Can Dogs Legs Fall Asleep? – 4 Common Symptoms of Paralysis In A Dog

Can dogs legs fall asleep? A dog’s leg falls asleep when there is a temporary disruption in blood flow or nerve function in the limb. Long-term pressure on a particular area or an underlying medical condition may be the cause of this.

It is important to note that while dogs may experience similar sensations as humans, they cannot communicate their discomfort in the same way. Therefore, it is crucial for dog owners to be vigilant and observant of any signs or changes in behavior that may indicate pain or discomfort.

Limbs falling asleep is normal in dogs and usually resolves on its own within a few minutes. However, if the symptoms persist or if there are other signs of paralysis, such as weakness, inability to move the limb, or loss of sensation, it may indicate a more serious issue.

After spending some time sleeping her head off, or just lying down, your dog will wake up. As she walks off, you notice her limp for a few steps even dragging her hind legs occasionally.

After limping for around 20 minutes or less, she shakes her legs out and whoah! She is fine again. Could her legs have been asleep? You may ask. Stay on and find out what is up with your dog.

Can dogs legs fall asleep?

Dog's leg is falling asleep due to stiffness

Any slight deviation from normal behavior by your best friend (the furry canine of course) always sends chills down your spine. Could she be hurt? Your worries never end, and rightly so. Who doesn’t worry when their best friend is in some kind of trouble?

The confusion in you increases when she shakes out the leg she had raised or was dragging and walks alright immediately. Yes! Dogs’ legs can fall asleep, just like in humans. Also, this occurs when ‘Brenda’ (or whatever her name is) lies in the same position for quite some time. This restricts blood flow to some parts of the body especially the hind legs. Lack of blood supply causes the limb to ‘fall asleep.’

This leg shows no signs of any injury or even pain. As the dog gets up, the dog hops on one of her legs. After a couple of minutes, she would look fine, even running around after about 20 minutes or so. To provide quick relief, a stretch out and a rigorous shake works the trick.

I know you almost called your vet there, but do not worry. It was just some bad sleeping position and lots of biological mishaps. The lack of blood puts more pressure on blood vessels and certain nerves responsible for the feel of sensation.

Symptoms of Paralysis in Dogs: Dog leg falling asleep

Hip dysplasia or other medical conditions that represent a serious problem for a dog’s mobility can lead to paralysis. Other symptoms may include difficulty standing or walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, and muscle weakness.

It is crucial to consult a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms, as early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the prognosis for your furry friend. Your dog’s health should always be a top priority.

Dog limp without pain

The affected limb may appear limp or weak, and your dog may have difficulty putting weight on it. This can be a sign of nerve damage or a spinal cord injury, which can also lead to paralysis.

It is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment for your dog’s condition. Sitting in one position for too long can cause stiffness in your dog’s legs and may contribute to the development of muscle atrophy.

Muscle strains on the affected leg

A muscle strain or injury can improve with physical therapy and rest. However, if left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain and further complications. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the severity of the strain and create a tailored treatment plan for your dog’s recovery.

Muscles in older dogs may be more susceptible to strains and injuries due to natural aging and decreased muscle mass. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and appropriate supplements can help maintain muscle strength and prevent injuries in older dogs.

Sitting in an awkward position

When your dog lies and puts pressure on his back legs for a prolonged period of time, it can also increase the risk of muscle strain. Providing your dog with comfortable and supportive bedding can help alleviate this issue and reduce the chances of strain.

Too much pressure applied to a specific leg for a long period of time can also lead to muscle strain and potential injury. It is important to monitor your dog’s activity levels and ensure they have regular breaks and opportunities to rest and stretch their legs.

Paresthesia due to prolonged pressure

The more time the dog spends lying on her hind legs, communication is lost or distorted between the legs and the brain. Additionally, this causes a sensation called [paresthesia]. It is the feeling of sharp piercing pins and needles on your legs or paws.

But, why is your dog in some kind of discomfort? Getting up and moving about rectifies the slight problem. Blood is able to flow again to the legs, hence reviving the numb nerves and blood vessels.

The communication between the dog’s brain and the nerves is restored, and your doggy will be a normal walker again. The tingling sensation may make sensitive dogs to yelp or lick the leg that is experiencing the paresthesia.

Should You be Concerned If Dog’s Legs Fall Asleep?

Your dog experiencing leg sleep and limping it off thereafter should only be a one-off thing. When it occurs regularly or several times in a day, then there should be room for concern. If your dog limps when she wakes up from a nap, then this could be caused by other issues and not leg-sleep.

It could sometimes happen even if the dog was not sleeping at all. A common cause could be arthritis. If you notice a frequent limping tendency in your dog, talk to your vet immediately and get the right diagnosis.

Your dog might even start to walk normally after a couple of steps when experiencing arthritis. There are several medicinal supplements that you can give your dog to make her feel better in case the vet confirms the arthritis diagnosis.

What Should You Do When A Dog’s Leg Fall Asleep?

Now that you have the answer to the ‘can a dog’s leg fall asleep’ question, what do you do then? If your dog’s leg has fallen asleep, you should avoid touching or moving it until sensation returns.

Mind the time of recovery

How long your dog takes to recover is very important. It could be the difference between leg sleep, arthritis, or any other condition. 20 minutes or so should be enough for a leg sleep condition.

Closely monitor the dog

Not every time she limps after her nap, it will be because her legs fell asleep. It could be due to other reasons. Check for any broken bones or nerve damage on the spinal cord as well.

Take Proper Care of Your Canine Friend

Can your dog’s legs fall asleep !? Yes, they can. Lots of pet owners have experienced this before, so there is no need to worry. She will be able to walk and shake it off from the slumberland as soon as blood starts to flow back to the legs. So, there is no cause for alarm.

Provide proper medication if your vet has prescribed it when there is inflammation or other serious illness to reduce the discomfort and aid in the healing process. Additionally, make sure to keep your dog’s living environment clean and free from any potential hazards that could cause injury or illness.

Last Updated on 14/02/2024 by Karen Snow