My German Shepherd (male), who is three years old, is having difficulty with his hind legs and cannot stand on them. Please advice.

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Weakness in hind legs of large breeds like German Shepherds develops from variety of skeletal problems including hip dysplasia. This can also be the result of infection or trauma, metabolic, neuromuscular or degenerative diseases. The causes of hip dysplasia are complex and involve heredity and environmental factors such as overeating and rapid weight gain. Most often, overweight due to excess energy/overfeeding or excess calcium supplementations predispose growing puppies to develop hip and joint problems. Treatment for hip dysplasia is based on the age and size of the patient, the degree of pain, physical examination, x-ray findings and your expectations for how active your pet should be. The conservative treatment includes enforced rest, physical & physiotherapy and medications. Once the clinical signs are controlled, the therapy includes weight reduction if needed and an exercise programme designed to improve the strength of your pet’s rear legs.

Question by – Ashwini, Indore

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