What does it mean when your dog shivers?
Does your dog shiver or tremble? If a dog is cold it may shiver. As in humans, it is what the body does to warm up. But there are other instances and reasons dogs may tremble. Here are some of the reasons that cause shivering in dogs.
Small breeds are especially prone to shaking, yet the reasons are not clear as to why.
This could be just because of their size, and that the big world is very intimidating. For unknown reasons, white dogs, more than others are effected by trembles.
Another cause from shaking or trembling in dogs could be neurological, muscular, or skeletal. Hip dysplasia, (joint pain), and with degenerative myelopathy (decreased nerve function). http://www.vetinfo.com/dtremor.html To address those types of issues your vet may prescribe medication to lessen or even stop the tremors. Prednisone or another corticosteroid therapy may be ordered for several months, and then slowly weaned. Reoccurrences are common. This is more common in older pets.
Lupus, hypothyroidism, arthritis, and, anemia can also cause trembling in dogs. If your dog has a fever he may also shiver. In some cases dogs with low calcium levels may shiver, more likely in female dogs that are nursing puppies.
Epilepsy can also occur in dogs, which can cause shivering after seizures. Seizures are accompanied by other symptoms such as falling down, heavy amounts of salivating, and disorientation. http://home.ivillage.com/pets/symsolve/0,mfsg,00.html
Dogs are also susceptible to diabetes. Dogs with blood sugar irregularities may shiver.
See your vet if your dog is elderly and getting weak, nursing, occasionally disoriented or is acting confused, is fainting or shivering excessively, stiff or sore for no apparent reason, feet are cold or swollen, skin, gums, or mucous membranes are turning yellow, reluctant to move, or can’t stand up.
Finally, dogs can shiver and tremble from anxiety. The simplest change, loud noise, unfamiliar people, or a loud, high stress environment, can cause a dog to shake. Shaking helps the dog to release the nervous energy, as it strives to get back to a balanced state of mind. Taking your dog for regular walks will help relieve anxiety.
Having the dog face the fear will help relieve the anxiety. Caesar Milan the dog whisperer from the National Geographic channel has great ideas on how to deal with anxious dogs. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/dog-whisperer Caesar recommends that you never nurture the anxiety. If you are clam, the dog will pick up on your energy.
If your dog is shivering or trembling probe the issue and try to determine why it is happening. If is seems like something more serious than just being cold, or anxiety, seek out advise from your veterinarian.
national geographic website; the dog whisperer
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in East Lansing