If you notice your pet shaking, you may be tempted to bundle him up in a blanket. Being cold is a possible cause, but there are so many other reasons why your furry friend may be trembling.

Some reasons for pet shaking are no big deal, but others require immediate medical attention. Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic is here to help you navigate this common problem.

Reasons for Pet Shaking

Some causes for pet shaking are physiological or medical, while others are more behavioral. It can be difficult to tell the difference, but when you start to understand the more common causes for trembling pets, you can start to narrow things down.

Pets may shake due to:

Being cold — Trembling is an effective way to warm the body. If your pet is very thin or has a very sleek coat, the cold can affect them even more than the average dog. Even temperatures around 50 F can be chilly, especially if it’s wet or humid outside.

Being scared — A scared pet may shake, especially when he is uncomfortable. If shaking is isolated to particular circumstances, this may be the cause.

Excitement — Adrenaline can cause many side effects, and in pets sometimes excitement manifests as shaking.

Pain or injury — A quivering canine can indicate that something is hurting, especially when isolated to a particular body part.

Weakness — Many times pets who are weak from other illnesses or have muscle loss secondary to injury or arthritis will tremble, similar to your muscles when you try to eek out that last lift at the gym.

Toxin exposure — Pets who ingest or are otherwise exposed to something toxic can have muscle tremors or twitching as a symptom. Certain over-the-counter flea preventatives are notorious for this.

Other medical conditions — A handful of other medical problems such as seizure disorders, generalized tremor syndrome, distemper virus, and kidney problems can lead to shaking.

When to Worry

Sometimes pet shaking is normal, but it is natural to worry, particularly if you are unsure of the cause. Give us a call right away if:

  • The shaking does not subside with warming and/or calming
  • The shaking is interfering with your pet’s ability to function normally
  • There is a known toxin exposure
  • Other symptoms of sickness are present
  • Your pet seems to be distressed

It is never wrong to have your pet examined. Pet shaking can be an early sign of something more serious, and the sooner we detect these issues the better.

Of course, you know your pet best. If they normally shake when excited or stressed, it may not be such a big deal. We are always here to take a look!