Why Does My Dog Shiver?

Do you know why your dog is shivering? We often associate a shivering body and chattering teeth withDSCN0178 the cold and often rightly so! Brrrr. But, cold temperatures are not always the culprit for a shivering dog! In fact, Dogs may shiver for a variety of reasons. It is very important that you, as your pup’s parent, know when that shaking means something more serious.

There are a few things that can lead to your pet shaking, and will require an immediate trip to a veterinary hospital: 

Injury.  If your pet is hurt, he may begin to shake as a way for his body to process the pain.  It is very important that you are vigilant in finding out what is going on with your pet and get him to the vet and right away.

Kidney, Liver or Neuroligical Issues.  The shaking could be a sign that your pet is having some type of serious health problem.  Get that pup in for testing.

Poisoning.  Shivering is a classic sign that your pet may have ingested something toxic to his system.   If you see shaking accompanied by the following symptoms see your vet immediately: Depression, drooling, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting or limping.

Less severe causes for shaking can include: 

Excited Puppy.  When your pet gets happy or anxious sometimes their nerves just take over, hence the shakes!   It’s kind of like their version of jumping for joy.

Distemper.  Distemper is a virus that often effects younger pups but may affect older pets too. Fever, coughing and other symptoms may also accompany the shakes. Your pet will just need to let their immune system fight this one out.  The vet may be able to help with some medication but a little TLC on your part will be needed.

Nausea.  Just like us humans, upset tummies can make your dog weak and shake.  Other signs of nausea are vomiting, swallowing, hiding and excessive yawning or lip smacking. Normally not too big or a deal unless you think your dog may have eaten something toxic.

Just Gettin Old.  We age and so do our pups. Sometimes we just shake.  Perhaps the legs just can’t support the body as strongly anymore or are just a tad weaker with age.  As long as Fido isn’t suffering, he should be ok. Exercise and a healthy diet will keep your dog at his strongest at this stage of life.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome.  GTS has no known cause and it is just one of those things.  Your vet can control the shakes with a dose of prednisone.

So now that you’re a little more familiar with the anatomy of a “shake”, we hope you will not hesitate to seek medical treatment for your pet should he start to shiver. You know your dog best so any time he’s acting out of character that definitely warrants consultation with the vet.

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