Why would a dog shake? Have you seen your animal shaking and are not certain what it means or what you should do to help him? As a pet parent, it may be confusing when you start seeing your pet acting abnormally and are not certain what’s causing the behavior or which steps you ought to be taking to get the dog help. Shaking or trembling in dogs may be symptomatic of a variety of different causes and figuring out the underlying condition is critical in ensuring your pup gets proper treatment. Here’s a guide from Innovet Pet Products which will cover the reasons dogs shake and talk about the potential underlying causes.
Why Do Dogs Shake Their Bodies: What Can It Mean?
Why does my pet shake off so much? Dog shaking may be a sign of a variety of different possible factors that range from fully normal behaviors to severe health conditions. To discover which of these might apply to your pet, it is crucial to monitor his symptoms, as well as the context. Here, we list some of the possible causes of dog shaking.
What Is It Called When A Dog Shakes Off Water?
Did you ever notice a dog exiting a bath or swimming pool only to do a full-body shake? Canines harness the force of their bodies to strenuously shake the water off their coats. As humans, this action sometimes can look wild as their cheeks shake to and from and their whole coat seems to move aggressively side to side, yet for dogs, it’s a wet dogs shaking survival mechanism which assists in preventing the onset of hypothermia from a damp coat.
Since canines do not have towels or blow dryers, they rely upon this powerful wet dog shaking mechanism to efficiently and quickly dry their coats, which for a few dogs are amazingly dense. Damp dogs actually can shake off 70% of the water in their fur in around 4 seconds. If your pet has damp fur and is shaking a lot more than usual, it is a behavior that’s learned over a period of time and adapted to assist them in staying dry. Your pet ought to stop shaking as she has dispelled the excessive water from her coat. If the dog shaking water off behavior continues, there might be another cause for the shaking.
Why Do Dogs Shake? Regulating Body Temperature
As with human beings, shivering might happen as dogs are hot or cold. Dog shake off also may be an indication of thermoregulation, which is how their body controls its temperature. Similar to the way that shivering assists in controlling the body temperature of humans, it’ll serve the same functionality in dogs. Shivering aids the body in generating body heat and is triggered as the body recognizes that its temperature is dipping outside of the range of its desired threshold.
This response may occur as the body temperature is getting too high and the pup has a fever or as her temperature is dipping too low and her body is warding off hypothermia. Imagine shivering as her body’s way of helping return its temperature back to normal, like how you’d adjust the thermostat if a bedroom became too cold or hot. Once the pup’s body temperature goes back to normal, the shivering ought to stop. If the behavior goes on, vet intervention might be needed to find if any kind of treatment is necessary.
What It Means When A Dog Shakes: Shaking with Excitement/ Joy
One well-known dog characteristic is their capability of having fun and expressing joy. For some canines, their expression of excitement and joy might involve trembling and shaking. Dogs cannot show emotion in the exact same way that humans do; therefore, they must use other ways of conveying what they’re feeling. A dog might shake with excitement at the idea of a long walk with his pet parents or playdate with a fellow dog. The trembling and/or shaking ought to be temporary and fade as the thrill wears off. If it continues, there might be some other reason for the shaking and physical exam by a vet might be called for.
Why Do Dogs Shake Off: Shaking Due to Fear/ Stress
Similar to the way that dogs will shake when they feel excitement and joy, they also can exhibit shaking as a reaction to fear and stress. Such shaking will present extremely differently than joyful shaking and is a sign that the dog is feeling stressed or anxious about something around them or occurring to them. Typical triggers for stress-induced shaking involve thunderstorms, fireworks, their pet parents leaving for a long period of time and visiting a vet.
Depending upon the dog and his personality, there may be numerous possible triggers for fear-induced or stress shaking. Those spans of stress-induced shaking also may have additional accompanying behaviors, like being destructive to items inside the dog’s immediate surroundings, dog crying, or aggressive behaviors. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to anxiety, yet it also depends upon the behavioral traits and personality of the individual dog.
