Why Is My Beagle Shivering?

beagle shivering

Why is My Beagle Shivering? Expert Insight and Solutions

Signs and Types of Beagle Shivering

In my experience, it’s important to recognize the signs and types of shaking in dogs, including beagle shivering and shaking. Generally, dog shaking can be observed through various body movements like trembling, shivering, and quivering. The types of shaking can be placed in three categories:

  • Nervous shaking: Stress or anxiety may cause a dog to shake.
  • Excitement shaking: Dogs may shake when they’re excited or happy.
  • Cold-induced shaking: Dogs, especially short-haired ones like beagles, can shiver when they’re cold.

Common Causes of Beagle Shivering

Environmental Factors

Beagle shivering can sometimes be caused by environmental factors. For instance, cold weather or cold temperatures can make your beagle shiver as they are trying to keep themselves warm. Additionally, beagle shivering can be a response to loud noises, stressful situations or separation anxiety. It’s important to pay attention to the environment your beagle is in and reduce exposure to these factors when possible.

Here are some environmental causes of shivering:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures
  • Loud noises (fireworks, thunderstorms, etc.)
  • Stressful situations (visitors, new environments)

Health-Related Factors

Apart from environmental factors, your beagle might also shiver due to health-related issues. Upset stomach is a common cause of shivering in dogs, as it causes discomfort and can lead to anxiety. Additionally, neurological conditions can also lead to shivering. If you suspect that your beagle might be suffering from a health issue, a visit to the veterinarian is vital in order to diagnose and treat the underlying cause.

Observing your beagle’s behavior and environment is crucial to understanding the cause of their shivering. Ensuring that they are comfortable, warm, and stress-free can help reduce shivering due to environmental factors. If you suspect that your beagle’s shivering is due to a health issue, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for a proper assessment and treatment plan.

Specific Health Conditions Causing Shivering

As a past and present beagle owner, I have seen first-had various health conditions that can cause beagle shivering. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common health issues you may encounter if your Beagle is shivering:

  1. Ear infections: Beagles are prone to ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. These infections can cause discomfort, leading to shivering as a response to the pain and as a natural response of the body fighting off the infection.

  2. Shaker syndrome: This is a condition that affects Beagles and other small dog breeds. It is characterized by rapid muscle tremors and sudden shivering. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be related to an autoimmune response in the central nervous system.

  3. Canine distemper: This highly contagious and serious viral disease affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Shivering can be a symptom of canine distemper, particularly during its neurological stage.  Be sure to keep your beagle’s vaccinations up to date.

  4. Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia): Just like in humans, dogs require balanced blood sugar levels to function well. Some dogs, including senior dogs, are more susceptible to fluctuations in their blood sugar. When their blood sugar drops too low, shivering may occur.

  5. Addison’s disease: This endocrine disorder results from reduced hormone production by the adrenal glands, causing a variety of symptoms, including shivering.

  6. Kidney disease: In advanced cases, kidney disease can cause several symptoms in Beagles, such as muscle tremors and shivering.

  7. Seizure disorders: Canine epilepsy and other seizure disorders can lead to muscle tremors or shivering.

  8. Brain tumors: In some cases, beagle shivering could be a sign of a brain tumor affecting the nervous system, causing interruptions in muscle control.

  9. Liver disease: As the liver is responsible for clearing toxins from the body, liver disease can lead to neurological symptoms, including shivering.

  10. Neurological diseases: Conditions affecting the nervous system, such as neuropathy or degenerative myelopathy, can cause muscle tremors and shivering in dogs.

It’s essential to keep a close eye on your Beagle’s health and consult a veterinarian if you notice any unusual shivering. While beagle shivering can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, remember that not all shivering incidents are related to health problems. Sometimes, our Beagles simply shiver due to feeling cold or being excited or anxious.

Observations and Actions By Pet Parents

As a beagle owner, I understand that pet parents may worry when they see their dog shivering. It’s essential to observe your dog closely and identify any additional symptoms that may provide clues to the underlying cause. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Cold environment: If your beagle is shivering, check the room temperature. Beagles are not fond of cold temperatures, and keeping them warm is necessary.

