It does not always take a direct trauma or an accident for back pain to develop. Small but repetative traumas are just as harmful to the body. Initially the body will compensate for these minor traumas but when all of the body's compensatory abilities are taken up pain and spasm occur. It is therefore important for us to recognise small changes in our dogs physique and movement before minor discomfort turns to pain. By recognising common causes of back pain you can also help prevent its occurance.

Common causes of back pain in the dog are:-

  • Falls
  • Slips on tiled or wooden floors
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Constantly pulling on the lead
  • Playing rough and tumble with their friends
  • Repetative training
  • Compensations from other injuries

A large number of people take time off work each year due to back pain. Our dogs do not get a choice as to whether they work or train each day or how far their walk is and so it is our responsibility as their carers to recognise any problems which may be causing them pain.

These are a list of common symptoms your dog may display when suffering discomfort in the back:-

  • Unlevel gait
  • Crab like movement
  • Stiff or yelps when gets up
  • Change in behavior or energy levels
  • Dislike of being touched in certain areas
  • Loss of performance
  • Lethargic
  • Asymmetrical muscle tone
  • Always sitting or lying on one side
  • Tripping
  • Uneven claw wear
  • Dragging toes or feet
  • Pacing
  • Slower than normal when taken for a run
  • Knocking down fences in agility
  • Not wanting to stand square