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:
- kidney failure
- brain inflammation
- neurological disorders
- Addisonian crisis
- neuromuscular diseases
- liver disease/failure
Further reading: Is Shaking or Trembling an Emergency?
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.
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.
Elsie: A Terrier with Back Pain
Is Shaking or Trembling an Emergency? Shaking and Trembling in Dogs
Why Is My Dog Shaking?