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Why is my dog ​​shaking? 6 reasons and how to treat them

  • If your dog is shaking, it could be because he is afraid of loud noises or crowds.
  • Panting, whining, limping, and a poor appetite along with tremors can indicate an infection or illness.
  • Shaker syndrome can be the case when the tremors get worse when your dog is excited.

Why is my dog ​​shaking

Just like humans, dogs can tremble or tremble in fear — but there are several other reasons your dog might be trembling. Tremors can be a sign that your dog is in pain, has low blood sugar, or has a medical condition such as a neurological condition.

Here are six reasons your dog might be shaking and when you should see a vet.

1. Anxiety or stress

Hearing loud noises like fireworks or walking through a crowded area can make your dog feel anxious and shaky.

“Fear makes dogs tremble just like people do,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten, vet in private practice.

When dogs are scared or scared, a region of their brain called the amygdala responds by releasing adrenaline — the fight-or-flight hormone — into the bloodstream, says Wooten.

“High levels of adrenaline make muscles twitch uncontrollably, leading to tremors,” says Wooten.

If you can’t comfort your dog or get rid of the frightening stimuli, “talk to your vet about behavior training or anxiety medication, which can help your pet in times of need,” says Matejka.

2. Pain

Tremors can also be caused by pain from an injury, infection, or chronic illness. “Often we can see that dogs with arthritis or bone cancer show signs of tremors when trying to exercise,” says Matejka.

Some other common signs that your dog is in pain include:

  • panting
  • Whine
  • Excessive licking
  • limp
  • stiffness
  • Poor appetite
  • Avoid touching

3. Low blood sugar

Just like humans, dogs can become shaky when their blood sugar is low.

“When blood sugar gets really low, the muscles are starved of glucose and can’t contract or relax properly,” says Matejka. This can lead to cramps and muscle twitching

There are several reasons your dog might develop low blood sugar:

  • Your dog is diabetic and has received too much insulin.
  • Your dog has consumed xylitol, a synthetic sugar found in many sugar-free foods but toxic to dogs.
  • Your dog has a pancreatic tumor.

Besides the tremors, some other signs of low blood sugar in your dog are:

  • lost appetite
  • confusion
  • In coordination
  • weakness or low energy

“A very simple blood test can determine if low blood sugar is the cause of your pet’s shaking,” says Matejka.

4. Getting older

“Dogs can develop tremors as they age,” says Matejka.

This is because your dog’s body cannot maintain the same amount of muscle as when he was young. This muscle weakness can cause your dog to tremble when he walks or moves, says Matejka.

Older dogs also have a harder time regulating their body temperature – which means they can freeze more easily in cold temperatures.

5. Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS), also known as Shaker Syndrome, is an autoimmune condition that commonly affects small dogs – Poodles, Maltese and West Highland White Terriers are particularly at risk.

Dogs generally develop shaker syndrome by the age of one or two years, and it can show up as tremors all over the body or just in one area like the head.

The tremors tend to be worse when your dog is excited and less severe when he is relaxing or sleeping.

Your veterinarian can diagnose Shaker syndrome by running blood tests and ruling out other conditions, such as neurological disorders or distemper.

6. Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a contagious virus that attacks your dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems.

The distemper virus causes initial symptoms like sneezing or coughing, but as it spreads to your dog’s nervous system, it can cause tremors or even seizures, says Wooten.

Some other early signs of distemper are:

  • fever on and off
  • nasal and eye discharge
  • lethargy
  • Poor appetite

According to Matejka, more advanced distemper can present with symptoms such as:

  • Involuntary muscle twitching
  • cramps
  • chewing movements of the jaw
  • circles
  • abnormal head position
  • eye trembling
  • Partial or complete paralysis

Distemper is included in your dog’s routine vaccinations – so if your dog is up to date on his vaccinations, he will be much less likely to get sick.

When to the vet

In many cases, your dog will tremble for everyday reasons such as anxiety or muscle weakness as they age.

“But if it’s common and they’re showing other abnormal signs, it’s important to see a veterinarian to rule out other potentially life-threatening diseases,” says Matejka.

Some key symptoms to look out for are:

  • In coordination
  • Vomit
  • Weakness
  • Poor appetite
  • lethargy

Insider snack

There are many reasons your dog might be shaking, including anxiety, infection, pain, or low blood sugar.

“If you notice your dog shaking, it’s not to be taken lightly. You should always see a vet if you notice your pet shaking,” says Matejka.

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