Dogs may shake and tremble simply because of the pure joy they feel when you get home, or from a medical condition, or eating something toxic. Shaking and trembling may be the result of nausea, diarrhea, being sick, or from just being cold. It is important to notice other symptoms to see what this behavior is indicating.
What Does It Mean if My Dog is Shaking?
Be sure to monitor your dog’s tendencies and behavior to determine if a visit to the veterinarian will be required. Not all shaking and trembling means something may be wrong with your dog’s health, however, here are some possible causes and treatments.
Oftentimes your dog may be shaking or trembling as a means for attention. However, it is important to determine whether they are trying to communicate something to you, or they are lusting for love. It is important to not reward this behavior to not create a lasting habit. This means you should try to see what they want before handing them a dismissive treat.
If your dog is trembling to get attention, try talking to them in a soothing manner, or petting them to alleviate any miscommunication. If your dog is shaking for more attention, this could mean they are lacking in regular care and exercise. Whatever they are trying to communicate, their ultimate needs are not being met. Try to figure out what it is they need to lessen this type of response from your dog.
Fear and Stress
Your dog may be experiencing change, such as a new environment, or even new guests in your home. They may shake and tremble letting you know they are anxious, stressed, and afraid. You can help alleviate this behavior by providing comfort to your pet.
Try offering them a treat to get them to feel familiar, and safe. Dogs are used to being rewarded for good behavior so this may encourage them to perk back up. If you have recently moved to a new home with your dog, they may be fearful and stressed. Try laying out their favorite blanket, bed, and even inviting them close to you so they know everything is alright around them. Be sure to make your dog feel safe and secured when displaying this type of behavior so that they may start to feel at ease again.
It’s no surprise that dogs may eat anything that has become available whether that be from the floor, or from the waste bin. Some foods like nuts, and chocolate candy may cause your dog to have an upset stomach. Non-food items like cigarettes or chewing gum can also cause alarming behavior if your dog has recently consumed them. They may show signs of sickness by trembling and shaking, which can lead to more severe side effects.
Be sure to monitor if they begin to seem nauseous or start vomiting. A trip to the vet may be in store to properly heal your dog from toxic foods. Even a belly ache or upset stomach may be why your dog has started trembling. Just be sure to speak with their vet and find out what they have recently ingested.
General Tremor Syndrome (GTS)
General tremor syndrome was first noticed in small dog breeds such as Maltese, terriers, and chihuahuas. However, it can occur to any size of breed. This is where your dog displays tremors and shaking regularly and can be treated with certain medications. Be sure to talk to your vet if you think that your dog is experiencing GTS.
General tremor syndrome is not something you should be concerned about as results can be seen in as little as a week from starting treatment.
Just like humans, dogs can experience hypoglycemia, too. Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar levels are low. It can be caused by poor diet, not enough exercise, as well liver inflammation. If your dog is shaking and you have reason to believe that it is due to low blood sugar levels, give them some sugar water and contact your veterinarian.
Hypoglycemia can appear through lethargy, loss of coordination, and trembling and can result in a severe threat to your dog’s health if left unnoticed and untreated.
A less harmful cause for shaking and trembling in dogs may simply be that they are cold in temperature. You can always bring the temperature up in your home or provide a dog jacket for your pet.
Soft and cozy blankets around the house should do the trick if your dog is trembling from being cold. Dogs with short hair and less thick coats experience being cold easily so it is important you provide enough warmth to keep them happy and healthy.
Distemper in dogs is a vaccine-preventable disorder and can be maintained with a regular vaccine schedule. Distemper is common in dogs and puppies who have not been vaccinated. Symptoms can include shaking, drooling, and nasal discharge. If your dog is showing these symptoms you may want to check their vaccination records and contact your vet about getting them updated.
Canine distemper is highly contagious and can lead to more severe results if not treated right away. Dogs are not able to recover from distemper on their own, so it is important you take necessary measures with your veterinarian if your dog is experiencing similar behavior.
A less severe cause for shaking and trembling in dogs can be linked to old age and pain. Old age may cause your dog to be more achy, less active, and weak. Trembling may be a natural cause, and as long as your dog is not displaying any other symptoms that lead you to believe it is ill, then you don’t need to worry.
Monitor the frequency and length of the shakes and tremors in their old age and be sure to take proper actions necessary in ensuring a healthy rest-of-life for your canine companion.
Shaking and trembling doesn’t always mean there is something severely wrong with your dog’s health. Stay tuned in to your dog’s needs and behaviors so that you can make informed decisions, like calling your veterinarian. If illness is present, there is treatment available for your dog to help get them back to living their best lives. To talk with your Country Club Animal Hospital vet call (305) 663-3300 or book an appointment online.