Is Your Dog Shaking? 3 Health Issues That Could Be the Cause Getting to the Bottom of Your Dog's Shakes

BY | February 18 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
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If you have noticed your dog shaking, twitching, or trembling lately, you should take your pet to see the vet right away. Here are the three most common reasons that may be behind your dog's shaking.

Shaking, trembling, twitching -- if you’ve been observing these behaviors in your dog, take note, since while the causes of these symptoms are varied, all of them necessitate medical attention. Discover the three most likely reasons for dog shaking, and what steps you should take.

1. Ingesting Poison

Among other symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, dogs who have ingested poisonous substances may shake and tremble as a result. There are many common household items that can be poisonous to dogs and cause an adverse reaction, including chocolate, poison for small rodents, medications intended for humans, kitchen or bathroom cleansers, and some plants. If your dog may have ingested poison, and is shaking, call your vet or animal poison control immediately for advice on how to treat the problem, and to determine if a visit to the vet’s office is necessary.

2. Canine Distemper

Like the flu, this virus-caused disease spreads easily through contact with blood, urine, and saliva. Shaking can be one symptom of canine distemper, along with other respiratory symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose. Canine distemper is most common in dogs in kennels, due to the close quarters. This is one sickness that can be easily prevented: a canine distemper vaccine that wards off the disease is available, even for puppies.

3. White Dog Shaker Syndrome

While the causes of this syndrome are unknown, the main symptom is tremors and shakes. Generally most common in small dog breeds, note that despite the name, this syndrome can affect dogs of any fur color. Steroids can be used to treat white dog shaker syndrome, and with treatment and minor adjustments to your dog’s lifestyle, they can live a happy life with this disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog's lower body shaking?

There could be a variety of reasons why your dog's lower body is shaking. Dogs may shake their lower body when they are cold as a way to warm up. Dogs may shake their lower body when they are excited or energetic, especially when they are greeting someone or preparing to play. Dogs may shake their lower body when they are feeling anxious or fearful, especially if they are in a new or unfamiliar environment. If your dog is shaking their lower body excessively or if the shaking is accompanied by other signs of discomfort or distress, it may be a sign that they are experiencing pain. In some cases, shaking can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as an infection or a neurological disorder. If your dog's shaking is persistent or if you are concerned about its health, it is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for a thorough evaluation. They can help identify the cause of the shaking and provide appropriate treatment if needed.

When should I be worried about my dog shaking?

As I mentioned before, it is normal for dogs to shake their lower body occasionally, especially when they are excited or feeling playful. However, you should be concerned if your dog's shaking is persistent or if it is accompanied by other signs of discomfort or distress. If your dog's shaking is accompanied by other symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. These could be signs of an underlying health condition that requires prompt medical attention. Additionally, if your dog's shaking seems to be causing them pain or discomfort, or if it is severe enough to disrupt their normal activities, it is important to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian will be able to identify the cause of the shaking and recommend the appropriate treatment.

How can I soothe my dog’s shaking?

There are several ways you can try to soothe your dog's shaking, depending on the cause of the shaking. If your dog is shaking due to cold, try providing them with a warm and comfortable place to rest, such as a bed or crate with blankets or a heating pad. You can also try dressing your dog in a sweater or coat to help keep them warm. If your dog is shaking due to excitement or anxiety, try calming them down with soothing words and gentle petting. You can also try using a calming scent, such as lavender or chamomile, or playing soothing music to help them relax. If your dog is shaking due to pain, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to identify the cause of the pain and provide appropriate treatment. If your dog is shaking due to an underlying health condition, your veterinarian will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment to manage the condition and help alleviate any shaking. In general, it is important to remain calm and patient when trying to soothe your dog's shaking. Providing a calm and reassuring presence can often help your dog feel more relaxed and secure.

What are the early signs of kidney disease in dogs?

Shaking is not typically a sign of kidney disease in dogs. Kidney disease is a common condition in dogs that can occur due to a variety of causes, including age-related decline, infection, and certain medications. Early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help improve your dog's quality of life and potentially extend its lifespan. Dogs with kidney disease may drink more water and urinate more frequently due to an excess of waste products in their body. They may lose weight despite eating a normal diet due to a decreased appetite and decreased absorption of nutrients from food. Dogs with kidney disease may vomit due to the accumulation of toxins in the body. They might also become lethargic and have a decreased interest in exercise and play due to the build-up of toxins in the body. A dog with kidney disease may have bad breath due to an excess of waste products in the body. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can perform a thorough examination and diagnostic tests to determine if your dog has kidney disease and recommend the appropriate treatment. Early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help improve your dog's quality of life and potentially extend its lifespan.

What are the first signs of heartworms in dogs?

Shaking is not typically a sign of heartworms in dogs. Heartworms are long, thin worms that are transmitted from one animal to another through the bites of mosquitoes and live in the heart and blood vessels of infected animals. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects dogs and other animals. The first signs of heartworms in dogs may be subtle and may not appear until several months or even years after infection. Some early signs of heartworm disease in dogs may include coughing, exercise intolerance, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can perform a thorough examination and diagnostic tests to determine if your dog has heartworms and recommend the appropriate treatment. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, but it is highly preventable and treatable with prompt medical care. If you are concerned about your dog's health or behavior, it is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide you with valuable guidance and help ensure that your dog stays happy and healthy.
More on Dog Health

My Dog Is Shaking: 8 Possible Reasons
Dog Diseases and Symtoms: A to Z
How to Know If Your Dog Has Anxiety

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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