4 year old Male Rottweiler suddenly falling over

by Jill Carroll

We just moved into a new house 2 weeks ago, and Torque ( our Rottie ) has been falling for no good reason.

He isn’t in pain, he isn’t hurting anywhere, we’ve moved joints and felt him all over on his back end, he does appear to “drag” his back foot a little, but nothing too “concerning”.

This is not our first Rottweiler, for the last 13 years we’re rescued, and owned Rotties, so we do not normally get too concerned with health issues.

We haven’t called the vet as of yet, because we first thought it was the “pitch in the backyard”, new surroundings, and such. However it seems to be getting a bit worse.

Like everyone else in American currently our financial situation isn’t good, but we make do, and our animals are very special and important to us. I contacted his breeder, and she suggested that its neurological and I should have taken him “yesterday”. Which I don’t appreciate since I don’t like to feel like a “bad owner”..

If he was in pain or seemed down or upset I would have but none of those things are happening.

Any Advice would be appreciated.
Thank you

Hi Jill
This kind of situation definitely does need a veterinary evaluation asap because it’s not normal and could be serious.

But, given how vague the symptoms are and your recent move I can totally understand why you weren’t overly concerned at first. Now though he needs to be seen by a professional for sure.

It’s possible it could be a neurological problem, or one related to his spine, hips, back leg…. it’s impossible to tell without veterinary evaluation.

The fact that you recently moved could be just a coincidence, but it is strange that it happened now. It’s possible that he hurt himself somehow in the unfamiliar yard and that’s what is causing the problem. Maybe the ligaments in his back knee, that’s a common injury for Rotties. They have a very high tolerance for pain and can be extremely ‘stoic’ so he may be in pain from something like that but just not be showing it.

The only other possibility I can think of is that he’s been bitten by a tick (especially if your new home is out in the countryside). Occasionally a tick can cause a temporary paralysis of the rear legs, usually it starts off with weakness in the rear legs and then progresses to paralysis of the legs. I’d suggest examining Torque very, very carefully and looking for a tick attached to him. If this IS the problem, once you remove the tick he should get back to normal pretty quickly. A bit of a long-shot but a possibility.

This is all guesswork though and I’d definitely recommend a visit to the vet right away. I wish you all the very best of luck and hope Torque makes a full and speedy recovery.

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Dec 17, 2015

My Rottweiler falls over suddenly NEW
by: Alice Rivera

My Rottweiler Joe is 3yrs. old and he too suddenly started to fall over. First I noticed he was limping from his hind left leg. Now he has difficulty getting up, walking and has trouble supporting his weight. He weighs about 125lbs. He was always agile, quick alert.and played constantly with his brother Jesse. Now he sleeps alot.

Oct 28, 2015

any answer NEW
by: Anonymous

why my 18 months rottweiler walk little with me and then he sit he does not stand??

Jun 24, 2014

Possibly? NEW
by: Anonymous

Wondering if your Rotti has ever been bit by a tick which can cause lyme disease causing joints and such to swell and nerve issues…also and heart issues in his history..causing him to faint from lack of oxygen to brain…may want to have some blood work done on your baby.

Oct 16, 2013

Rottie NEW
by: Vikki

I had a rottie at ten yrs old that started to do the same thing and would just collapse like a deer a couple times a week when I took her to my vet he said her bottom heart was failing and it was just a matter of time that she just wouldn’t get up. I was so devastated. He told me about a program cornell university had that if you dog qualified they would give her a pacemaker for free and just pay for the surgery. I called them and brought her the next day. She was my baby and I didn’t care what I had to do to save her.the surgery cost like 2500 dollars which I had to borrow and she lived till 13. Good luck with ur pup and hope this us not what ur dogs problem is. They are our kids !!!!

Sep 27, 2012

any news? NEW
by: Judy & Angel

Do you have an update to share Jill? Did he get better and what was the diagnoses? PLEASE share..thank-you and I hope the news is good..

May 30, 2012

Sorry to hear.. NEW
by: Judy

I am sorry to hear that your boy is having these issues.I had to respond and I don’t want to alarm you but it sound very similar to what we were experiencing with our last girl Precious.She was eventually diagnosed with Addison’s disease.

Wikipedia–Addison???s disease (also chronic adrenal insufficiency, hypocortisolism, and hypoadrenalism) is a rare, chronic endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient steroid hormones (glucocorticoids and often mineralocorticoids). It is characterized by a number of relatively nonspecific symptoms, such as abdominal pain and weakness, but under certain circumstances, these may progress to Addisonian crisis, a severe illness in which there may be very low blood pressure and coma.

We were told this happens generally between the ages of 3-5,no specific breed or gender and we found out on her 4th birthday.We were able to keep her with us for 5 1/2 more years with medicine daily.When you say he is falling down it concerns me as this was her symptoms.Please get him to a vet asap,as IF this is the case it can become life threatening..SORRY to alarm you and I hope it isn’t Addison’s and please give us an update as this saddens me deeply..

May 30, 2012

Thank You NEW
by: Jill

Thank You So Much for the timely response. After careful examination and cleaning his ears very well ( just in case) he will see the our vet this week. It doesn’t appear to be getting any better, and we’ve examined between his toes, the pads and up and down his legs. I can not see anything that would cause me concern. There are no split toe nails, and no infections, rocks, dirt, or bits that I can find.
It does appear to be getting a bit worse as his gate is getting wider in the back. His lines, are perfect there are no bad “OFA’s ” at all, and I don’t think its a hip issue. I am hoping and praying this is not a bone cancer, he is so young. We lost his mate at 4 years old to a stroke, and complications from the stroke. I can not imagine losing him as well.
I will let you know how this turns out. Again we appreciate it.

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone