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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

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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 will 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.

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. They are so enthusiastic that they can hardly breathe. 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 find 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 specialist time in diagnosing the cause. Your dog may need to have his stomach pumped to remove the poison, or they may require fluids to flush it out or charcoal to absorb it all. 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.

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. While most shaking is just over excitement leaving them gasping for breath, awareness that disease may be lurking can be managed with regular health checks. 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.

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.

Shaking When Breathing Inward Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Rebel
Bullmastiff
8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Shivering

My 8 year old Bullmastiff was recently diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. He is on various medications that seem to be controlling it very well. Twice this month he has begun to shiver when in haling breathe in his sleep, he sleeps very soundly. When I wake him, wrap him in a blanket, and cuddle him, it eventually stops. I don't hear any fluid when I listen to his chest. The two times it has happened he doesn't seem freaked out or and is no panting involved, he is very calm. Is this common is this situation? Of course it is the weekend and the vet is closed, I have left a message with the answering service.

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Lola
American Pit Bull Terrier
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Trembling
Lethargy
Vomiting

My dog Lola was in overnight doggy daycare for 7 days/nights. She was very tired as expected when we picked her up, but then we realized she was hoarse and could not bark fully. She has a small cough, but not constant. She vomited food and foamy clear liquid. Then vomited twice more just foamy clear liquid. She is trembling when inhaling and occasionally coughing like she is trying to get something up. She does not feel warm or to have a temp. All dogs at the facility she was at are required to be up to date on all shots, no exceptions. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
That does sound concerning. It isn't uncommon for dogs to be a little hoarse after being in a kennel, as many dogs bark more than normal while they are there. The vomiting , coughing, and trembling aren't normal after coming home from a kennel, however. I think it would be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian when they open to have an exam, see if anything is going on, and get treatment to stop the vomiting and settle her stomach. I hope that she is okay.

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Skipper
Bluetick Coonhound
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking

My three year old Bluekick Coonhound mix has been shaking(shivering) when he inhales,it started about two days ago. Sometimes he shakes pretty badly, but it calms down when I stroke his back and makes him relaxed. Currently we are in process of relocation from NY to WA, and he had to fly on airline's cargo and now we have been staying at a hotel until our new house becomes ready to move in. Is it anything to do with him feeling anxiety?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Skipper. I'm not able to examine him, but it sounds feom your email like he should be exained by a veterinarian. He may be having anxiety, but it would be a good idea to make sure that he isn't having any respiratory issues that need to be treated. You should be able to find a reputable clinic near you by talking to people in the area, or through an internet search. I hope that he does well, and that the rest of your move is uneventful.

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Ollie
Shorkie Tzu
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Shaking
Loss of Appetite

My dog ollie is 2 years old and in the last week or so he has began becoming lethargic, not wanting to eat, and just disinterested in things he usually likes to do like going outside and playing with toys. Ive also noticed today he is shivering/shaking when breathing in. i’m worried it may be heartworms because he does fit the symptoms for it but i’m not sure. There was a period of time when he was a puppy that he became lethargic as well but not like this.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
In a dog Ollie’s age, I would be more concerned that the shaking may be an indicator of pain or some underlying internal condition; the symptoms are not very specific towards any condition so without examining Ollie I cannot narrow in on a possible cause but would recommend visiting your Veterinarian for an examination to determine a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Today my dog walked over to the front door and let out all his urine. He did this twice. We took him out right after and he went poop normally and it was not runny or bloody. He is very tired and feels warm to the touch and also is shaking a little. I don't have money to take him to the vet until Friday im terrified. Any idea what is wrong with him? He is 1 year old this week and is a jack russel and pit mix who is neutered and has all his shots except heart worm.

