It seems to be such a cliche, doesn’t it? The tiny shivering shaking Chihuahua. But it often true. Many Chihuahuas do seem to shake a lot. And there is no one reason for the shaking. Below, I will give you the most common reasons Chihuahuas shiver.
The most common causes of shivering or trembling in dogs include being cold, anxiety, low blood sugar, poisoning, and various diseases. If your Chihuahua suddenly starts trembling or shivering, it’s important to take note of other signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping and take him/her to vet immediately. Some common causes of shivering in Chihuahuas are:
Shivering is a mechanism of thermal regulation. Chihuahuas need to be in a warm place since they do not have much hair or body fat to protect them from the cold weather. Their breed has been adapted over the years to a hot climate and that is what they are more comfortable with. Do give them snuggly blankets to cuddle under and have them wear a sweater when it’s cold outside.
Anxiety or Excitement
Chihuahuas, like other small dogs, are very prone to stress and anxiety, therefore, that is the most common cause of shivering in this breed. Your little friend may be shivering because he or she is excited to see you or other members of the family. It is also possible that he or she is anxious or stressed out. For example, your dog may be stressed because another dog is around. A little stress is not harmful to anyone; however, you should identify any cause of continuous stress and, if possible, eliminate it from the environment.
Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and about 10% of all Chis suffer from this. If your dog has it, break up their meals into small multiple meals through out the day. The amount of food should stay the same, just feed them more often. You can also squirt a little sugar water into their mouth if they seem to be having an attack and you know they suffer from hypoglycemia.
This is a viral disease that affects dogs that are not current with their vaccinations. Chihuahuas infected with the distemper virus will show a variety systemic illness signs, such as, eye and nose discharge, fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting. In addition, distemper virus can cause neurological signs like tremors and uncoordinated movements. Treating distemper generally involves supportive care while your dog’s immune system fights the virus. Treatment may also include antibiotics, airway dilators, physical therapy, and fluids to help manage dehydration. Take your Chihuahua to the vet immediately if you observe any of these signs.
Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)
This syndrome is also known as steroid responsive tremor syndrome or white shaker dog syndrome. It was first noticed in small, white dogs such as the Maltese and West Highland white terriers, but it can occur in dogs of any size, breed, or color. The causes of this syndrome are unknown. The signs of GTS start between nine months and two years of age. Treatment generally consists of corticosteroids.
Several toxins or poisons can cause tremors or shaking in dogs. Common substances that are poisonous for dogs include chocolate, cigarettes, antifreeze, insecticides and Xylitol (the sugar substitute found in many chewing gums). Signs of poisoning can vary but may include tremors, weakness, disorientation, depression, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you think that your Chihuahua is intoxicated you can call the ASPCA poison control center at (888) 426-4435 and they can help you determine if the substance is toxic to your pet. The ASPCA poison control center is available 24/7 so this is a good option if it is late in the night and you cannot find a veterinarian who is available.
There are other less common reasons for shivering or trembling in dogs. If you have questions about your Chihuahuas’ shivering or trembling or about any health and wellness issue, you should contact your veterinarian.
So, does your Chihuahua shiver? Kilo does but only when she is cold or scared.