What to do if Your Dog is Shaking and Acting Weird All of a Sudden


If you’ve ever noticed your dog shaking and acting weird all of a sudden, it’s natural to be concerned. Dogs can shake or tremble for various reasons, ranging from mild discomfort to more serious health issues. Understanding the potential causes and knowing what steps to take next can help you address your dog’s needs promptly and effectively. In this article, we’ll explore some common causes of shaking in dogs and what you should do if your furry companion suddenly exhibits these symptoms.

Potential Causes of Shaking and Unusual Behavior in Dogs

Anxiety and Stress

Dogs can experience anxiety and stress, just like humans. Changes in their environment, loud noises (such as thunderstorms or fireworks), separation anxiety, or unfamiliar situations can cause your dog to shake and act strangely. Signs of anxiety include pacing, panting, drooling, and hiding.

How You Can Help

If you suspect anxiety is causing your dog to shake, it’s essential to create a calming environment. Ensure your dog has a safe space, like a crate or quiet room, to retreat. Speak with your veterinarian at Creekside Pet Care Center about behavioral training or anti-anxiety medications if the symptoms persist.

Cold Temperatures

Dogs, especially smaller breeds and those with thin coats, can feel cold more easily. Shaking may simply be your dog’s way of trying to warm up. However, prolonged exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia, which is a severe condition. If your dog is shaking due to cold temperatures, provide a warm blanket or coat to help your dog retain body heat. Move them indoors or to a warmer environment to help. If you suspect hypothermia, contact Creekside Pet Care Center immediately at (817) 421-5850.

Pain and Discomfort

Shaking can be a response to pain or discomfort from injuries, arthritis, or internal issues like pancreatitis. If your dog is limping, vocalizing, or avoiding certain movements, these could be signs of pain.  Observe your dog’s movement and behavior for other symptoms of pain and avoid touching or manipulating any visibly injured area. Schedule an appointment with Creekside Pet Care Center to assess the cause of pain.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

Also known as “White Shaker Dog Syndrome,” GTS is characterized by full-body tremors. Although more common in small breeds like Maltese and West Highland White Terriers, GTS can affect any breed. If you notice your dog shaking, record a video of their symptoms to share with your veterinarian, and contact our team at Creekside Pet Care Center to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive examination and appropriate treatment. 

Poisoning and Toxicity

Dogs may shake due to poisoning or ingesting toxic substances, such as chocolate, xylitol, or certain plants. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

Next Steps

  • Immediately contact Creekside Pet Care Center at (817) 421-5850 or the Pet Poison Helpline.
  • Provide your vet with information about any substances your dog may have ingested.
  • Avoid inducing vomiting unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian.

Canine Distemper

Distemper is a contagious viral disease that can cause shaking and other symptoms like coughing, nasal discharge, and seizures. Vaccination can help prevent distemper, but it remains a risk for unvaccinated dogs.

How to Help 

  • Monitor your dog for other signs of illness.
  • Isolate your dog from other pets to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Call Creekside Pet Care Center for immediate care if you suspect distemper.

Seizures and Epilepsy

Shaking can be part of a seizure episode, and epilepsy is a common cause of recurrent seizures in dogs. Signs of seizures include uncontrollable shaking, drooling, and loss of consciousness.

What You Should Do

  • Keep your dog safe by moving them away from sharp objects or stairs.
  • Avoid restraining your dog during a seizure.
  • Contact Creekside Pet Care Center after the seizure for further evaluation.

Other Health Conditions

Several other health conditions can cause shaking and unusual behavior in dogs, including kidney disease, Addison’s disease, and inner ear infections. If you suspect any of these additional health conditions be sure to take note of any other symptoms, such as changes in appetite, thirst, or bathroom habits. Schedule an appointment with Creekside Pet Care Center as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause.

When to Contact Creekside Pet Care Center

Not every instance of shaking indicates a serious problem. However, if your dog is shaking and acting weird all of a sudden, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. Call Creekside Pet Care Center at (817) 421-5850 if your dog’s shaking is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures; the shaking persists for more than a few minutes or becomes frequent; visible injuries or signs of pain occur, or your dog ingested a toxic substance. 

How Creekside Pet Care Center Can Help

At Creekside Pet Care Center, we offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to help determine the cause of your dog’s shaking and unusual behavior. Our compassionate team will perform a thorough examination and may recommend diagnostic tests like bloodwork, X-rays, or ultrasounds to identify the issue. Once diagnosed, we’ll work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that prioritizes your pet’s health and comfort.

Preventive Measures

Preventing health issues is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

Regular Vet Visits

Routine wellness checks at Creekside Pet Care Center help identify potential health issues early. Annual exams, vaccinations, and blood tests can go a long way in preventing severe illnesses.

Diet and Exercise

A balanced diet and regular exercise contribute to your dog’s overall well-being. Monitor their weight, and consult our veterinarians for personalized nutrition advice.

Safe Environment

Ensure your home is free of toxic substances and plants. Provide a quiet space where your dog can relax if they become anxious.

Training and Socialization

Early socialization and training can help reduce anxiety and stress in dogs. Positive reinforcement training is particularly effective for building confidence and reducing behavioral issues.

Ensure Your Dog’s Health and Safety 

If your dog is shaking and acting weird all of a sudden, don’t ignore the signs. Shaking can be a symptom of various health conditions, from mild anxiety to serious medical emergencies. By understanding potential causes and contacting Creekside Pet Care Center promptly at (817) 421-5850, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to ensure your dog’s health and happiness. Don’t wait to seek help if you’re concerned about your dog’s well-being. Creekside Pet Care Center is here to provide the compassionate care your pet deserves.

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