Trembling and Loss of Appetite: What is Wrong with Elsie?

Uncontrolled shaking or trembling in dogs is a sign of a serious issue.

Considerations include circumstances, severity, duration, and presence or lack of other symptoms.

Serious medical conditions that can lead to trembling include:

  • pain
  • hypoglycemia
  • poisoning
  • kidney failure
  • brain inflammation
  • neurological disorders
  • Addisonian crisis
  • Distemper
  • neuromuscular diseases
  • liver disease/failure
  • poisoning

Further reading: Is Shaking or Trembling an Emergency?

Trembling and Loss of Appetite: What is Wrong with Elsie?

Elsie’s story

Elsie was a 10=year-old spayed Terrier. But, as you’d expect, she was still energetic, stubborn, affectionate and full of beans. She enjoyed her life to the fullest until she didn’t.

One day Elsie started trembling all over. She lost interest in activity and food and looked miserable. Something was glaringly wrong with Elsie. Her mom has never seen Elsie looking so sick. Concerned, she rushed Elsie to a veterinarian at once.

At the vet clinic

As soon as the veterinarian saw Elsie, he agreed there was something seriously wrong. Elsie moved slowly and was trembling from head to toe. What was bothering Elsie?

The veterinarian asked for more details about how things came about. He discovered that the problem started out of the blue—Elsie was perfectly fine the day before. That helped rule out potential causes that come on gradually.

Further, Elsie had only a couple of symptoms. She had no cough, no changes in breathing, and no signs of belly upset. It turned out that even though Elsie wouldn’t touch her food bowl, she would take treats and bits of food handed to her. Perhaps Elsie was willing to eat, just not to bend down for it.

Elsie could walk around slowly but wouldn’t jump or engage in everyday activities.

Elsie’s physical examination

The veterinarian began a thorough physical examination. He started at the head and worked his way along Elsie’s entire body. Other than an increased heart rate, Elsie seemed fit and healthy.

When the veterinarian started carefully feeling along Elsie’s spine, he quickly discovered the problem. As his fingers reached her lower back, she yelped and tried to get away. That’s where the root of the problem was.

Elsie’s lower back was painful.

Elsie’s diagnosis

The veterinarian recommended further investigation, including x-rays of Elsie’s spine. The x-rays revealed a slipped disc. No wonder Elsie was in so much pain.

In most cases, treatment for slipped discs involves medication and strict rest. Elsie had to spend the next three weeks in a crate, only allowed to leave it for a few minutes twice a day.

As Elsie’s pain medication kicked in, she stopped trembling, brightened up, and started eating. After a couple of weeks, she could start going on short leashed walks and gradually increase her activity weekly. While the problem might return, for the time being, Elsie was able to return to her normal, active life.

Source story:
Elsie: A Terrier with Back Pain

Related articles:
Is Shaking or Trembling an Emergency? Shaking and Trembling in Dogs

Further reading:
Why Is My Dog Shaking?

Categories: Dog health advocacy

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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