Join Date: Aug 2008
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Rear Leg Weakness / Spasms / Kicking
I've got a wonderful almost-five year old golden of my own, but I've been caring for my in-law's nine-year old golden for the past week. Yesterday I noticed some new behavior with his rear legs. While his rear legs have become increasingly weak as he's gotten older, yesterday he started violently kicking out his hind legs after returning from a walk. This lasts for 10-15 minutes, and he'll maybe flail each leg backwards 5 - 8 times over this period of time. He repeated the behavior a couple times today. According to my in-law, this is new behavior - not something she's seen before.
It appears to be an uncontrollable spasm almost like what humans might do if a leg were to fall asleep, and his legs appear weaker when this is happening as he'll frequently squat down after flailing a leg. Sometimes he'll also lick the pads of the leg he's flailed backwards. I've checked his pads, and they appear fine. I've also tried wiping the pads down with a damp warm cloth, as there have been salt and chemicals on the sidewalks due to the recent snow. While these chemicals might contribute to some discomfort, I don't believe it's the primary case of the flailing/spasms since it's only occurring with his rear legs.
Is this just muscular degeneration due to old age? Is there anything I should be looking for, or avoiding to help him deal with this behavior? He's due for a vet visit when his owner returns, so I'm hoping to get the behavior on video for his vet to review. Thanks very much for any advice or help you can provide.