Dog Illness That Causes Muscle Tremors & Trouble Walking

By Rachel Aenne

It can be an incredibly frightening situation if your dog develops muscle tremors and difficulty walking. Many illnesses can cause these symptoms. In most cases, the only solution is to take your dog to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Canine Distemper

A relative of the human form of measles, the canine distemper virus is highly contagious. There is a vaccine for this virus. Any dog that is not vaccinated can contract this virus through inhalation. Once infected, there is no treatment other than supportive care while the disease runs its course. Bacteria often causes a secondary infection once the dog has contracted distemper. Dogs that are infected with distemper can either die, survive with no future problems, or survive with neurological disease.


A dog can suffer from hyperthermia, or heat stroke, if she gets too hot for a prolonged period of time and her body is unable to regulate her temperature. This can happen if she has a heavy coat, if she has been exercising in the heat, if she's overweight or very young or old, or if she's been left in an enclosed area with poor ventilation. If you think your dog is suffering from hyperthermia, it is imperative that you get her to a vet. In the meantime, offer small amounts of water and sponge her body with cool, not cold, water.

Macadamia Nut Toxicity

People often share the food they eat with their pets. Macadamia nuts should never be shared with your dog. One gram per pound of body weight is all it takes to poison your pet. If your dog has eaten macadamia nuts within the past hour, induce vomiting and take her to a vet.

Insecticide Poisoning

Organophosphates and carbamate are common insecticides that will get rid of fleas and ticks, but they can also poison your dog. If you suspect your dog has ingested or been overly exposed to insecticides, remove her from the toxic environment and take her to the vet. If you know which insecticide was used, bring a sample or the label with you. The sooner your dog is treated, the better her prognosis will be. The easiest way to avoid insecticide poisoning is to always follow the directions on the label and store them where your dogs can't get them.

Antifreeze Poisoning

Antifreeze is commonly found in households. Antifreeze can drip from your car's radiator, leaving a puddle for your dog to drink. Less than three ounces of antifreeze can poison a medium-sized dog. If you are sure your dog ingested antifreeze, induce vomiting and take her to the vet. It is common for dogs to survive the initial poisoning, then develop kidney failure. The best solution for antifreeze poisoning is to avoid the problem before it happens; keep antifreeze containers tightly closed and away from pets, and don't let your dog wander unattended.