front legs can be completely healed.
Even for those that are hard to cure fully, measures to improve the dog’s quality of life can be implemented.
Final Verdict – Dog Stumbling Front Legs
You may have a dog stumbling on front legs due to an injury, due to inner ear problems or due to a recent stroke. Wobbler syndrome can make a dog stumble on front legs, as can certain tumors.
Even a dog with arthritis may eventually get to a point at which it starts stumbling on front legs. And several neurological problems can also make a dog stumble on front legs.
If you find your dog stumbling on front legs, the best thing to do is take him to a vet.
The vet will try to figure out the exact reason behind the dog stumbling on front legs. That may entail physical examination, bloodwork, x-rays, MRIs, CT-scans and so on.
Once the vet finds the actual reason for the dog stumbling on front legs, they will prescribe remedial measures.
The remedial measures could range from the use of medications, braces, bandages and activity restriction. In the more severe cases, radical treatments – including surgery – may be necessary.
With proper treatment, some cases of dogs stumbling on front legs can heal. Even for those that don’t fully heal, measures to make the dog’s life more comfortable can be initiated.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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