What Are the Causes of Leg Cramps in Dogs?

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Leg cramps in dogs can be due to a variety of issues.

One of the many challenges a pet owner faces is identifying when a pet is sick or injured. When your dog limps and struggles to move, it can be an obvious sign of injury. It can also be a sign your dog is suffering from leg cramps. Leg cramps can be brief or last for multiple minutes. Cramps can be due to a number of factors including some serious medical conditions.

Neurological Issues

According to Vet Info, dogs often suffer leg cramps due to neurological issues. Neurological issues could include suffering seizures. During a seizure dogs lose the ability to control their movements. Disease could also be a factor, including any disease that causes nerve impairment.


Dogs may also suffer from leg cramps when they are sick. According to Vet Info, "toxins in the bloodstream can lead to muscle cramps and spasms." A virus attacking the dog's immune system can lead to stiff muscles and cramps.


Extended periods of strenuous exercise or a lack of water can lead to dehydration and muscle cramps. The loss of fluids and electrolytes is a common cause of dog muscle cramps, according to Baby Boomer Care. Cramps caused by dehydration can be relieved by re-hydrating the dog and massaging the cramped leg.


A poor diet can cause nutrient deficiencies and lead to cramps. A lack of B vitamins in a dog's diet can lead to weakness, seizures and nerve damage. The Association of American Feed Control Officials set standards for dog foods that include requirements for six different B vitamins in addition to other nutrients.