My Cat Or Dog Can’t Stand Up, What Should I Do?

It can be a very scary sight to see that your pet can’t or won’t stand up. If you find your pet in this situation, consider it an emergency and take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.

Why can’t my dog or cat stand up?

There are many severe conditions or illnesses can lead to a dog or cat not being able to stand up, or to collapse — several of which can be very painful or even life-threatening. Some causes may include:

  • Fractures and injuries to the back, neck and head
  • Intervertebral disk disease (when the disks between the vertebra push against the spinal cord), which can lead to paralysis depending on where the lesion is located
  • Certain illnesses or internal organ dysfunction
  • Severe infections leading to lethargy or inability to move
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Low blood sugar (usually seen in diabetic or young pets)
  • Internal bleeding from an injury, certain cancers or a clotting disorder
  • Severe hip dysplasia or arthritis

What do I do if my pet can’t stand?

Again, it’s important to seek veterinary help immediately if you notice that your cat or dog can’t stand up. In some cases, your pet might bite if he or she is in pain, and if necessary, you can muzzle your pet with gauze to prevent this from happening.

Depending on the size of your pet, you may need to use large blanket or towel as a stretcher for transportation to the car.

The goal is to keep your pet as comfortable as possible while in transit to the veterinarian. Treatment and prognosis will depend on the underlying cause contributing to your pet being unable to stand.

Need more information?

If you have questions about your pet’s health, contact your local Banfield Pet Hospital. You can also browse the related articles below.