My dog shivers - but she's not cold

ilovepocoMay 19, 2008

Has anyone had a dog that displayed shivering episodes that don't seem to be temperature related? I'm wondering if there are any conditions that I should look into where shivering is a symptom.

My 10-year-old female Jack Russell Terrier frequently has shivering episodes that can last 5 minutes to an hour. It's not constant shivering, I've timed her and it's typically something like 3 seconds shivering/3 seconds not. When it's hapening, she is very very needy and usually crammed between my legs as I work at my desk or following me step by step around the house.

She's your typical hard-as-nails JRT, but she's always had a "delicate stomach". Ever since puppyhood, she will put herself on regular fasts where she will refuse all food for a day or two, then be completely normal for weeks. She also seems to display an inordinate amount of gut gurgles and gassiness at times.

She doesn't seem to show any pain or tenderness anywhere on her body.

I've mentioned this to the vet several times over the years, but she's never showing any symptoms when we are actually in the office. The shivering is fairly new, so we will be taking her in for a complete checkup later this week.



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While at the vet, ask for a thorough checkup plus blood panel.

Many diseases and pain can cause tremors.

If the vet can't find any obvious problems, ask him for something to treat your dog's stomach problems. It could be the start of IBD.

My dog showed similar symptoms whenever her IBD flared up or her back hurt.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:39AM
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We did have a recent thread about small dogs shivering possibly being related to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia); which could be related to eating issues... if she not eating right or regularly. If your vet does a blood panel that should show up.

The gassy part might be IBD though...

What are you feeding? A good high quality dog food, would help with both IBD and hypoglycemia. I've found that Canidae All Life Stages has a good kibble size for small dogs.

And you should feed periodically throughout the day, rather than just one meal...for both of those things.

Let us know how her check up goes...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 3:12PM
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In a 10 year old dog, I'd be worried about focal (petite mal) seizures. These aren't your full-blown down and shaking with loss of consciousness seizures; sometimes focal seizures can be just a twitching in one limb or the face, other times it can be just behavior changes, other times they can just tremble all over. Since of course she won't do it at the vets, if there is a way to video tape the episodes and show the vet it would be the next best thing.

Pain is also a very good thought. We saw a dog referred to the neurology service at school for these head twitches. Turns out he had cervical disk disease and was in pain. Luckily the owner brought in a video of the dog's episodes because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to properly diagnose it without running up HUGE bills. They had already run up quite a bill at their regular vet, but didn't have the video tape of the episodes for her.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:45PM
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