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Answers from vets about your dog:

Why is My Dog Shaking?

Reviewed by Bill Saxon DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC on Friday, April 29, 2016
Posted April 29, 2016 in Dog Behavior

Shaking, trembling and shivering puppy shys away from camera

Have you ever watched your dog shake, tremble or shiver in warm weather and wondered why? While it’s tempting to think that trembling or shivering is a result of being too cold, there are many other causes to consider.

Thermoregulation (temperature control)
Shivering is a very effective means of creating body heat, and is a normal response to decreasing body temperature. When a dog has a fever the body’s thermostat is reset to a higher temperature. When the temperature attempts to drop back down to normal, shivering occurs in order to restore the new, elevated temperature set point.

Excitement/Anxiety/Fear
All of these emotional responses are capable of evoking trembling in some dogs. Without the help of medication, Quinn, one of my dogs becomes a quaking, quivering mess during thunderstorms.

Pain
Trembling can accompany pain, whether due to acute trauma or a more chronic painful condition. Be aware that not all dogs demonstrate trembling in response to pain- trembling is simply one of several symptoms a painful dog may exhibit.

Medical disease
A variety of underlying medical issues, ranging from kidney failure to hormonal imbalances, can produce trembling. [Editor’s note: Learn about chronic kidney disease here.] Neurological disorders and muscle diseases commonly cause trembling as well.

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Nancy has more than 30 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified veterinary specialist in internal medicine as well as a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2014.