Why dogs tremble: the reasons can be very serious

Alina MilsentLife
Shivering can indicate serious health problems

Dogs have one very specific symptom that four-legged owners often ignore. The shiver may be attributed to fear or cold, or it may be a characteristic of the breed altogether.

In fact, the tremor may be a sign of very serious health problems. Inverse has more details.


Let's start with a general and simple explanation.

"Trembling can indicate that a dog is nervous or anxious, scared or agitated," noted Chirl Bonk, a PetKeen veterinarian.

"One of the most common reasons why a dog may be shivering is fear," added Catherine Pankratz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.

There are a number of additional signs by which you can tell if your pet is frightened. These include dilated pupils, hunched posture and flattened ears.

Anxiety or stress

"Just as our anxiety or stress can cause our hands or body to tremble, dogs can experience a very similar sensation," said Carling Matejko, a veterinarian with Solid Gold, a pet food company.

A dog's muscles become overworked and begin to twitch and tremble. Try to make your pet as comfortable as possible by talking to him in a soothing voice and creating a safe space for him.

External Factors

"Puppies can shiver from the cold, just like humans," stressed biologist Lorraine Rhodes. Small breeds with smooth coats are more susceptible to temperature changes.

Also, dogs are overly sensitive to sound, so shivers can be triggered by trigger noises.

"Triggers that cause dogs to react strongly would be, for example, gunshots, thunderstorms or fireworks," explained Lee Siegfried, founder of Opportunity Barks.

New situations or people are another reason for temporary jitters.

"Certain places can trigger fear in dogs, especially new places or places where they've experienced something scary in the past," Pankratz reported.

Health problems.

Regular trembling of your pet is a reason to see the doctor immediately. It may take the form of convulsions or a less noticeable tremor.

There are a number of warning signs that should be taken very seriously:

  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • whining
  • weakness/pain
  • lethargy/fatigue
  • unexplained barking
  • heavy breathing
  • upset stomach
  • behavioral changes
  • physical wounds
  • poor spatial orientation.

Muscle twitching may masquerade as a normal tremor, but it is actually a sign of more complex medical conditions:

  • neurological disorders
  • metabolic disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • toxins in the body.

Uncontrolled shaking indicates that your dog may be having a seizure and you should call the emergency veterinarian immediately.

The dog may have ingested an unknown substance during a walk that may have been poisonous.

"If you notice other symptoms, such as vomiting or heavy breathing, call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian immediately. These could be symptoms of poisoning," Rhodes warned.

Dogs can also develop hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when pets have low blood sugar levels.

Muscle twitching due to low sugar levels usually looks different than normal shivering. It is often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • increased hunger
  • visual impairment
  • lack of coordination
  • general weakness
  • lethargy
  • cramps
  • loss of consciousness
  • rapid heartbeat.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL told what porridges are dangerous to feed dogs.

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