A trembling Yorkie may be shaking because he's glad to see you, he's frightened or he's chilly or sick. By learning to read your dog's behaviors and body language, you'll be able to distinguish "normal" shaking from signs of injury or illness that need to be addressed by your vet.
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Yorkies are predisposed to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can occur if your pup doesn't eat, is overstimulated or is taking insulin for diabetes. Hypoglycemia can be characterized by a period of listlessness followed by shaking and trembling. Left untreated, your pup may drool, have a seizure, develop pale gums, experience a temperature drop and even become comatose. Call your vet immediately if your Yorkie experiences these symptoms.
Yorkies can develop tremors as a result of chemical or plant poisoning, or from consuming human foods that are toxic to their systems, such as chocolate or artificial sweeteners. Other symptoms of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea, muscle weakness and confusion. As a small dog, it doesn't take a large ingestion to prompt symptoms, so if your Yorkie exhibits signs of poisoning, seek medical attention right away.
Diseases and Health Issues
Distemper, an immune system virus, is characterized by shaking or trembling. Symptoms include fever, coughing and nose and eye discharge. Other health conditions that present with symptoms such as tremors include liver or kidney diseases, neurological disorders or adrenal gland issues. If your Yorkie shakes or has tremors for no known reason, he could have been injured, or he may have generalized tremor syndrome. Most commonly seen in small, young dogs, vets typically treat this condition with corticosteroids.
Nausea or Upset Stomach
Dogs make shake when they're having gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea or constipation. Nausea can be a result of nonmedical causes such as car sickness or eating something that doesn't agree with them. Other symptoms associated with nausea include drooling, yawning and vomiting.
As a small breed, Yorkies are not as well-insulated as their larger-breed counterparts and can become cold quickly. Don't allow your pup outside in cold temperatures for long periods of time, and put him in protective clothing when it's chilly. Learn to recognize signs of hypothermia, which include shaking, temperature drop, lethargy and trouble breathing.
Excitement or Stress
Yorkies are, by nature, excitable dogs. They often tremble with happiness, nervousness, fear or anticipation. Your pup may be a bit high-strung, but you can help him settle down by socializing him to new people, places and things. If he's the type of dog who gets nervous or anxious, make sure he always has a "safe" spot, such as a kennel or out-of-the-way bed he can go to when he's stressed.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Web MD: Dog Shivering and Trembling: Causes and Treatments
- Texas A & M University: Dashing Through the Snow: Signs of Hypothermia
- ASPCA: Animal Poison Control FAQ
- Your Purebred Puppy: Socializing Your Puppy or Adult Dog to Get Along With the World
- Red River Kennels: Yorkie Hypoglycemia
- PetMD: Hypoglycemia in Dogs