Frequently, we will receive calls of panic when a family pet owner notes that his or her animal is shivering and/or shaking frantically. Animals might shiver or shake for many reasons — pain, worry, stress and anxiety, nerves, or merely being too cold. There is even an endocrine condition called Addison’s disease which can cause excessive shivering also. We typically see dogs shiver and shake during thunderstorms or July 4th fireworks. Some will even react this way if there’s a lot of uncommon sound close by because of construction or sirens.
Why Is My Dog Shaking?
If the shivering is truly temperature related (which it normally isn’t), chances are you’ll be a little too cold too, or you’ve just brought your furry dog in from the really cold outdoors. If neither holds true, his or her shivering is more than likely not from being too cold.
Finally, there’s pain as a cause of shivering or shaking, and this is a typical reason. The trouble here is attempting to figure out whether the degree of pain, or the source of pain, must be of concern enough to panic and take your pooch or kitty directly to your vet or to an emergency situation facility. Frequently this is a judgment call, however here are a couple of standards. If the shivering and shaking is accompanied by extreme panting, this is normally a sign of stress, and more intense pain or pain. If you see, or feel, an apparent problem — a grossly abnormal limb showing a possible fracture, an extremely bloated or tense abdominal area indicating a possible bloat, pancreatitis, or other intestinal pain, or severe tightness (as if your family pet does not wish to move) particularly in the neck or back with or without gait problems or ataxia (appearing as if your pet is drunk and shaky), which might show a herniated disc or a muscle problem along the spine, you want to seek veterinary medical attention as quickly as possible — the sooner the much better.
If you do not note any of the above symptoms, you may try providing your family pet a veterinary approved, types proper, pain or anti-inflammatory medication if you have any in your house “pet medication cabinet.” In a pinch, for dogs, you can attempt a buffered aspirin or Ascriptin (which is aspirin with antacid) at a dose of one baby aspirin per 15 to 20 pounds of body weight, or one adult aspirin or Ascriptin per 60 to 80 pounds of body weight. Do not use any more than once, and do not use any other “pain” medications for your dog or cat without first checking with your vet. Keep in mind that acetaminophen, the active ingredient of Tylenol, can eliminate a cat! If the subtle pain symptoms persist, see your veterinarian for some more specific diagnostics or for more aggressive treatment.
What about weakness/lethargy?
This is often one of the more difficult symptoms due to the fact that the discussion is often very subtle, and can imply numerous various things. If your pet is unexpectedly “ADR” (Ain’t Doin’ Right), we typically aim to rule out the other apparent symptoms we’ve already gone over. First, it’s never ever a bad idea to take your pet’s temperature. If you do not currently own a thermometer for your family pet, get one! A normal temperature for your dog or feline is someplace in between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F (up to 103 degrees if they are nervous or stressed out). If his/her temperature is over 103.5 degrees, you ought to consider a veterinary visit. Typically, if their temperature is normal and they aren’t exhibiting other more serious issues (vomiting/diarrhea, limping, shivering/shaking, obvious pain, etc.), and you do not keep in mind a bloated abdomen or white gums (which could indicate blood loss or blood cell destruction from an intense bleed, a clotting condition, or an immune system disease), I typically encourage my customers to give it a day approximately before panicking — especially if the animal will still eat and choose a walk. If you cannot recognize any obvious cause, and by 24 hours your family pet is still lethargic or won’t eat or want to choose his strolls, it’s time to make that visit to your veterinarian or to the emergency facility.
Extremely frequently we’ll also see animals, especially dogs, become somewhat lethargic due to the fact that of muscle soreness after overdoing it (exercise-wise) at the dog park or the doggie day care facility. We likewise see pets act a bit too mellow because of psychological concerns (a modification in their routines or schedules, changes in your regular or schedule, the loss of another family pet, etc). Dogs and felines can actually exhibit signs of depression, and it often manifests as lethargy. This more subtle form of weak point or sleepiness is normally not an immediate issue, but if cast of time and a little extra attention does not solve the problem, then make that consultation to see your veterinarian.
I hope this details and these standards will help you much better comprehend and examine your pet’s symptoms and issues, will put your minds at ease a bit, and, ideally, save you some time and cash.