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Dog Shivering and Trembling: Causes and Treatments

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Dog Shivering and Trembling: Common Causes and Treatments continued...

Treatment for nausea depends on what's causing it. Poisoning is one cause of nausea. So, if your dog is suddenly vomiting or appears nauseous, call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Old Age and Pain. As dogs get older, some develop tremors in their hind legs. Sometimes, the tremors may be in the front legs, as well. These tremors usually don't affect how your dog moves or walks.

It's easy to assume that symptoms like shaking legs are due to your dog "just getting older." But trembling can also be a sign of other issues such as pain. So, always talk to your vet if your aging pet develops tremors.

Poisoning. Several toxins or poisons can cause tremors or shaking in dogs. Some of these are harmless to people but toxic to your pet. For instance, items that can be poisonous for dogs include: chocolate, cigarettes(which can cause nicotine poisoning), and xylitol, the sugar substitute found in many chewing gums. Snail baits containing metaldehyde can also cause severe muscle tremors and convulsions.

Symptoms of poisoning can vary. They include tremors, weakness, disorientation, depression, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you think your dog has swallowed anything potentially toxic, call your vet right away. Or call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Excitement. You really don't have to do much to make a dog happy. Just your coming home at night is more than enough to make some dogs shake, bark, even urinate with excitement. While dogs often grow out of some of these traits, you can help your canine companion calm down by keeping your greetings calm, brief, and non-threatening.

Other Causes of Shivering and Trembling in Dogs

There are other less common reasons for shivering, shaking, trembling, or tremors in dogs.

Chronic kidney failure can lead to tremors. So can neurological problems that may include inflammatory brain diseases or seizure disorders. An Addisonian crisis, a condition related to an underactive adrenal gland, may also lead to shaking in dogs.

If you have questions about your dog's shivering or trembling -- or about any canine health and wellness issue, talk to your vet. 

WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Audrey Cook, BVM&S on June 25, 2013
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