Is your dog twitching and acting weird? You must have seen dogs trembling and shaking when they are excited. As a dog owner, it is something cute to see. However, sometimes this shaking and twitching get out of the norm. That’s when you know something is going wrong. In this situation, several questions come to your mind. In this article I will list all the possible reasons for dog twitching and your response in such a situation.
Twitching In Dogs and Acting Weird
When a dog is twitching, you will see a slight tremor or movement in all its body parts. Twitches are also called muscle spasms and can happen because of various reasons. Some reasons are serious such as nervous system disorders, while others are not something to worry about. Observation of the symptoms displayed by the dog helps to get an idea about the seriousness of the situation.
Continuous twitching and muscle spasms along with vomiting is an alarming situation and can be quite painful for the dogs to bear. This kind of situation requires immediate medical interventions to prevent the condition from worsening.
Reasons For Twitching In Dogs:
There can be various reasons behind the unusual dog trembling and twitching.
Neural injury can affect the dog’s central and peripheral nervous system, leading to involuntary muscle tremors and body twitching. The damage can be because of trauma or any genetic cause.
Muscle spasms can also occur because of any kind of physical injury to muscles. Physical damage can cause nerve pinching, leading to involuntary tremors in the dog’s body. Physical damage can also cause neural damage.
Low Blood Sugar
Another reason for twitching can be hypoglycemia, i.e. decreased blood sugar concentration in dogs. Low sugar directly affects the way the bra and body function thus can cause excessive tremors.
Low water content
Dehydration, i.e. decrease in water content, is also a major cause of twitching. If your dog engages in constant physical exercise without ingesting enough water, it can cause serious dehydration and thus muscle spasms.
Some dogs also tremble in an unusual way when they are overexcited. This is an outcome of the intense emotions of the dog. Such tremors should be over once the dog calms down.
Dogs also tremble often when they are old as their body gets weak with time. This could be because of health conditions such as joint inflammation or arthritis.
Other reasons that are the cause of dog twitching and acting weird include;
- Genetic predisposition
- Old age
- Stress, fear, or anxiety
- Chemical toxicity
- Congenital factors
- Kidney failure
- Reaction to drug
- Any medical condition
- Other unknown reasons
Things To Do When The Dog Is Twitching
First, notice that it is happening for the first time, or the dog has been displaying this symptom quite often. If this is a recurring symptom, conditions are serious. When you see the dog trembling and twitching, make it rest for some time and let it have water and food. If the dog is still twitching after rehydration and rest, you need to see your veterinarian.
How To Diagnose Twitching
The vet will perform a thorough physical examination of the dog. The doctor will ask for information such as; frequency of tremors, time of onset of tremors, and complete medical background of the dog. Besides, veterinarians will also perform other tests such as urinalysis, blood count, electrolyte level, and biochemistry profile.
The biochemistry profile shows the sugar and calcium levels of the body. If the main culprit is any brain disorder, all the upper mentioned tests results will be clear. Similarly, additional tests include; Ct scan and an MRI scan to examine the spinal cord. The veterinarian will tell the treatment according to the test results.
What Is The Treatment of Twitching?
Since the twitching and muscle spasms are the outcome of underlying issues, the main objective of the treatment is to treat these issues first. The test results will help the veterinarian establish the main cause of twitching. For example,
If the cause is hypoglycemia, the vet will recommend nutritional supplements. If the twitching is because of a reaction to any drug, the veterinarian will prescribe an alternative drug. For nervous disorders, often surgery is performed. Similarly, other treatments of dog twitching include; muscle massage, muscle relaxants, and therapies. The cost of treatment varies according to its reason, but the general treatment cost is around $100 to $8,000.
How To Prevent Twitching In Dogs
“Prevention is better than cure.”
You must take precautionary measures to prevent twitching in the future. For this;
- Keep your dog hydrated by giving plenty of water and fluids.
- Do not allow excessive physical exertion.
- Allow gentle and low impact exercises
- Give regular muscle massages.
- Keep the diet healthy.
- Take the dog for regular examinations.
- Keep the dog under constant supervision.
Dog twitching and acting weird can be because of several reasons. The underlying causes such as hypoglycemia and dehydration are not something to worry about. You need to give your dog a lot of water and nutrition supplements to make up for low water and glucose. But if the causes are complicated, like neural damage, this is when proper treatment by a veterinarian is necessary.
Constant supervision is required during the treatment phase as the dog is not allowed to get overexcited or do any strenuous exercise in the meantime. However, there is no need to worry because most of the twitching causes are treatable.