Why Is My Dogs Back End Shaking

All dog breeds that are kept as pets frequently have shaking in their back legs, however pinpointing the underlying causes of the problem can be challenging due to the wide range of potential causes.

In dogs, shaking, quivering, or trembling frequently affects the back legs and is normally an indication of hind leg weakness. Nerve conditions, degenerative diseases, infections, injuries, and more can all cause the muscles to spasm or contract unnaturally, which causes the legs to tremble.

In general, this ailment is referred to as “back leg weakness” until the underlying cause is identified and treated.

Why does the rear of my dog shake?

The explanations listed below are deemed “benign or typical in dogs” and shouldn’t raise any red flags:

  • entire body trembling When your dog warms up or is taken out of a stressful situation, the shaking or chilling usually stops. However, your dog needs to be checked by a veterinarian right away if it starts shaking suddenly and for no apparent reason.
  • aged-related tremors
  • Age-related tremors that are not harmful to your dog and are not aggressive. Through testing to rule out any other causes, only your veterinarian will be able to determine these results.
  • weak leg in back
  • Dogs with weak back legs frequently experience trembling legs and muscular spasms.

Weakened leg muscles or a more significant chemical or neurological imbalance may be the cause of intermittent leg tremors. Your dog may become frightened by the movement, and it may also hinder their mobility, making it challenging for them to stand or walk.

Pain Tremors

If a dog is in discomfort from a degenerative joint problem, especially in the hip or knee, their back legs may tremble. When a dog tries to walk, the hind legs may shake with agony due to a damaged ligament in the knee, arthritis, or hip dysplasia.

Neurological Disorders

Dogs with trembling legs that make it difficult to walk or stand should be examined by a veterinary neurologist. Leg shaking can be a symptom of a number of neurological diseases in both dogs and cats. Leg tremors or shaking may be an indication of a communication breakdown between the spinal cord and the brain. Twitching may also result from excruciating discomfort brought on by a slipped disc or a neurological condition.

Degenerative Myelopathy

DM is a degenerative spinal condition that affects elderly German Shepherd dogs and gradually weakens the limbs. The loss of nerve signals to the muscles in the rear legs of a dog can result in muscle spasms, involuntary muscle contractions, as well as shaking in the feet and back legs.

Shaker Syndrome

Shaker syndrome is a congenital brain and spinal cord nerve abnormality that results in head and body tremors. Because the Maltese, Poodle, and West Highland Terriers are the breeds most frequently affected, the disorder is occasionally referred to as “little white shaker syndrome.” When a dog reaches adulthood, between the ages of one and two, tremors typically start. With medication and prednisone, the prognosis is excellent, and all symptoms of shaking disappear within a few weeks.

Why is the back leg of my dog shaking?

Bear in mind that tremors can occur for a variety of reasons, not all of which are alarming, before assuming that your dog has a crippling chronic condition.

For instance, cold weather may cause your dog to shiver. Shivering or trembling can also be brought on by electrolyte imbalances; luckily, these imbalances typically improve with rehydration and/or nutritional therapy. Ingestion of toxins may also result in neurological abnormalities that induce tremors.

Pain from degenerative joint issues might cause your dog’s rear legs to shake or tremble. For instance, when the cartilage between the ends of the bones begins to degenerate, allowing for bone-on-bone friction, osteoarthritis (a frequent ailment in both humans and dogs) produces pain. Your dog may tremble when he tries to stand or walk if he has such persistent pain in his hind legs.

Another painful ailment that affects the back legs is hip dysplasia. When the dog tries to use the ill-functioning joints, the deformed hip joints become unstable, adding to joint injury, persistent pain, and shaking legs and trembling.

Chronic tremors that get worse over time could be a sign of a neurological condition. Degenerative myelopathy is one such condition that is particularly common in German Shepherd Dogs, Collies, Siberian Huskies, and their hybrids. however, it can also have an impact on a variety of other breeds, including:

  • Boxers
  • Pugs
  • fox terriers with wirehairs
  • Poodles, both standard and miniature
  • Corgi Pembrokes in Wales
  • Mountain dogs of Bern
  • Terriers of Kerry Blue

The protective myelin layer that insulates painful nerves thins with time as a result of degenerative myelopathy. Typically, one back leg may weaken and tremble first, then the other, due to this deterioration (it does not affect the front legs).

Fortunately, this illness doesn’t hurt. Some dogs are, however, so unsteady as a result that even a small shove from a standing posture could knock them down, at which point they might find it incredibly difficult to get back up.

What ought I to do if my dog starts to tremble?

Dogs quiver and shake for a variety of reasons, including excitement, pain, aging, and even nausea.

Shaking and trembling could be signs of a dangerous condition, such as poisoning, kidney failure, or an accident. Therefore, if your dog suddenly begins shaking or shivering, it’s crucial to pay attention to any additional signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or limping. then get in touch with your vet immediately away.

How can I tell if my dogs are hurt?

If your dog is in discomfort, they might:

  • demonstrate agitation.
  • yell, growl, or cry out.
  • Be sensitive to touch or you may dislike being handled.
  • irritate you and start to snarl.
  • Become more inactive, quiet, or cover up.
  • Walk awkwardly or reluctantly.
  • Stop eating and get depressed.
  • breathe quickly and shallowly, and your heart rate is elevated.

What does a dog’s trembling appearance resemble?

Dogs with Shaker syndrome experience widespread head and body tremors. Steroid responsive tremors or widespread tremor syndrome are other names for this illness.

Because the illness is most frequently observed in small-breed white dogs like the Maltese, West Highland White Terrier, and Poodle, you may hear this referred to as “Little White Shaker Syndrome.” Any color or size dog is vulnerable to this illness, though canines under 30 pounds are most frequently affected.

What are the clinical signs of shaker syndrome?

Tremors usually appear in affected dogs between the ages of one and two years, in the early stages of adulthood. Tremors are irregular, rhythmic, and uncontrollable muscular movements that resemble shaking. The entire body may experience tremors or just a certain part of it (like the head). The intensity of these tremors might range from very mild to incapacitating (preventing eating, walking, etc.).

With excitement and exercise, the tremors become worse in many dogs with shaker syndrome. When the dog is resting or sleeping, tremors may become less noticeable or disappear entirely.

Other than the tremors, the majority of dogs are healthy. It is extremely rare for dogs to have other neurologic abnormalities during trembling episodes, such as vision problems or nystagmus (a rhythmic back-and-forth eye movement).

What causes shaker syndrome?

The cause of shaker syndrome is currently unknown. Numerous hypotheses have been considered and put to the test, but none of them have been proven true.

Given how it responds to steroids, the illness is believed to have an autoimmune origin.

How is shaker syndrome diagnosed?

An “exclusionary diagnosis” is Shaker syndrome. This implies that before diagnosing shaker syndrome, your veterinarian will rule out, or exclude, all other medical causes for the tremors.

Your veterinarian will initially conduct blood tests and urinalysis on a dog who has recently started experiencing muscular tremors in order to rule out any underlying medical disorders (such as liver illness, renal disease, etc.) that could result in neurologic symptoms. Additionally, infectious disorders such canine distemper or other viruses or bacteria may be tested for by your veterinarian.

Your dog’s illness and the severity of his symptoms may warrant referral to a neurologist for further testing, which your veterinarian may advise. Cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid around the brain and spinal cord) may be removed for testing during a CSF tap, which is performed by a veterinarian under anesthesia, and during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, which allows visualization of the brain tissues). Not all dogs with suspected shaker syndrome need to undergo this thorough examination, but your vet will collaborate with you to choose the best course of action for your pet.

Your veterinarian will start presumptive treatment for shaker syndrome if all diagnostic tests are negative. Treatment for shaker syndrome in dogs usually results in improvement within one to two weeks, supporting the diagnosis.

How will my veterinarian treat shaker syndrome?

Prednisone is used to treat shaker syndrome. Steroids like prednisone operate by reducing the dog’s immunological response.

Usually, one to two weeks after starting prednisone therapy, the tremors go away. Your vet will start gradually tapering your dog’s prednisone dosage after the tremors stop. Maintaining your dog’s prednisone dosage at the lowest level possible will maximize therapeutic effectiveness while avoiding negative effects.

Prednisone frequently causes increased thirst, urine, and hunger as adverse effects. Prednisone may affect the skin, endocrine system (hormones), and immune system when used for an extended period of time. It’s crucial to follow up with your veterinarian on a regular basis to check for any adverse effects so that, if any exist, they may be swiftly addressed. For more details, refer to the brochure “Steroid Treatment Effects in Dogs.”

Other immunosuppressive medications may be taken into consideration if a dog’s condition cannot be satisfactorily controlled by prednisone alone or if side effects become severe. Mycophenolate, leflunomide, Cytosar, and other medicines are among them. But these drugs are rarely utilized as the initial treatment for shaker syndrome due to their high cost.