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AXEL
Lab mix
18 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Recent surgery concern
Recent surgery breathing/shaking
Recent surgery

Medication Used

NSAID

Our 18 week old puppy was neutered today. He was shaking when we picked him up. I was informed that this is a normal reaction to anesthesia. As I watch him now, I see that he is shaking as he takes a breath in. Almost seems like it is difficult to take neath in. He sounds ‘congested’ -I hear and feel a rumbling in his chest/lungs?! Is this a normal occurrence/reaction after this type of surgery? How long should it last?
The dr’s office is closed over the weekend and I want to be sure if this is of concern or if f/u over the weekend may be necessary? The d/c instructions were minimal... Thank you for your time!! He was given anesthesia and pain meds today. Sent home with NSAIDS to start tomorrow.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Sometimes dogs will shake when waking up from anesthesia, and that isn't completely out of the ordinary. If you can hear a fluid sound in his lungs when he breathes, it would be a good idea to have him checked out just to make sure that he is okay, as abnormal things do happen, and I cannot see him to make sure that everything is okay with him. If you call your veterinary clinic, they should have an after hours number that you can call to have him seen if they are closed. I hope that all goes well for Axel.

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Chevy
Jack Russell Terrier Pitbull
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking
Fever
Incontinence
Lethargic

My dog is shaking, feels like he has a slight fever, lethargic,and owed on the floor twice in a row without warning. Any ideas what's wrong with him? He went poop outside as normal and nothing seemed off about it. He is up to date on shots and dewormimg.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Without seeing Chevy, I'm not able to comment on what might be going on with him, but it seems that he should be seen by a veterinarian to see what is happening, as they can examine him and recommend any treatments that he might need. I hope that he is okay!

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Maggie
Lab cross border collie
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Shivering shaking

My dog shakes/shivers, it seems when breathing in. She is laying on me so I can feel the shivering as well as see it. It’s happened before, and my partner said she was doing it last night. She is otherwise acting pretty normal. She responds normally, her gums are pink, she’s eating and playing/running normally today. What could the shaking be?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Dogs will shiver when they are cold, scared, nervous, or sick. Without seeing Maggie, I'm not sure what the cause of this might be for her. If it continues or she is not acting normally at any point, it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian.

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Joe brown
Dashound and pompec mix
19 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Hi, my dog joe brown is very old old and is about 19 in dog years. Whenever he breathes in he shakes (shivers) but once he breathes out it stops. I could just imagine how uncomfortable that must be. While breathing in his head also tenses and shakes as well and as a result he lifts it up everyime he breathes in so it does not keep hitting the ground when he is shaking. Although, when I stroke his head the shaking does not stop but he does not life his head. He mostly shakes when lying down or sleeping Any idea on what it is? how I could help? Should I Ask our vet for meds for him? Please let me know 👍🏽Thank you -GG

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Joe Brown, I can't say what might be going on, but your veterinarian might be able to offer him some help. He is an old guy, and he may be suffering from an infection, an aging condition, or a tumor. Either way, an exam with his veterinarian might shed light on something that might help. I wish him all the best.

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Stella
German Shorthaired Pointer
1 Day
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Tired
Shaking

My dog is shaking when she is breathing in while laying down in a calm state. She seems tired but is eating and drinking normally and bowl movements are regular. The shaking has gone on for 3 hours now, we have her cuddled up to us with a blanket. But the shaking isn’t subsiding

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Stella, I'm not sure what is going on with her, but common reasons for tremors include cold, fear, anxiety, or pain. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they will be able to examine her, determine what the cause might be, and give her any treatment that she might need.

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Tank
Mix
7 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking

Okay so I noticed this morning that my dog will shake a little when he's sleeping . I'm worried because this just started today and idk what to do . Help me please .

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Without seeing Tank, I'm not sure if he is having a problem, or a temporary normal situation. If Tank is doing well otherwise and this is a short term thing that resolves, you may not need to be concerned. If the problem continues, or he seems to be having problems breathing or becomes lethargic, he should be seen by his veterinarian.

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porscha
Shih Tzu
2 years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My dog is shivering while she inhales, also i have noticed her lack of wanting to play and lack of appetite.


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Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
There are various causes for a dog to shake when inhaling but most commonly it is associated with pain which may be due to a foreign body, poisoning, abdominal pain among other causes; if you are noticing this symptom in Porscha, you should visit your Veterinarian immediately for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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django
Beagle
24 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking

my two year old jack russel x beagle has started to shake while sleeping and in a relaxed state when we come home he is not as exited as usual and then shakes for a bit we also saw he's right eye is droopy

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
There are many things that can cause general lethargy and tremors. It would be best to have Django examined by a veterinarian, as they can see him, determine what might be going on, and recommend any testing or treatment that he may need.

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