Some canines might have the ability to beat stress-induced shaking by working with their pet parent and a trainer to discover other techniques for handling anxiety and stress. But, depending upon the severity of the shaking and stress, some canines might need an appointment with a vet who will assess them and suggest any treatments or medications that might assist in easing the stress that’s causing the shaking.
All breeds are prone to ear infections, whether they’re yeast or bacterial ear infections. Some breeds are more susceptible to developing infections based upon the structure of their ears. Breeds which are prone to those infections involve Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels. One sign that a dog might have an ear infection is constant head shaking. Head shaking also can be a sign of a variety of other conditions, yet ear infections are among the most typical causes.
As dogs are experiencing an ear infection, their ears may appear irritated, inflamed, red, and might have some kind of discharge. To relieve their pain, they often will vigorously shake their heads back and forth, causing further problems to develop because of injury or trauma. Shaking their heads repeatedly back and forth may cause the soft blood vessels inside the ear to break and blood to pool, which forms a hematoma inside the flap of their ear. If you believe your pup might have an ear infection that’s causing them to shake, go to the vet so that they may perform an examination, inspect their ears, and perform any tests to make a diagnosis, as well as form a treatment strategy.
Dog distemper is a condition that’s caused by a virus and typically happens in puppies or younger dogs that haven’t received all their vaccinations. Symptoms of dog distemper involve canine coughing, fever, nose and eye discharge, and tremors, and other symptoms. Depending upon the severity of his symptoms, as well as the dog, a number of different treatment techniques might be used, like physical therapy, prescription antibiotics, airway dilators, as well as fluids that prevent dehydration. If you’re worried that your furry pal might be experiencing distemper, it’s important that you visit a vet ASAP so that they may evaluate them and suggest the most appropriate treatment strategy.
GTS (Generalized Tremor Syndrome)
Generalized Tremor Syndrome, or shaking dog syndrome, is a condition that’s from an unknown cause and first was observed in white, small dogs like Maltese and West Highland White Terriers, although it may impact dogs of any color, size, or breed. GTS is also occasionally referred to as white shaker dog syndrome, or white dog shaking syndrome and steroid responsive tremor syndrome. GTS symptoms, like trembling and shaking, typically start between 9 months and 2 years of age. To treat Generalized Tremor Syndrome, vets often will prescribe corticosteroids, like prednisone, and dogs often will see visible results within a week of starting treatment.
Like humans occasionally suffer nausea, so will dogs. There are several possible reasons why a pup might feel nauseous, like if he has consumed something which upset his tummy, ingested something poisonous, gotten motion sickness, or consumed a new medicine. Besides those commonplace causes, nausea in dogs also can be a side effect of a few diseases.
As some canines are feeling nauseous, they might start trembling and shaking. Other typical symptoms involve swallowing more than usual, salivating excessively, lip smacking, yawning, restlessness, dog vomiting, and hiding. If you believe your pup is nauseous and shaking as a consequence, it’s vital that you identify what’s triggering the nausea. A trip to the vet ought to help narrow down the probable causes and offer your pup a treatment strategy that alleviates nausea ASAP.
A few dogs may start shaking and tremoring if they’ve been exposed to or ingested specific poisons, like a poisonous plant or chemical. Some of those toxins are safe for humans yet may be very dangerous for dogs. In these instances, the shaking likely would be uncontrollable. Other symptoms of poisoning involve vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, drooling, disorientation, and weakness. If you think your dog might’ve been poisoned, immediately call your vet and get in touch with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
One other potential culprit for dog shaking may be renal failure or chronic kidney disease. Dog kidney disease may be challenging to detect because most pups might not exhibit symptoms for quite some time, yet over time canines usually will start drinking more water and urinating more frequently. Besides those symptoms, some dogs also my start shaking as the damage to their kidneys grows worse. While renal disease in canines isn’t curable, there are treatments and therapies that may help control the symptoms, as well as improve the pup’s quality of life. If you believe your pet might be suffering with renal failure or chronic kidney disease, visit a vet ASAP to get him tested and examined to evaluate his kidney function.
