Panting and trembling in dogs – Causes and treatments

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Panting and trembling in dogs can range from natural responses of the body to the practice of prolonged effort, to indicators of an underlying pathology. Observing the mood of the animal and the frequency of these or other symptoms may clarify the diagnosis.

There are certain situations such as excess heat, intense exercise, old age or overweight that lead to these basic signs of exhaustion. Panting contributes to body cooling, as well as agitation, also shown in moments of excitement. However, tremors in dogs, perceived as small uncoordinated movements, may indicate a major physiological disorder.

Owners may suspect a indication of disease when the presence of both symptoms is simultaneous. However, not all the reasons that lead to its appearance have to be difficult to address.

Diseases associated with panting and trembling in dogs

Among the most frequent conditions that lead to the combined appearance of these signs are:

  • Heat stroke. They usually occur in summer, after the practice of an effort, and go accompanied by increased heart rate and eye moistening. Dogs of an unattractive constitution such as bulldogs, small-breed dogs or those with a lot of hair are more prone. It should be treated with fresh baths, the intake of water or ice and, in the most severe cases, you should go to the veterinarian.
  • Infections or poisonings. Whether you have eaten something in poor condition, a food allergy or a possible infection, The presence of fever will be a potential symptom. This tends to be accompanied by tremors in the most serious peaks, given the thermal deregulation of the animal. In this situation it is advisable to go to the specialist as soon as possible.
  • Heart disease or respiratory problems. Both disorders can occur in isolation or in combination, even with other problems such as obesity. A bronchitis can lead to gasping and oxygen shortage can result in muscle fatigue. An enlarged heart can press the lungs altering the gas exchange. The veterinarian will be the only one able to address them.
  • Impaired blood glucose levels. Both diabetic dogs and certain breeds, among which the Italian greyhound or chihuahua stand out, can suffer from the commonly called ‘sugar dips’. Providing some kind of easily digestible fruit, and keeping the animal’s body warm, will help its recovery. If the dog does not improve, it should be go to the vet and, even more so, in cases of diabetes.

Other reasons that lead to canine tremor

Other reasons, seemingly less serious, responsible for shortness of breath and trembling in dogs, are:

  • Stress, normally associated with fear or anxiety of a particular stimulus, like the presence of strangers. The easiest option is to avoid the stimulus that causes discomfort, but the ideal is to get used to it. In addition, eliminating certain situations is unfeasible, as is the case with storms, hence the importance of getting used to them with professional help if necessary.
Tremors in dogs
  • Pain. A punctual lesion or chronic pain can alter the animal’s body mobility. The most difficult to treat, and those that normally lead to the uncoordination of the can, are those that occur internally. These may be accompanied by an atypical aspect of the gums, such as paleness and, due to the complexity involved, the veterinarian should be consulted for a major diagnosis.

Shortness of breath and trembling in dogs can be caused by many factors. Physical exhaustion, fear, obesity or old age are the most obvious, but in other circumstances the veterinarian will be the only one able to treat them, with the relevant prior diagnosis.


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