  • Fear, anxiety, or excitement: Observe if the shivering occurs only during specific situations, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or exposure to unfamiliar people and places.

  • Pain or discomfort: Look for signs of limping, stiffness, or vocalizations, which can indicate your beagle is experiencing pain.

  • Other symptoms: Examine your beagle for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite. These may help determine the exact cause of the shivering and guide you in providing appropriate treatment.

When to Visit a Vet

It is crucial to know when to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan. Here are a few scenarios when you should consider contacting a vet:

  1. Persistent Shivering: If your beagle has been shivering for an extended period and you cannot identify a cause, it’s time to visit the vet.

  2. Health Deterioration: If your dog shows signs of rapid health decline, such as significant weight loss, weakness, or poor grooming, consult with a vet immediately.

  3. Emergency situations: Seek emergency vet care if your beagle is exhibiting symptoms like seizures, difficulty breathing, or unresponsiveness, as these can be critical health concerns.

  4. Lack of Improvement: If you’ve provided supportive care, such as keeping your beagle warm and comforting them during stressful events, but the shivering persists, consult your vet for further evaluation.

Management and Treatment Options

When treating a shivering beagle, it is essential to first identify the underlying cause of the shivering to provide the most effective treatment. Below are some common treatment options for the various possible causes:

  • Body Temperature: If your beagle is shivering due to being too cold, make sure to provide adequate warmth using blankets, a heating pad, or a dog sweater or jacket (see the picture below). You can also monitor your dog’s body temperature with a thermometer to ensure they are in a comfortable range.

  • Muscle Weakness and Joint Pain: If your beagle’s shivering is accompanied by muscle weakness or joint pain, consult your veterinarian for appropriate medications or supplements to alleviate these symptoms. They may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, joint supplements, or a customized diet to improve your dog’s condition.

  • Nervous System and Loss of Coordination: Conditions affecting the nervous system, such as stress or anxiety, can also cause shivering and loss of coordination in beagles. In this case, I would consider using anti-anxiety medications as prescribed by your veterinarian or investing in calming aids like pheromone diffusers, calming collars, or consulting with a professional trainer to address these behaviors.

  • Loss of Appetite: If your beagle is shivering and has a decreased appetite, this could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Schedule a visit with your veterinarian to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan. They may recommend dietary changes, nutritional supplements, or medications to address the issue.

cold beagle shivering
Dog jackets can be very helpful if you pup has a hard time keeping warm in the cold weather.

Manage Your Beagle's Shivering

Once you’ve identified the cause and have a treatment plan in place, consider the following measures to manage your beagle’s shivering:

  1. Regular Vet Checkups: Schedule routine veterinary visits to monitor your beagle’s health and progress.

  2. Proper Nutrition: Ensure your beagle is on a balanced, high-quality diet to maintain optimal health.

  3. Exercise: Regular exercise can help maintain muscle strength and flexibility and improve overall wellbeing.  As I always say, 30-60 minutes of exercise or playtime activity per day should be your minimum goal.

  4. Comfort Measures: Provide a comfortable and cozy environment for your beagle with soft bedding and warmth.

  5. Physical Therapy: Depending on the cause of your beagle’s shivering, physical therapy sessions with a professional may be beneficial.

With careful monitoring and management, it’s possible to minimize your beagle shivering and maintain their quality of life. Remember to consult your veterinarian for guidance and personalized recommendations on treating your beagle’s specific condition.

What's Next?

Beagles are prone to shivering for a variety of reasons related to their unique physiology and temperament. Their short coats and thin skin make them more susceptible to temperature changes both indoors and outdoors. 

Additionally, their friendly and sensitive nature can cause them stress in new environments until they feel comfortable. With patience and warmth, beagle owners can help their furry companions feel at ease. 

By understanding why beagles shiver, we owners can provide optimal care, comfort and companionship. With time, trust and TLC, even the shivery-est of beagles is sure to feel right at home.

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