March 12, 2010

What does it mean when my dog is shaking?

Filed under: dog chills,dog shaking,dog shivering,Uncategorized — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:26 am

Dog shaking is actually relatively common. Most dogs will shake when they are wet or cold, and this is as normal a response to weather as human shivering. Obviously, exposure to extreme cold for prolonged periods is hazardous to health, but shaking can indicate a variety of medical conditions in dogs as well. To ensure that your dog is not ill or injured, it is important to take shaking seriously. If there is no obvious reason for your dog’s shaking, you need to visit a veterinarian.

Among the top causes of shaking in dogs is hypoglycemia. Commonly known as low blood sugar, hypoglycemia occurs when your dog has not eaten for an extended length of time. In addition, hypoglycemia is related to a number of metabolic conditions and digestive problems like vomiting that prevent dogs from eating. Low blood sugar causes muscle weakness and trembling and can be treated by giving your dog a quick dose of sugar. A teaspoon of honey or maple syrup for small dogs or two to three teaspoons for medium and large sized dogs can help restore blood sugar. Usually, dogs will be happy to lick this sweet treat off a spoon.

Another cause of dog shaking is an increased body temperature. Your dog’s normal body temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5°F. Viruses, infection, and other illnesses can cause fever increasing body temperature and just like humans, dogs will experience “chills.” The resulting shaking is cause for concern as fevers can be very dangerous. Visit a veterinarian immediately as medical conditions can go from stable to critical very quickly. For this reason, any time you cannot identify the cause of shaking, you need to get to the vet. Trying to self-diagnose your pet’s illnesses is never a good idea.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.