When Your Dog Trembles and Acts Unusual: Understanding the Signs

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A dog’s shaking and strange behaviour might be caused by a variety of factors affecting their nervous system. These issues frequently influence their appetite, causing them to quit eating. Although a dog may have localized difficulties that cause them to shake or tremble, acting strangely and not eating is usually an indication of a systemic problem. Knowing the causes of a dog trembling, acting strangely, or not eating might help us transmit information to our veterinarian, but it is vital to recognize that only they can identify the problem.

Hypothermia is a drop in body temperature below healthy limits caused by excessive heat loss or decreased heat production. It can occur in pups with lower thermoregulation capacity, or from pathological causes like hypothyroidism, advanced illness, shock, sepsis, and central nervous system lesions disrupting the temperature regulating center.

Whatever the cause of hypothermia in dogs, when the body temperature drops significantly, the organism responds by producing endogenous heat. This can happen by causing tremors as the increased muscle action produces heat. We can observe the dog shivering and acting strangely as a result of the systemic alterations that are occurring.

When hypothermia strikes a dog, it is typical for the animal to eat more. This is an attempt to activate the neurological system. They will quit eating as the hypothermia worsens. This is due to the fact that when the central nervous system is depressed, it begins to shut down digestion processes and even leads to decreased levels of consciousness.

It is critical to establish the source of hypothermia in order to reverse it. When a pathologiccover it with your dog. If any factor is to blame, it will be necessary to develop a specific therapy for it. If the cause is a low environmental temperature, it will be necessary to give heat to avoid further temperature loss. However, there are specific steps we must take to avoid issues such as shock:

Heat source: connect a heated pouch or similar agent to the dog’s trunk, or use a hair dyer on the warm setting. You can also microwave a dry cloth and place it over the dog’s chest. 

Warm soup: Once the temperature has risen slightly and your dog’s hunger has returned, you can serve him a hot chicken or meat broth (free of substances that are toxic to dogs, such as salt) to help him recover body temperature.

My Dog Is Shaking and Behaving Strangely – Hypothermia Pain

Pain is another typical reason of a dog shaking and acting strangely. Although dogs are skilled at hiding their pain, when it becomes severe enough, the dog will exhibit symptoms. A dog acting strangely is common since they are being overpowered and may develop behavioural problems such as hostility. The reason they are shaking and not eating could be:

Orthopedic issues in dogs include arthritis and osteoarthritis.


if the dog has been in a car accident or has fallen. We may not notice physical signs when the trauma is internal, but behavioural changes alert us to the situation.

Gastrointestinal disorders in dogs can cause acute abdominal pain, leading to veterinary emergencies. Identifying the underlying cause, such as accidents or chronic joint diseases, is crucial to reverse these symptoms.


We already discussed how hypothermia might produce tremors. Although it may appear counterintuitive, an elevated body temperature over normal levels might cause the dog to shiver and act strangely. Hyperthermia is a condition in which the dog’s body temperature rises due to a failure of thermoregulation. Fever in dogs occurs when the body’s temperature rises above its normal range.

Fever is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. When a dog has a fever, the hypothalamus regulatory centre raises the body temperature above its typical range. This is because of the action of molecules known as pyrogenetic cytokines.

When the hypothalamic centre readjusts, the body activates systems that generate endogenous heat and raise the temperature. Chills and trembling are typical in dogs during the first phase of the febrile illness (period of increasing fever).

During a fever, it is also normal for dogs to lose their appetite and stop eating and drinking. It is a common reason for veterinarian consultation because the owner frequently does not understand why the dog is shaking and not eating.


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Because fever is a symptom, it is treated by addressing the underlying cause. However, there are several things you may do to assist control this condition, such as:

Antipyretic medications are typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Human drugs (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol) should never be given to dogs because they are highly poisonous to them.

Wet cloths or compresses should be placed in areas with less fur, such as the groin, armpits, abdomen, and ears. The cloths should never be wet with really cold water because the goal is to gradually drop the temperature, not drastically.

The underlying cause must be determined by the veterinarian. Fever can be caused by infections, heatstroke, poisoning, or even pharmaceutical adverse effects. The professional’s diagnosis will guide treatment.


Anemia is a typical systemic reason of a dog shaking, acting strangely, and refusing to eat. Because the problem is progressive, they will not only lose their appetite but will also lose weight, culminating in anorexia in dogs. Anemia is described as a decrease in the amount of red blood cells in the circulatory blood. Anemias are categorized into three major classes based on their origin:

Hemorrhagic anemias are caused by blood loss.

Hemolytic anemias are caused by the breakdown of red blood cells.

Hypoproliferative anemias are caused by a reduction in the synthesis of red blood cells.

A lack of red blood cells in the circulating blood reduces the oxygen delivery to the tissues. This is what gives rise to the clinical picture, which includes the following features.

Weakness Exercise intolerance Pale mucus membranes





There are numerous causes that can result in a picture of anemia in dogs. Infectious disorders, parasite diseases, poisoning, immune-mediated diseases, tumours, and many others are examples. It will be necessary to identify its cause in order to suggest an appropriate and precise therapy plan capable of reversing anemia. With our guide to hemolytic anemia in dogs, you may learn more about one of the most frequent types of canine anemia.


Another differential diagnosis to consider when a dog trembles and refuses to eat is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is characterized by low blood glucose levels. It is a change in the canine species that can occur as a result of poor insulin administration in diabetic dogs, excessive activity, disorders such as Addison’s Syndrome, or tumours such as insulinoma.

When dogs experience mild or severe hypoglycemia, they often get agitated and have an increased demand for food. In the face of extreme hypoglycemia, however, a picture of sadness emerges, complete with confusion, loss of appetite, tremors, and even seizures. When a dog has a hypoglycemic episode, their consciousness can shift and they can become disoriented. 

Hypoglycemic episodes, in general, are emergency conditions that necessitate immediate care. In the event of hypoglycemia, apply a very sugary foodstuff (such as jam or honey) to the animal’s gums. It is hoped that their sugars will be absorbed directly through the mouth mucosa. This can result in a rapid rise in blood glucose levels.

In the event of such an occurrence, you should contact your veterinarian. They may be able to assist over the phone, or they may determine that they are sent to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Check out our guide to normal blood glucose levels in dogs to learn more about how to treat canine hypoglycemia.

Causes that are psychological or emotional

Physical illnesses are not the only reasons why dogs shake, act strangely, and quit eating. Psychological issues are frequently neglected as causes of these symptoms. They can be caused by emotional issues such as:

Trauma: Usually caused by desertion or cruelty in earlier stages of his life.

Phobias  include fear of loud noises, automobiles, and people.

Anxiety: For example, separation anxiety.

Visits to the veterinarian are an example of a stressful circumstance.


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These psychological disorders in dogs can cause anxious and nervous emotions, which can lead to behavioural changes. It is typical for dogs to seek the protection of their guardians, hide, shiver, or even remain motionless in these situations. When animals are constantly subjected to stressful situations, they frequently exhibit little.