Trembling or shaking is the recurring uncontrolled movements of the body that occurs while your dog is awake. Shaking in dogs might occur in different parts of the body and the causes might vary accordingly. Though dog shaking is not always fatal, timely diagnosis and proper treatment is necessary to cure this condition.
Tremors in the head can be caused due to various reasons including anomaly in the cerebellum, drugs, sustained trauma to the head, vestibular diseases and inflammation or might be due to genetics. Dog trembling observed in the pelvic region or the rear limbs are usually caused due to kidney failure, lesions in the spine, neuromuscular diseases or it might be caused by pain. In case the entire body is shaking then the causes might include degenerative diseases or toxins.
White shaker dog syndrome is a specific shaking disorder that is found predominantly in small dogs with white coats. Dogs that suffer from this condition have tremors in their entire body. Some of the known causes for this condition include abnormalities in the nervous system resulting in head tilts, seizures and weakness in the limbs.
Dog tremors might also be caused due to nervous energy, excitement, fear, anxiety or due to cold.
Uncontrolled trembling or shaking observed in any part of your dogs body or tremors that shake the entire body. Persistent shaking needs immediate medical attention. Consult your vet immediately if seizures occur repeatedly, even for just a few seconds at a time, resulting in shaking and eye twitching.
Dog trembling that occurs infrequently and for short durations might be harmless. However, if the condition persists or occurs frequently it is recommended to consult your vet for a proper and timely diagnosis. A good exam and blood count test might be enough to diagnose primary causes. However, your vet might recommend urinalysis and a few other tests to check for metabolic disorders and kidney diseases.
If your vet recommends consultation from a neurologist then more tests like X-rays of the chest, abdomen and spine might be needed. Other tests include myelogram to confirm lesions in the spine, MRI and CT scan to confirm any structural damages in the brain and spine, EMG or electromyelography to confirm neuromuscular disorders and a CSF or a cerebrospinal fluid tap to confirm encephalitis or inflammatory disorders.
Trembling in dogs might be due to primary and/or underlying causes and treatment should be implemented to address both. Depending on the causes, treatment can be as simple as regular exercises or avoiding excitement or it can be very complicated, like a surgery to treat disc protrusions.
For certain cases of dog tremors that affect the entire body, treatments that involve corticosteroids have been found to be successful. Here, treatment of shaking dog starts with high doses of corticosteroids. The treatment lasts for several months and the doses are gradually reduced as the symptoms start to diminish.
Keep your dog away from toxins. If your pet is exposed to any toxins then consult your vet immediately for appropriate treatment. Most often, generalized shaking results in weight loss. So, monitoring your pets weight regularly and making changes to their diet accordingly will help to avoid various conditions including dog shaking.