Cold, fear, poisoning, or different diseases can be causes of tremors in dogs. Some, as we can see, are of little consequence, but others require urgent consultation with the veterinarian. The context and history of each specimen will help guide the diagnosis.
Is your dog shivering from the cold?
Yes, just like people, dogs can shiver when they feel cold. Most breeds, thanks to the protection provided by their fur, endure lower temperatures than we do. But still, the cold can cause shivering in dogs. Especially in smaller breeds, without hair or with little quantity.
Of course, puppies, who are not even able to regulate their body temperature during the first weeks of life, sick, debilitated, or older dogs are more susceptible to cold. They may need us to keep them warm to go outside on days with low temperatures, rain, or wind.
Be careful because a dog exposed to the cold for a long period of time or to excessively low temperatures can lower its body temperature to alarming levels. It’s hypothermia and it’s life-threatening.
My dog trembles when he sleeps
All dogs, during REM sleep, can exhibit tremors that are completely normal. It is one of the causes of tremors in dogs that all caregivers will be able to verify at some point. In addition to shaking, the dog can moan, bark, and perform all kinds of movements. No need to wake him up.
Emotional causes of tremors in dogs
As its name suggests, this type of tremor in dogs would be the expression of an emotional state, such as excitement. Thus, for example, among the causes of tremors in dogs may be an excessive joy that the animal expresses by shaking. Many specimens also moan and shake their tails.
But tremors can also indicate a contrary and negative emotion such as fear and even panic. A very very frightened dog may tremble, hide, urinate on itself … It is a behavior that shows stress and it is advisable that we treat it by contacting a professional canine behavior or ethologist.
Finally, it should be noted that some breeds are more likely than others to express their emotions through tremors. For example, it is more common to see a Yorkshire tremble with excitement than a large dog.
Tremors as a symptom
But tremors do not always have an emotional origin. There are other causes of tremors in dogs that are related to diseases or certain conditions. In addition, pain, in general, can lead our dog to shiver.
You can feel its body in search of any injury, but it will be the veterinarian who will have to find out its origin in order to treat it. You may have been hit or have visceral pain from illness. Among the causes of tremors in dogs we highlight the following :
Poisoning: there are many substances that can be toxic to dogs. Their consumption or contact with them triggers poisoning. Tremors are the most common clinical signs in these cases, along with hypersalivation, diarrhea, etc., depending on the poison.
Distemper: This serious viral disease mostly affects unvaccinated puppies. In addition to tremors, it is common to observe the animal decayed, with fever, etc. In any case, if we suspect that it may be distemper, we must urgently go to the vet.
Low blood sugar: when blood sugar is not enough to meet the body’s needs, one of the clinical signs is tremors. It can happen in small and miniature breeds due to metabolism issues or in any other breed as a result of different diseases.
Joint problems: Conditions such as osteoarthritis cause joint pain, which can show up as a tremor, usually only in the damaged leg. They are diseases that affect older dogs more.
Too much exercise: this type of exercise tremor can be seen in dogs after doing very intense physical activity. Like joint problems, we can appreciate localized tremors in a certain area. If this is the case with your dog, control his exercise sessions.
Drugs: Finally, the consumption of certain medications can cause tremors as part of their side effects. The veterinarian must be contacted immediately to find out if the treatment needs to be discontinued or modified.
Symptoms of Shaker syndrome
This syndrome, perhaps better known by the name of white dog syndrome, is another cause of tremors in dogs. As its name suggests, it is a disease that affects, above all, long, white dogs, such as bichons, poodles, or westies.
Specifically, it is diagnosed in younger dogs, before two years of age. It is characterized by causing tremors throughout the body due to inflammation in the cerebellum. We can also see seizures and weakness in these dogs. You have to go to the vet.