Reasons for a Shaking Dog and What You Can Do
If your dog has been shaking, you’re probably concerned about what might be causing it.
There are many reasons why you may have a shaking dog, some of them more worrisome than others. While we are always happy to check your pet out at Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care, in some situations you may be able to address your shaking dog at home.
Reasons Dog’s Shake
Reasons for a shaking dog can run the gamut from benign to quite serious, and it can be difficult to know where your pet lies on the spectrum.
Pet shaking may be behavioral, related to pain or other physiological causes, or may be part of an actual medical problem. Shaking can occur due to a pet:
- Trying to warm itself in a cold or damp environment
- Being scared
- Being excited
- Experiencing pain
- Having muscle loss or weakness
- Experiencing effects of a toxin exposure
- Having a seizure disorder
- Being infected with certain diseases such as distemper virus
- Being affected by a medical condition that causes shaking as a primary or secondary side effect
How to Help a Shaking Dog
Sometimes shaking is normal given the circumstances. If your pet is chilly, gentle warming techniques can be used. Even temperatures around 50F can be cold, particularly in a damp environment – a cozy blanket may just do the trick!
Bring an excited or scared pet into a calm, safe environment to allow their adrenaline to subside. A pet who is repeatedly or often scared may need some specific behavioral training with us.
Some causes of shaking such as pain or seizures absolutely require medical intervention. It is important to come see us right away if:
- You are unsure of the underlying reason for the shaking
- The shaking does not subside with warming or calming efforts
- Your pet has a known toxin exposure
- Your pet is acting otherwise sick or abnormal
- Your pet is not responsive
- Your pet is in distress
It’s always best to err on the side of caution, especially since so many problems are better treated when addressed early. In fact some causes of shaking are true pet emergencies.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have concerns with your pet. We are here to help, no matter how big or small the problem may be.