Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS). GTS is also called steroid responsive tremor syndrome or white shaker dog syndrome. First noticed in small, white dogs such as Maltese and West Highland white terriers, it can occur in dogs of any size, breed, or color. No one knows what causes GTS. GTS symptoms usually start between 9 months and 2 years of age. Treatment generally consists of corticosteroids like prednisone. Results can often be seen within a week of starting treatment
Finally, there’s pain as a cause of shivering or shaking, and this is a very common reason. The difficulty here is trying to determine whether or not the degree of pain, or the source of pain, should be of concern enough to panic and take your pooch or kitty straight to your veterinarian or to an emergency facility. Often this is a judgment call, but here are a few guidelines. If the shivering and shaking is accompanied by excessive panting, this is usually a sign of stress, and more intense pain or discomfort. If you see, or feel, an obvious problem—a grossly abnormal limb indicating a possible fracture, an extremely bloated or tense abdomen indicating a possible bloat, pancreatitis, or other intestinal pain, or extreme stiffness (as if your pet doesn’t want to move) especially in the neck or back with or without gait abnormalities or ataxia (appearing as if your pet is drunk and wobbly), which may indicate a herniated disc or a muscle problem along the spine, you want to seek veterinary medical attention as soon as possible—the sooner the better.
Trembling is always cause for concern, particularly if it is out of character for what you know to be normal for your dog. If you observe trembling, a good first step is to determine if something in the environment is causing your dog to feel anxious or fearful. If so, eliminate the source of the stress or remove your dog from the situation to see if the trembling abates.
Another good first step is to take your dog’s temperature (the normal range is 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit). The presence of a fever warrants veterinary attention.
1) The most common reason a dog shivers is due to being cold. A normal dog’s temperature may be as high as 102.5 F. Since a dog’s body is warmer than a persons, just touching your dog won’t accurately let you know if they’re cold or not. So be careful during the winter months with dogs being outside, especially little dogs.
2) Dogs shiver due to anxiety or fear. Thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or any type of environmental change can cause dogs anxiety or fear. If your dog has severe shivering and anxiety in these situations, they may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication during the stressful periods. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate your therapeutic options.
One common cause of shivering for many dogs is fear. This feeling can come about in a dog for a number of reasons, notes Dr. Grzyb. Those fears include “worry about being separated from an owner, not being socialized or experiencing the aftereffects of previous abuse or abandonment.” Determining if fear is a factor in your dog’s shivering may just be a matter of observing him over time.
Dogs with irritated or infected ears often shake their heads to provide temporary relief. This shaking can lead to more problems, for example an ear hematoma (when blood accumulates in the flap of the ear). If your dog is shaking his head more than normal, call your veterinarian and gently take a peek at your canine companion’s ears to see if they appear red, inflamed, or dirty.
Maybe your dog is feeling motion sickness, or eating too much, or eating the wrong thing. It might be a bad reaction to medication. If your pup is drooling more than usual or seems tired and listless, these might be more signs of nausea. Proper treatment depends on the cause, so check with your vet.
Just like people, dogs can get stressed out and become anxious. Also just like people, there are many reasons why this may happen: riding in a car, beeping alarms, fireworks, trips to the vet, and so on. Worse, different stressors can develop over time based on negative experiences. When faced with these stressors, many dogs may tremble or shake, and some even engage in bad behaviours such as chewing on furniture, or being aggressive
There are so many reasons for dogs to shiver or tremble. The most obvious reason for shivering is cold. Dogs have fur to keep them insulated, so it’s not that common for them to shiver from cold when they’re indoors, but certainly small and toy breeds with thin coats are more susceptible to cold, even when curled up on the couch. Even large breed dogs with thick coats can get super cold when outdoors in cold weather, especially if their coats get wet.