Why is My Pet Shaking and Should I Be Worried?

As the caretaker of a smaller being who cannot talk, it’s only natural to worry when a new behavior or symptom appears. It might come naturally to panic a little when you see your pet shaking, but there are many reasons why this behavior can occur – and believe it or not, not all of them are worrisome!

Reasons for Your Pet Shaking

If your pet is shaking, there are many different potential causes. In some situations, pet shaking can be completely normal. We can see this happen due to:

Physiological causes – A pet may begin shaking due to being cold, being excited, anxiety, or stress. These causes are typically natural stimuli and the shaking will often go away when they are removed. As long as the shaking is short-lived and doesn’t happen often, they aren’t too worrisome. 

Pain – Injury or illness can result in pet pain, which can manifest as shaking. This can be a clue to you, as your pet’s caretaker, that something is wrong.

Weakness – Loss of muscle tone due to illness, injury, or chronic orthopedic problems like osteoarthritis can cause weakness. This can result in shaking, especially during higher levels of activity.

Medical problems – Some medical problems can definitely lead to shaking. Things like low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizure activity, alterations in calcium levels, canine distemper, toxin exposure, and White Dog Shaker Syndrome can cause pet shaking. 

When to Worry

If your pet is suddenly shaking, there is likely a reason that it is occurring. So when is it no big deal, and when is it a pet emergency

Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is always happy to assess your pet and help to reassure you that everything is okay. You should certainly contact us, though, if:

  • Your pet’s shaking does not subside after a few minutes.
  • You cannot identify an underlying cause (scared of a storm, cold after being outside).
  • Your pet is showing signs of pain or distress.
  • Your pet does not seem to be responsive during the shaking episode or loses control of bladder or bowels.
  • Your pet is acting abnormally otherwise (appetite changes, behavior changes).
  • There is a known toxin exposure.

Any time there is any concern about your pet, it is better to err on the side of caution. Many times if there is something wrong, the earlier we are able to diagnose and treat the problem, the better the prognosis.

Don’t ever hesitate to have one of our doctors examine your pet. Sometimes the reassurance that everything is okay is well worth it.