Shaking When Breathing Inward in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog shaking when breathing inward?

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Why is my dog shaking when breathing inward?

What is Shaking When Breathing Inward?

Your dog may shake for any number of reasons, such as shaking off water after a bath, while other reasons are not so obvious. Shaking while breathing inward can be caused by excitement, or fear, and even for the simple reason that they are cold. Pain and poisoning can also induce shaking and uneven breathing, which needs veterinary assistance rapidly. Certain breeds such as the pug dog may have problems breathing because of their short pushed in facial features, causing them anxiety and shaking. While shaking when breathing inward may be harmless, don’t ignore it as it could be a sign of underlying disease.

  • Excitement and hyperactivity 
  • Fear and stress 
  • Pain 
  • Poisoning 
  • Disease of the kidneys, Addison’s disease, and inflammatory brain disorders

Why Shaking When Breathing Inward Occurs in Dogs

Excitement and Hyperactivity 

As a dog owner, you will be aware of the excitement levels that hit your dog when you start playing a game at home or go on a trip. Dogs live for the moment, give one hundred percent effort, and are starters for almost any adventure. Sometimes they can get over-keen and shake, breathe heavily, and almost pass out from their elevated sense of excitement. 

Fear and Stress  

It is sad to see a dog trembling with fear or anxiety. Anything can trigger an anxiety attack: even riding in the car, going to visit the veterinary clinic, other dogs that are bolder than they are, and being left with people they don’t know. Your pet can shake, and his breathing pattern can change because of shallow breathing and not getting enough air in its system.   

Pain 

Your dog may be feeling poorly or be in pain which can cause some shaking while breathing inward due to a fever or nausea. Some illnesses associated with shaking are distemper, kidney disease, and others.

Poisoning 

Dogs have a notorious reputation for getting into things they shouldn’t and often test new things with their mouth. From chewing on rat poison, chocolate or plants that are poisonous, to ingesting pills that they may find, to sampling chemicals, your dog might give it a go. And even if they have been poisoned before, they don’t learn from their mistakes so it is up to owners to lock everything away or deny access to things that may harm them. 

Disease 

As certain diseases develop, symptoms like shaking when breathing in can manifest. Chronic kidney disease, Addison’s disease (known as canine hypoadrenocorticism- this is a reduction in corticosteroid secretions from the adrenal glands which causes a lowering in day to day functioning of your dog), and distemper all have shaking and tremors as a symptom. And while not a disease, old age can bring with it the shakes as disorders can cause shaking and tremors.

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What to do if your Dog is Shaking When Breathing Inward

Often it can be just excitement that causes your dog to shake while it breathes in. Your dog can get so excited to play a game, chase a ball, or go for a ride. Try to calm your dog down a bit with your own calm behavior and a gentle voice. Sometimes dogs can become hyperactive due to people working them up and over-exciting them. 

 If your dog shakes but settles down the moment you give him a cuddle and attention, it may be anxiety.  Strangers in the house, or missing you can all cause the shakes. If something is stressing your dog help them to get through it. Introduce them calmly to other people while reassuring them. If you have to go out, ensure they have toys to play with and maybe some music on to calm them. It is all about reassurance. 

If you think that your dog is in pain, which is causing the shaking and the changed breathing, it is advisable to take your dog to the veterinarian for a check over. Medications may be administered allowing your dog relief from the pain and the chance to recover. If disease causes pain, then the sooner the condition is diagnosed and treated the better. Addison’s disease can be treated through the administration of cortisol type drugs which will regulate the hormone levels, and medications can be given for heart problems and to regulate mineral balance within your dog.

Poisoning needs immediate attention as some poisons can be extremely fast working. If you know what your dog has been eating it will save your veterinarian time in diagnosing the cause.  Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your dog.

And finally – it just may be that your dog is cold. Some fine hair coat dogs can suffer as the weather changes, or as they age. A dog jumper or coat will help your dog warm up, and an extra blanket on the bed will make life more pleasant.

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Prevention of Shaking When Breathing Inward

Training can often alleviate anxiety and improve your dog's confidence. Providing reassurance and special time together can also help, especially if you are away from your dog during the day. An owner needs to be observant and notice if your dog is feeling cold, or is a bit under the weather, and must take action to remedy any suffering your dog is experiencing.  For those dogs that always must chew on everything, or poke their noses where they shouldn’t, think ahead and clear anything that they may be able to investigate. All chemicals, small parts of toys, and medications need to be well out of reach. Dogs are every bit as curious as a cat, so we have to protect them from themselves.

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Cost of Shaking When Breathing Inward

If the shaking is a happy reaction or perhaps anxiety, where retraining can help, the costs for treatment may just be your time. But an average cost for a condition causing shaking in your dog can range from $350 for Addison’s disease to $4000 for kidney problems.

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Worried about the cost of why-is-my-dog-shaking-when-breathing-inward treatment?

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Shaking When Breathing Inward Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pit Bull

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One Year

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16 found helpful

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16 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

Yesterday she whimpered on and off all day. No energy. This morning she is the same. While sleeping her body is shivering when she inhales

March 10, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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16 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. Her symptoms of lethargy and shaking could have many causes including an infection, source of pain, nausea etc. If she is in season, she may also be feeling out of sorts due to the hormonal changes. A vet visit is best so she can be examined. We would also want to ensure she doesn't have a fever. Hopefully this check provides an answer and we can provide the most appropriate treatment which may be e.g pain relief or antibiotics.

March 10, 2021

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Pit Bull

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Six Years

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7 found helpful

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7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Shaking

For the past few days my dog King has been vomiting up either a yellow fluid or white foamy fluid and now when he is laying down at certain times he starts to shake uncontrollably while breathing sometimes it goes on for a little bit then goes away and sometimes it goes on for a while while he’s laying down, he’s still eating and drinking just eats then lay down most of the day and that’s not his normal behavior I didn’t see him eat anything unusual or anything like that. Could you help me figure out what is going on with him and how much do you think the cost will be?

Jan. 2, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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7 Recommendations

Hello this could be gastroenteritis causing this. Your vet can make you an estimate after examining him to give you and idea in cost as it can very a lot depending on where you live. You can give boiled chicken and rice at home to help settle his stomach.

Jan. 2, 2021

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