Why Can't my Dog Jump Onto the Sofa?

 |  Dec 7th 2009  |   0 Contributions


My four-year-old Cocker Spaniel suddenly forgot how to jump up on the couch. He puts his front paws up, but won't follow through with his rear legs.

He's also keeping his tail clamped down. He's not dragging his butt, but could this be an anal gland issue?

Marty
San Francisco, CA

It could be an anal gland issue, but it's probably not. I suspect that your dog is reluctant to jump up because he thinks it will hurt to jump.

Several problems can make jumping painful for dogs. Back pain is one of the most common causes of reluctance to jump. Back pain also frequently leads to a non-wagging tail.

Dogs may develop back pain after suffering major or minor trauma, or after suffering no trauma whatsoever. The last time my back hurt it was because I slept on it wrong. Dogs with back pain may be reluctant to engage in massive, explosive bursts of activity such as jumping.

Pain in or injury to the hips or rear legs can make dogs reluctant to jump up. So can any problem that causes pain in the hindquarters (including infected anal glands) and any problem that causes weakness in general.

Because this problem has so many potential causes your best bet is to have your vet check your dog. A thorough physical examination may lead to identification of the problem. And remember: if your vet wants to express your dog's anal glands, I'd recommend that you step outside of the room for the procedure.

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