Facts about the animal kingdom

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 26, 2018
Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason?

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There are many reasons that may explain why your dog is shaking or trembling. These reasons range from natural reactions and sensations to diseases and behavioral problems. Therefore, it is essential that you pay attention to the behavior of your dog, its attitude and movements, in order to be able to recognize whether there is any abnormality.

In this AnimalWised article we will be discussing why your dog is shaking and panting. In addition to presenting possible reasons for your dog trembling, we will be considering what you can do in these situations.

You may also be interested in: Why do Dogs Shake Their Bodies?
  1. Dog shaking of excitement or fear
  2. Dogs and tremors
  3. Dog shaking because of pain
  4. Dog shaking as a result of cold
  5. Shaker syndrome
  6. Dogs shaking because of breed and age

Dog shaking of excitement or fear

Behavioral causes are usually the main reasons for tremor in dogs. For example, if your dog has done something good and you congratulate it with a pet or a ‘‘good boy’’, trembling would be a natural canine reaction as a result of excitement, joy and/or enthusiasm. This excitement will often be accompanied by a wagging of its tail and happy whining.

On the other hand, if you have just scolded your dog for whatever reason, and he/she shrinks downwards or trembles, it is likely because it is feeling scared or threatened by you. Fear is accompanied by stress and anxiety, which can in turn cause shaking in dogs. In this case, not only can trembling or shaking occur as a response to a punishment, but it can also present itself if your dog has spent long hours alone, is suffering from separation anxiety or has a phobia that has been triggered.

In any of these above mentioned cases, we recommend consulting a veterinarian in order to choose the most appropriate treatment for your dog’s specific case.

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason? - Dog shaking of excitement or fear

Dogs and tremors

In addition to the above causes, tremors in dogs can be a symptom of disease or other health problems. The following pathologies are the most common causes of shaking or tremors in dogs:

  • Hypoglycemia: Is especially common in dogs of small or miniature breeds. Hypoglycemia is a drop in body sugar, due to little body mass. If this is the cause, in general, these tremors or shakes are accompanied by a lack of appetite or weight loss. If you suspect that this is the reason that your dog trembles so much, speak to a veterinarian to help increase your dog’s blood sugar glucose levels as soon as possible.
  • Arthritis: Is your dog's tremor localized? That is to say, if for example your dog only presents a tremor in the legs or the hip, it is possible that the reason for this is due to arthritis, or other diseases of an inflammatory nature.
  • Distemper: If your dog is less than a year old and has tremors accompanied by convulsions, tics in the muscles its head , fever and loss of appetite: take it to the veterinarian immediately. These are symptoms of distemper in dogs and need to be treated as soon as possible.
  • Poisoning: There are toxic substances and foods for dogs that can cause tremors and shaking. In general, this symptom is usually accompanied by: vomiting, drooling and diarrhea. Make sure that you know which foods and plants are toxic for dogs, in order to avoid them.
  • Excess of exercise: An excess in exercise, as with humans, can also cause shaking and tremors in dogs. Too much exercise can physically damage or injure a dog. These injuries might force tremors in the specific affected areas and muscles. Make sure that you know how much exercise your dog needs respectful of its; age, breed and size.
  • Consumption of medication: If your dog is following some type of pharmacological treatment stipulated by a veterinarian, check the leaflet in case one of any side effects: such as the presence of tremors. If so, do not interrupt or stop the medical treatment without veterinary supervision.

If you suspect that the reason your dog trembles or shakes is due to a pathology or another physical problem, do not hesitate to go to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Keep in mind that some of the above diseases can be deadly or degenerative.

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason? - Dogs and tremors

Dog shaking because of pain

Has your dog recently been knocked or fallen? Another of the most common reasons that justify tremor in dogs is acute pain. The best way to know if this is the cause is by carefully feeling the trembling areas and observing your dog’s reaction.

Dog shaking as a result of cold

In the same way that our body trembles in response to low temperatures, dogs do too. Specifically dogs of small miniature breed and dogs with very short hair. These dogs are not physically prepared to endure very cold climates and, therefore, when they are exposed to it their body begins to tremble. It is a natural reflex that can be avoided by keeping them warm with appropriate dog clothing.

It is very important to act when your dog is cold. If your dog is cold for too long it may lead to hypothermia.

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason? - Dog shaking as a result of cold

Shaker syndrome

Also called white dog shaker syndrome, it usually affects small breeds of younger ages (less than two years of age). Shakers syndrome is common among bichon breeds, poodles or westies, all with white and long hair. Although the probabilities are lower, other breeds can also suffer from this disorder.

The main symptom of this condition is body shaking and tremors throughout a dog’s body. This syndrome is associated with the central nervous system but, even today, the exact causes of it are unknown. Thus, in addition to the tremors, the affected can may present weakness in the legs and convulsions.

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason? - Shaker syndrome

Dogs shaking because of breed and age

Finally, there are some breeds that are more prone to shaking and trembling. Both the Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier are more susceptible to to trembling. These dogs can shake for any reason, such as enthusiasm, excitement or joy.

Remember that when it comes to animals, age matters. For example, older dogs may tremble as a result of time and physical deterioration. If they do not suffer from any disease, tremors could occur in general, while they sleep or rest. When a dog trembles while active, in addition to a localized tremor, remember that it may be suffering from arthritis or another inflammatory disease.

Whenever the reason could negatively affect the health of your dog, you should go to a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine what the cause is and how to treat it appropriately.

Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason? - Dogs shaking because of breed and age

If you want to read similar articles to Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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Why Is My Dog Shaking For No Reason?