Shaking or trembling falls into the category of "it depends."
It's one of the things when knowing your dog and knowing your breed is important.
Daughter's Chi shakes even when she gets excited to see somebody. Some small dogs shake or tremble at the drop of a hat. Yet, small dogs are also highly susceptible to hypothermia and hypoglycemia, both of which can be deadly.
With very few exceptions, shaking or trembling is a sign of an emergency to me.
Some very serious causes of shaking or trembling include:
- kidney failure
- inflammatory brain diseases or seizure disorders
- Addisonian crisis
- neurologic disorder
- neuromuscular diseases (e.g. myasthenia gravis)
- liver disease leading to hepatic encephalopathy
Bottom line, unless I had an excitable Chihuahua if my dog starts shaking or trembling, I'm calling a vet.
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Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
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Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Panting an Emergency?