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Stretching out back legs.

Species: Dog
Breed: maltese/ shitzu
Age: 2-5 years
My dog keeps strecting out her back legs and dragging herself along,why?




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an interesting question. Before I answer I have a few questions for you to help me understand Daisy's situation better.

Does Daisy have periods of time where she is able to walk normally or is she dragging her legs all of the time?

Is she her normal self otherwise (i.e. eating, drinking, etc.)?

How long has this been going on?

I am answering questions in between appointments all day today so I should be able to help as soon as I get your reply.

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

yes she appears her normal self otherwise except she hasn't been drinking water as much as normal ( i think ) she been panting a bit more (on and off but it's middle of summer here ). she doesn't do it all the time, she just appears to be stretching but sometimes squeals when picked up.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, thanks for the additional information.

I was worried that Daisy was not able to move her legs at all. This could be quite serious.

Some dogs just love to stretch their legs out. In the summer time I have lots of dogs that come into my office and stretch their legs and lie on their belly on the concrete floor so that they can get as cool as possible.

Now, if she is standing in a "praying position" then I am more concerned. A praying position is where a dog sticks their bum up in the air and head down on the ground between their front legs and stretches like this. This can be a sign of abdominal pain which is usually caused by pancreatitis. However, dogs with pancreatitis usually have vomiting and don't want to eat.

It sounds like this is nothing to worry about. But if you do think she is doing the "praying position" then you should have her see a vet.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

she is lying flat on her stomach and dragging her hind legs, but she keeps doing it, over and over again. she had this same problem in winter.


Customer reply:

she is lying flat on her stomach and dragging her hind legs, but she keeps doing it, over and over again. she had this same problem in winter.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmm...there really is no medical condition that should cause her to do this. It may just be something that she likes to do.

The only other thing I could think of is if she had some type of skin irritation on her belly and this was her way of scratching it. Do you see any redness or irritation on her abdomen at all?

When she does this how long will she stay in this position for? Can she walk normally immediately after she does this?



Customer reply:

she is lying flat on her stomach and dragging her hind legs, but she keeps doing it, over and over again. she had this same problem in winter.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm not sure if you saw my reply above...There really is no medical condition that can cause this.

If it is bothersome to see her do this then it's probably a good idea to have your vet examine her to make sure there is no medical reason for this.

My guess though is that this is just a learned behavior and nothing to worry about!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.