What is the prognosis for shaker syndrome?

Shaker syndrome has a great prognosis. Within one to two weeks of starting prednisone therapy, the majority of dogs’ tremors completely disappear, and they can be managed by taking modest doses of prednisone over an extended period of time.

Why is my dog acting strangely and shaking?

In the first section of this essay, we covered the frequent complaints of vomiting, diarrhea, and limping as well as whether or not you should become alarmed when you notice these symptoms in your pet. We shall talk about the frequent complaints of shaking and lethargy in this, the second half.

What should I do if my dog or cat is trembling? When a pet owner notices that his or her animal is shivering and/or shaking violently, we frequently receive calls from worried people. Pets may tremble or shiver for a variety of causes, including discomfort from the cold or simple nervousness. Additionally, Addison’s disease, an endocrine ailment, can lead to severe shivering. Dogs frequently tremble and quiver when there is a thunderstorm or July 4th fireworks. Some people will act in this manner even if there is a lot of odd noise in the area, such as from construction or sirens.

If the shivering is actually caused by the temperature (which it typically isn’t), you’re either already a touch too cold or you’ve just brought your fuzzy dog inside from the bitterly cold outside. If neither of these apply, then the shivering is probably not due to being too cold.

The last possible explanation for shaking or shivering is pain, which is a fairly frequent cause. The challenge here is trying to decide whether or not the intensity or source of the pain should be cause for alarm, prompting you to rush your dog or cat to the vet or to an emergency clinic. There are some rules below, though this is frequently a judgment call. If there is significant panting along with the trembling and shaking, this is typically an indication of stress and more severe pain or discomfort. A herniated disc or a muscle problem along the spine may be indicated by an obvious problem, grossly abnormal limb that may indicate a fracture, an extremely bloated or tense abdomen that may indicate bloat, pancreatitis, or other intestinal pain, or extreme stiffness (as if your pet doesn’t want to move), particularly in the neck or back with or without abnormal gait patterns or ataxia (appearing as though your pet is drunk and wobbly). sooner is preferable.

If none of the aforementioned symptoms appear, you might try giving your pet an animal-specific pain reliever or anti-inflammatory from your home’s “pet medical cabinet” that has been approved by a veterinarian. In a pinch, you can give dogs a baby aspirin for every 15 to 20 pounds of body weight or an adult aspirin or Ascriptin for every 60 to 80 pounds of body weight. Use only once, and see your veterinarian before administering any additional “pain meds” to your dog or cat. Keep in mind that acetaminophen, the main component of Tylenol, can be fatal to cats! Consult your veterinarian for more precise diagnosis or more vigorous treatment if the modest pain signs continue.

What about sluggishness or weakness? Due to the symptom’s frequently mild and ambiguous presentation, this is one of the more difficult ones to diagnose. We often try to rule out the other obvious signs we’ve already covered if your pet suddenly exhibits “ADR (Ain’t Doin’ Right). It’s always a good idea to take your pet’s temperature first. Get a pet thermometer if you don’t already have one! Your pet’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (up to 103 degrees if they are nervous or stressed). You ought to think about taking your pet to the clinic if their temperature is higher than 103.5 degrees. In general, I advise my clients to wait a day or two before panicking if their pet’s temperature is normal, they aren’t displaying any other more serious symptoms (vomiting/diarrhea, limping, shivering/shaking, obvious pain, etc.), and you don’t notice a bloated abdomen or white gums (which could indicate blood loss or blood cell destruction from an acute bleed, a clotting disorder, or an immune system disease It’s time to take your pet to the doctor or an emergency clinic if there is no evident cause and, after 24 hours, they are still lethargic, refusing to eat, or wanting to go for walks.

We frequently observe animals, especially dogs, becoming a little lethargic as a result of muscle discomfort from overexerting themselves at the dog park or doggie daycare center. We also observe animals acting a little too subdued due to psychological problems (a change in their routines or schedules, changes in your routine or schedule, the loss of another family pet, etc). Lethargy is a common symptom of depression in dogs and cats, which can be seen in both species. Make an appointment to visit your veterinarian if the problem persists despite some extra care and a bit of time for this more subtle kind of weakness or lethargy, which is typically not a cause for immediate alarm.

I’m hoping that this knowledge and these recommendations will help you assess your pet’s symptoms and issues more accurately, soothe your concerns, and, possibly, save you some time and money.

Always visit or call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns; they are your best resource for ensuring the health and welfare of your pets.