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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 705
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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Assistant: How can I help? I am really worried as my dog

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Assistant: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I am really worried as my dog won't stop shaking
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: were inside, its not cold, he just shakes and looks scared. He has been doing this on nd off for the past year. I dont know what to do

Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda.

What age and breed is your dog?

Can you think of anything that may have triggered this, such as a scary event or trauma?

Any other symptoms e.g. lameness, seizures, weight loss, coughing?

How long does the shaking last and is it is whole body? Is he able to walk and act normally while shaking? Does it seem to be getting better or worse with time?

Thank you for answering these question which should help me figure out what's going on.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
he is 3 and he is a staffy x labrador

I am unable to make a phone call at this time. Would you like me to opt out of the question so another vet can speak to you over the phone, or are you happy to continue typing?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

I am unable to make a phone call at this time. Would you like me to opt out of the question so another vet can speak to you over the phone, or are you happy to continue typing?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He can walk normally however his whole body shakes and it is getting worse over time.

Ok, thank you for this.

At 3 years old we can rule out some of the causes of shaking in older dogs such as chronic osteoarthritis. Given his breeds, it is also unlikely to be 'white shaker syndrome'.

Does he seem anxious or stressed when this is happening? Staffies in particular can be prone to anxiety.

From what you say, it sounds as though he is mainly normal and shakes sometimes- is this right?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
a vet once told me it is anxiety but I keep reading that it could also be pain.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
mainly normal, if I take him outside he's fine its just when were inside.

Shaking is quite a non-specific sign and can be an indication of fear, stress, pain, nausea or metabolic issues such as abnormal salt levels.

If he has no other symptoms which could help us to figure out what is going on, the first place to start is to do a full physical and neurological exam, checking him from nose to tail to look for anything abnormal that may be causing the issue. Something small like a broken tooth or impacted anal gland may be the cause and is not easy for an owner to spot. Similarly, any sore joint or orthopaedic issue would be picked up.

If his exam is unremarkable, normally the next step would be a basic blood and urine test. Diseases such as Addison's disease can result in shaking and other vague symptoms, and these dogs will have abnormal salt levels. Similarly, we want to check for any underlying issues such as a liver issue or kidney function issue, as well as a potential urine infection.

It would be worthwhile taking a video of the shaking events with you so the vet can see them. In some cases, a partial seizure may disguise itself as tremoring, and a vet should be able to tell from a video.

A referral to a neurologist could also be worthwhile, in case of a rare condition. In some cases, imaging of the brain and spinal cord are also advised.

Before assuming it is anxiety related (which is quite possible) we need to rule out other causes.

Issues such as joint pain, Addison's disease or nausea should respond well to medication.

If these disease are all ruled out, it may well prove to be anxiety related, particularly if you notice a particular pattern to the events e.g. triggered by loud noises. In these cases, calming supplements, pheromone collars and plug-ins as well as behavioural modification programmes tend to give the best results. While it can take time to address anxiety related tremors, there is certainly lots that can be done.

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Linda Simon and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the kind accept and please feel free to ask any further questions you may have and to keep me updated. Dr Linda