Why Is My Dog Shivering & Vomiting?

By Kristie Malinoski

Is your dog shivering and throwing up recently? While either of these symptoms alone are pretty minor problems, when they appear together, it could be a symptom of a serious problem such as poisoning or kidney disease and you should seek veterinary assistance.

A cold dog wrapped in a blanket
If your pup is shivering, he might just be cold, but if he's shivering and vomiting it may be a sign of a serious illness.
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Shivering

Perro
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If your pup is just shivering, this symptom alone usually means that your four-legged friend is cold. You can easily help by turning up the heat, snuggling up to your pup, or helping your little friend into a cozy sweater.

Shivering can also be an indication that your dog is anxious or frightened. A dog's fears usually result from an existing object, situation, or person that presents as a threat, whereas anxiety results from the anticipation of possible future dangers. Removing the perceived threat can help your dog relax, and reassuring your dog and helping manage his behavior can help with anxiety.

Vomiting

Sara Labrador retriever puppy
Look for signs in your dog's vomit of a possibly ingested toxic substance.
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Dogs can vomit for a variety of reasons, including eating too much or too fast, or ingesting something that doesn't agree with them. It doesn't necessarily mean a trip to the vet, but you should keep close attention and make sure that the vomit isn't foul-smelling or has a conspicuously strange color.

Shivering & Vomiting Together Can Mean Potential Poisoning

Puppy siberian husky dog lying by plate
Did your pup eat something poisonous? Make sure to bring what you thought he ate to the vet with you or let your vet know your suspicions.
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Whenever shivering and vomiting appear together, you must seek immediate veterinary care as it may indicate that your dog has eaten something poisonous. If it is feasible to do so, check the area in which your dog spends time to see if you can determine any obvious signs of poisoning, such as a displaced trashcan or remnants of what they have eaten.

The Canine Journal recommends to watch for multiple symptoms of poisoning: in addition to vomiting and shivering, your dog may experience diarrhea, loss of appetite, or blood in the stool. Many common substances, including chocolate, cigarettes, and sugar-free gum, can be very toxic to dogs. Bring anything you suspect your dog ate with you to the vet. Snail baits are particularly toxic, and they cause muscle tremors and shaking in dogs.

Kidney Disease and Distemper

Happy dog
If you watch your pet for signs of illness, you can help make sure your pet lives a long and happy life.
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Unfortunately, kidney disease often fails to produce symptoms until it is at an advanced stage. It is important to observe your dog vigilantly for warning signs, such as unquenchable thirst and frequent urination. While it does not always cause vomiting, canine distemper also can cause dogs to shake violently. Because most older dogs already have been vaccinated against distemper, it is most likely to afflict dogs between dogs under one year old.

While shivering and vomiting alone are symptoms of minor issues, if they ever occur together you should immediately seek veterinary assistance in case of poisoning or the possible symptoms of kidney disease.