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What Causes a Shih-Poo’s Inability to Bend Their Back Legs and How to Help?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a shih-poo who was born on June 1st, 2014 and recently, I noticed that they cannot bend their back legs. I’m worried about what might be causing this issue and what I should do to help. Could you provide some insight into this situation and what I can do to help my pet?

Understanding Potential Causes for Back Leg Issues

Dear devoted pet owner, it’s natural to be concerned when your furry friend is having difficulty bending their back legs. There are various reasons that could be causing this issue, and it’s important to understand the potential causes in order to determine the correct course of action. One possible explanation for this issue is a joint-related problem, such as hip dysplasia, which is a common condition in dogs. Hip dysplasia can lead to pain and discomfort, as well as difficulty moving the affected limbs. To understand more about this condition and how it affects dogs, you can visit our article on Hip Dysplasia in Dogs. Limping and difficulty moving can also be a sign of arthritis, especially in older dogs. Arthritis is a quite common issue in dogs and can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness in their joints, making it difficult for them to bend their legs or move easily. Our article on Arthritis in Dogs can help you understand the condition better. Sometimes, lethargy or tiredness could also be mistaken for difficulty bending the legs. It’s important to determine whether your dog is just tired, or if there’s an underlying medical issue causing this behavior. Our article Is My Puppy Tired or Lethargic? covers this topic in more detail and can help you differentiate between the two. Aside from these, there could be other reasons for your dog’s inability to bend their back legs, but determining the cause requires a thorough examination by a veterinarian.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

As you’re unsure of the cause and concerned about your shih-poo’s wellbeing, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to palpate the legs, perform a comprehensive examination, and likely take x-rays to determine what is causing the issue with your dog’s back legs. If your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, the veterinarian may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage their symptoms. Our article Why Is My Dog Limping? When to Worry and What to Do can provide additional insight into when it’s time to consult a vet and the potential treatments they might recommend.


Your shih-poo’s inability to bend their back legs can be a cause for concern, and it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying issue. Whether it’s hip dysplasia, arthritis, or another problem, a veterinarian will be able to diagnose and guide you through the treatment process to ensure your dog’s health and comfort. Remember, when it comes to your pet’s wellbeing, don’t hesitate to seek professional help!

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