Dog Health: What Does Shivering Mean?

List: Posted: 02/10/11

When you have a pet, you likely know what all of his or her behaviors mean without running to the vet every time your dog sneezes.  Whenever anything new develops, it is an owner’s instinct to start worrying.  Let's look at shivering and what it means for your dog.  Is it an indicator of health problems or a sign of something less worrisome?  
 

Shivering is a common symptom for people to notice in their dogs, and there are actually many reasons why it can occur.  The biggest reason, of course, is that the animal is simply cold.  But if your dog is shivering in the summer or in a warm environment, this can be easily ruled out.

Another thing to consider is fear or stress.  Have there been recent loud noises?  Have people in the house been arguing or is there a great deal of tension and stress in the home?  A dog picks up on all these things, and the more sensitive dogs such as greyhounds, Chihuahuas and Border Collies can usually tell just from your body language whether you have had a good day or a bad day at work, and will react by either jumping around in happy greeting or slinking away after one look at you.

 

Dogs can also shiver from anxiety if he or she senses that you are about to go on vacation.  Dogs are not psychic, however - they know this simply by getting a glimpse of your suitcase or overnight bag, and remember from experience that when they see this object you disappear for several days and leave them alone or with strangers.  Even positive anticipation regarding an upcoming treat, meal, or walk can cause your dog to shake.

Of course, health problems can also lead to shivering in your dog.  In the absence of fear, anxiety, and cold, you may need to consider a trip to the veterinarian.  Spine, nerve, muscle, and neurological problems can all cause shivering.  These can range from mild to severe, and many causes can be treated, but prompt action is always the key.

 

Remember that your dog picks up on your stress and try not to panic if you suspect a medical cause.  Your veterinarian will be able to quickly assess the situation and treat it as needed.

Veterinarians (Vets) & Veterinary Clinics

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        • 22556 Amendola Ter Ste 120
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        • 22556 Amendola Ter Ste 120
        • Ashburn, VA 20148
        • (571) 442-8765

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