When a pet shakes and trembles for no apparent reason, a pet parent will naturally be concerned. Trembling in dogs is not an uncommon condition, but that doesn’t make it any less worrisome.
If you have a shaky pup, the team at Godspeed Animal Care is here to investigate the causes and conditions that lead to this problem. Read on to learn more!
Common Causes for Trembling in Dogs
We’ve all seen dogs who shake constantly, as if they are always fearful. This often occurs in small dogs, like Chihuahuas, but any breed can be affected. Trembling in canines can be an indicator of not only emotional and behavioral issues but also medical problems that underlie the shakiness.
Here are some of the more frequent reasons for trembling in dogs:
- They are cold. If your pet is small, ill, or a senior, they may be much more susceptible to colder temperatures. Even in the summer, if the air conditioning is at a lower temperature, you may need to put a sweater on your pet, or otherwise raise the indoor temperature a bit. Trembling after being outdoors in cold weather is a symptom of hypothermia, which is a veterinary emergency.
- They’e anxious or fearful. Dogs who experience anxiety and stress may tremble due to a sudden influx of adrenaline. This shakiness accompanies the triggers that cause them fear, like separation from their owner, going to the vet, strangers, thunderstorms, fireworks, and so on. A burst of adrenaline can cause trembling and shaking. The best approach is to remove any triggers to your pet’s anxiety, whenever possible, and to reach out to our team for a consultation.
- They have a medical condition. Certain diseases cause shaking in pets, such as kidney disease, distemper, poisoning, injury, and other conditions. If the tremors come on suddenly, reach out to us. This can be a sign of a more serious or emergency situation. We can get to the right diagnosis and help ease you and your worries. Sudden tremors are often associated with toxicity after eating something poisonous. This is why these abrupt symptoms should be cause for a call to your team at Godspeed.
- They have orthopedic issues. Older pets with arthritis or other joint degeneration issues are unsteady on their legs, which causes shaking since the joints and muscles are unsteady.
- They’re in pain. Pain is another cause of unsteadiness and shaking. Older pets experience more achiness of the joints that can cause some pain and stiffness. (Sounds like growing older for us, too!) Pet pain can also be caused by an undiagnosed disease, such as bone cancer, as well as pain experienced after an injury or surgery. Call us if your pet exhibits the symptoms of pain, such as howling, wincing to the touch, trembling, lack of interest in exercise, and lethargy.
- They have a fever. Fevers in pets sometimes manifest as shaking and trembling. When the body temperature is higher than average, the skin can feel cool and your pet may start shivering, much like when they are cold. Other symptoms like vomiting, coughing, inappetance, and lethargy, will usually also be present.
Why Does My Pet Shake?
If your pet has developed tremors, which is not related to being cold, then we recommend they be examined for their health and well-being. Since trembling in dogs can happen for a variety of reasons, we need to get to the correct diagnosis for your fur friend to ensure their optimal health.
Please contact us if your pet is experiencing shaking, or if you would like to schedule an appointment.