Tremors in dogs

Tremoring or shaking in dogs is common. There are many reasons your pet may be tremoring; it could just be a sign that your pet is frightened or nervous, but it can sometimes be an indication of serious medical condition that requires urgent veterinary attention.

Boy and dog in kitchen.

If you notice that your dog has started shaking it’s head a lot, it could be a sign that your pet has an ear infection. More general tremors may be due to your dog eating something poisonous or toxic It could also be because your dog is in pain somewhere, that it is worried or afraid of something, or that your dog has become too cold. Even small epileptic seizures can manifest as tremors. A healthy dog should not shake without understanding why (for example, due to fear of thunder or if it is hypothermic).

You should seek veterinary attention if:

  • Your dog trembles uncontrollably for no apparent reason
  • Your dog is shaking its head a lot
  • Your pet is shaking or tremoring with reduced appetite, vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • You notice Changed behaviour, your dog looks lethargic or unusually tired
  • If you think your pet has a fever and is shaking or tremoring.
  • If you suspect that your pet has ingested something strange or poisonous.
  • If you suspect that your pet is having a seizure or has had one.
  • If you think your dog may be in pain.
  • If your pet is hypothermic.

How the vet makes a diagnosis

Your vet will initially ask you questions regarding your pet’s symptoms and will then perform a full clinical examination. Your vet may decide to perform blood tests to assess liver and kidney function and to see if there are any indicators of infection, inflammation or anaemia. If your vet suspects that pain could be causing the tremors, it is possible that X-rays will be performed.

Treatment of dog with tremors

Treatment is initiated based on the dog’s symptoms and diagnosis. If a diagnosis is not established immediately, symptomatic treatment can be instituted to reduce the tremors.