Why is My Pet Shaking and Panting?
Usually, shaking and panting are normal behaviors in dogs and their causes generally are fairly clear. As dogs become hot, panting assists in cooling them down. Shaking will do the same and also may be exhibited as they grow excited. Obese and older dogs usually exhibit those behaviors more frequently. They might shake and pant more as a result of overall weakness in the intercostal muscles and diaphragm.
While dog shaking and panting is a normal reaction in these situations, the blend of the two might still mean there’s something wrong and might indicate a severe dog health condition. Allow this section to serve as a guide to assist you in better understanding what it means if your pet is shaking and panting. Let us dive a bit deeper into some of the causes of each.
Excessively shaking and panting are the most typical symptoms of dog heat stroke. It’s an extremely serious scenario and ought to be treated as such. Heat will impact dogs differently, some grow hot easier than other ones and therefore, are more susceptible to heat stroke. Glassy eyes, drooling, general canine weakness and increased heartbeat in dogs all are common symptoms. If you think your pet is overheating, get her to a shady area then submerge her in cool water. The term cool is critical, as it is vital that you avoid cold water, which actually could constrict blood vessels and make things worse. Also, you ought to offer the dog cool water to drink or an ice cube to lick on. As the dog’s temperature returns to regular levels, immediately take him to a vet.
Intoxication, Infection, or Fever
In some instances, shaking and panting might be the result of a dog fever or a dog infection. In other ones, perhaps your dog has eaten something toxic, like chemicals or food. If it is an infection or fever and grows to a point in which the dog is panting and shaking, he might’ve developed hyperthermia. Panting and shaking helps reduce body temperature. In either case, the panting and shaking shouldn’t be ignored. Immediately contact a vet.
How will heart issues lead to shaking and panting? If your furry friend has a heart issue such as dog heart disease, it actually can affect his breathing. For instance, an enlarged heart might be pressing against his lungs. Panting is a natural reaction in an effort to fill up the lungs with air. Then, dogs shake because of a lack of oxygen flow all throughout their body. Heart issues require immediate vet attention.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Panting and shaking also can be triggered as diabetic canines become hypoglycemic. But it isn’t just diabetic dogs who are susceptible to low blood sugar. Specific breeds, like the Chihuahua and Italian Greyhound, also are prone to low blood sugar just because of their more delicate and smaller breeds. Thankfully, you’re able to help your furry companion recover rapidly in this situation. Put one Tbsp. maple syrup or honey under the dog’s tongue enables the sugar to quickly reach the blood. Repeat that step every 6 hours while keeping your dog warm.
What Do you Do If Your Pet Is Shaking?
If your pup is shaking, there are multiple steps to take to ensure that they receive the help needed.
Here we list some steps of what you can do if your pup is shaking.
- Think back to when his shaking started. One question you ought to ask of yourself is if the dog is shaking is when did it start? Has the dog just been shaking in the last week or has it actually been intermittent over the course of many months? Pinpointing when his shaking started will assist you in narrowing down if there was a certain event that triggered his shaking and will provide you an answer to a typical question vets ask during exams.
- Pay close attention to the context as the dog is shaking. As some of the triggers for dog shaking may be mood-based and environmental, it is vital that you recognize the context of when the dog is shaking. Is he only shaking persistently when he is in a stressful situation? Is it limited to when he is wet? Has his shaking been steady since its onset? That information also will be helpful for a vet if a visit is needed as it’ll aid them in making a more suitable diagnosis.
It’s strongly suggested to book an appointment with a licensed vet if the shaking continues. If your pup is shaking and you are not certain why, it’s always best to err on the side of caution then arrange an appointment with the vet. The vet will have the ability to gather all the details you supply about the symptoms and timeline, as well as conduct a physical exam and any extra testing that might be necessary to develop a diagnosis and treatment strategy.
Sources:Dog Shivering or Tremblig
Shaking, Shivering, and Trembling in Dogs
Why is My Dog Shaking?
Is it an Emergency? Shivering, Lethargy
Why is My Dog Shaking?