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My Dog Cries When He Gets Up After Lying Down For A While: What Does It Mean And What Should I Do?

My Dog Cries When He Gets Up After Lying Down For A While: What Does It Mean And What Should I Do?

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The sound of a crying dog is very unsettling to any pet parent.

Dogs are very hardy animals. They don’t cry for no reason. Sure, they whine from time to time when they want a treat, attention, or to say sorry.

However, when the whining graduates to crying, it means trouble is brewing.

If your canine buddy cries when he gets up after lying down for a while, it means he’s in pain.

 A part of his body is not functioning as it should. In most cases, it is an issue with the musculoskeletal system.

There are several issues that can cause your adorable pup to cry when getting up from a lying position.

Let’s go through them below including what to do.

1. Injury

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Dogs are curious, energetic, and full of energy. They are always climbing hills, scaling valleys, exploring hard terrains, running into fences, you name it.

While we love them for it, being active sometimes causes injuries.  Dogs also get hit by cars and get into fights with other doggies – both of which trigger a host of injuries.

A dog that has a hard time getting up may have an injury of sorts. This can include muscle strains, broken bones, or open wounds.

 Some of the injuries are visible while others are not. Typically, if your dog shows symptoms of distress all of a sudden, chances are that he got hurt recently.

What to do

An injured dog needs medical help. If he pulled a muscle or broken a bone, he needs painkillers, antibiotics, surgery, therapy, and more.

Unless you are an expert in the pet medical field, do not attempt to treat the doggie at home.

Let the vet carry out extensive tests to diagnose the problem and offer the right solution for the pet.

2. Osteoarthritis

According to Stats by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), one in every five dogs suffers osteoarthritis in their lifetime.

 Also called the Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), osteoarthritis is joint inflammation triggered by cartilage deterioration.

As a dog ages, his cartilage may wear out causing difficulty when moving the joints.  Other causes include repetitive stress, injury, and disease.

A dog with DJD suffers pain, inflammation, and a decreased range of motion. Bone spurs may also develop in some cases.

While the entire canine body can develop osteoarthritis, it is mostly specific to the limbs and the lower spine.

Any dog can suffer from the disease but large breeds, obese dogs, those with a genetic disposition towards it, and those with hip/elbow dysplasia are more prone to the disease.

In its beginner stages, canine osteoarthritis is hard to detect. Most parents discover their pets are sick after the joint is badly damaged. Some dogs hold off on the pain until it becomes overwhelming.

One of the glaring symptoms of the disease is the challenge of getting up from a lying position.

Others include stiffness, limping, lameness, weight gain, reluctance to play, jump, and run, pain when touched, changes in the dog’s behavior, loss of muscle on the spine or the limbs, and difficulty eliminating. 

What to do

If the symptoms above rhyme with your pooch’s issue, it’s time to contact your vet.

 They will ask you to bring in the dog for a thorough evaluation.

 The vet will do physical tests such as assessing the dog’s range of motion and palpating his joints. They will also carry out X-rays of the joints to eliminate the possibility of other diseases and evaluate the extent of the inflammation.

The bad news is that DJD doesn’t have a cure. However, the disease can be managed through diet, joint supplements, and exercise.

After the vet makes a proper diagnosis, they will recommend treatment options to slow down the disease, improve the pooch’s quality of life, and decrease inflammation.

3. Hip Dysplasia

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Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a disease that results in laxity or instability of the hip joint. This is a ball and socket joint that provides support for the trunk and allows smooth mobility.

When the joint is loose or unstable, scar tissue develops around the joint. Bone spurs (osteophytes) may also develop around the ball and socket.

CHD can affect dogs of any age. However, it is common with older canines, especially those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Symptoms vary based on the severity of the problem, degree of laxity in the joint, and level of inflammation.

The common symptoms include difficulty rising, climbing stairs, running, and jumping.

Decreased range of motion, decreased activity, loss of muscle mass, lameness in the hind limbs, and unusual gaits also signify CHD.

Causes of CHD are varied. The biggest one is genetics. Some dogs are naturally predisposed (especially giant breeds).

Things like rapid weight gain, improper nutrition, and types of exercise also make the problem worse.

What to do

By now you know the trend. If you suspect that your furbaby has hip dysplasia, the prudent thing to do is to take him in for evaluation.

Some vets only need a physical exam to point out the issue. They will touch the canine’s hind legs to see if the joint is loose or not.

Next, they will check for any pain or reduced range of motion. Blood work, radiographs, and X-rays may also be necessary.

Treatment of hip dysplasia ranges from therapy to weight management to surgery. If the disease is severe, the vet may perform a procedure on the dog.

 Nevertheless, common treatment options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, weight reduction, and joint supplements.

Related Post: 12 Best Joint Supplements for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

4. Lumbosacral Stenosis

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Another cause for pain when rising in dogs is lumbosacral stenosis or spinal stenosis. This is a spinal condition affecting the canine spine resulting in walking and eliminating challenges.

 It can be likened to sciatica or slipped disc in humans.

Spinal stenosis is where the nerves located at the base of the spine are squeezed by a swollen disc or other tissues.

When this part of the spine is compressed, the dog will have a hard time getting up after sitting or lying down.

He may also show other symptoms such as weakness in his hind end, pain in the hind end, inability to wag or lift the tail, knuckling, and pulling the hind paws.

Not all dogs will display all the above symptoms. It really just depends on the severity of the condition and the affected area of the spine.

Most dogs experience difficulty using their hind legs especially after lying down for a while. For some dogs, rising after sitting or moving up the stairs is a tall order.

What to do

Spinal stenosis develops as your pooch ages. It is mostly genetic but it can also affect any dog with an abnormally-shaped vertebra.

 If your pooch is showing these symptoms, discuss it with your vet. He will need a full physical exam and blood work to rule out other diseases.

X-rays, a CT scan, and an MRI are also needed to determine the extent of the disease.

Treatment includes pain and inflammation medications, surgery, cold therapy laser, supplements, and physical rehabilitation.

Closing Thoughts

A healthy dog should be able to lie down and arise without any problem.

If yours cries as he gets up, he is certainly in pain. And the cause could be one of the four mentioned issues.

To know the actual cause and the right treatment, take the dog to a good vet.


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Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by