Q:

What causes shaking legs in dogs?

A:

Quick Answer

A dog's leg may shake because of nerve responses, according to MentalFloss.com. This is known as the "scratch reflex," occurring when an owner playfully rubs a dog's belly. The nerves register the touch as irritation, sparking an involuntary movement of the legs. It is an instant reflex to scratch itchy areas of the body.

Know More
What causes shaking legs in dogs?
Credit: Floresco Productions Cultura Getty Images

Full Answer

MentalFloss.com also notes that it is a healthy reaction in dogs and a testing method veterinarians use to find out if the nervous system is healthy.

BigSiteOfAmazingFacts.com notes the various theories stemming from this biological reaction, such as scaring away predators, or to safeguard dogs against drowning.

A more serious reason can be traced to kidney disease, according to MyTCMVet.com. Kidney disease can cause low electrolyte levels and mineral deficiencies, resulting in muscle dysfunction. Adrenal problems can also be related to mineral and electrolyte imbalances. General muscle weakness can also stem from arthritis or any joint-related ailment.

VetStreet.com also touches on general muscle weakness, but adds fatigue as a possible cause. A dog's leg may shake after overexerting the limbs. Pain may also be a factor, particularly within the back or abdominal regions. Stress and general anxiety may also play a role, along with medications the animal may be taking.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do dogs move their legs when scratched?

    A:

    When you scratch a dog on its belly, it will kick or shake its legs due to a scratch reflex. This reflex is a completely involuntary reaction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do chihuahuas shake?

    A:

    Chihuahuas shake because they are cold, nervous, excited or have excessive energy. In rare circumstances, tremors can indicate medical conditions such as hypoglycemia or an allergic reaction. However, the most common cause for shivering in Chihuahuas is falling temperatures. Since they are small, they are more susceptible to cold temperatures.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes dogs to shed excessively?

    A:

    A dog that sheds excessively may be suffering from such ailments as parasitic or fungal infections, allergies, Cushing's disease, allergic reactions to medication, cancer or an immune disorder, according to WebMD. Dogs that lack proper nutrition are also prone to shedding more than normal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes rectal bleeding in dogs?

    A:

    According to the Fairmount Animal Hospital, rectal bleeding in dogs can be the result of any number of diseases or disorders of the colon, rectum or gastrointestinal tract, including anorectal disease, rectal prolapse, intestinal parasites or colonic ulcers. The color and consistency of the blood helps to pinpoint the problem.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore