Vomiting and Shaking in Dogs

Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 06/19/2017Updated: 09/13/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Why is my dog vomiting and shaking?

What is Vomiting and Shaking?

A dog who is vomiting and shaking at the same time may be suffering from a set of problems that are different from vomiting or shaking alone. It can be somewhat common for dogs to vomit bile occasionally, and they may regurgitate their food if they eat too fast or too much. It's also normal for a dog to shiver when they're cold.

However, if your dog simultaneously vomits and shakes (or shivers), you may be facing a more serious problem that requires medical intervention. Common causes of simultaneous vomiting and shaking in dogs include:

  • Emotional upset

  • Glucose imbalance

  • Poisoning

  • Metabolic disease

Vomiting and shaking together indicate an overall imbalance in your dog’s physical condition. If the cause is anxiety, fear, or excitement, the vomiting and shaking should subside within 30 to 60 minutes of the stimulus being removed.

Glucose imbalance may be a sign of a much more serious condition.

Poisoning and metabolic disease are very serious health disorders. Without immediate medical intervention, both conditions can be fatal.

Why Vomiting and Shaking Occurs in Dogs

Your dog may simultaneously vomit and shake from either an emotional or a physical disorder. Emotional disturbances typically don't last as long as symptoms caused by an underlying condition.

Emotional disturbance

Smaller dog breeds and puppies are most likely to respond to anxiety, fear, or excitement by vomiting and shaking. For example, a toy Poodle who's sensitive to the sounds of fireworks, skateboards, and other loud noises might respond by vomiting and shaking. 

Diabetes

Glucose imbalance can cause your dog to vomit and shake. When this occurs because the dog has gone too long without eating, adjusting the dog's feeding schedule may solve the problem.

However, vomiting and shaking may also be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a very dangerous complication from diabetes. Diabetes is more likely to occur in female dogs who are middle-aged and overweight, and especially in Schnauzers, Dachshunds, and Poodles.

Poisoning

Many foods that are safe for humans are poisonous for dogs. Chocolate, grapes, and raisins are common examples. Rat poison and snail bait are poisonous for anyone. Your dog may also ingest things you might not consider, such as poinsettia plants at the holiday season, petroleum products, or antifreeze that's leaked from a car. 

Metabolic Disease

Diseases of the organs can be acute or chronic. Acute organ disease might come on suddenly, but may be treatable.  Older dogs can develop more chronic forms of organ disease, and some signs can be managed. 

What to do if your Dog is Vomiting and Shaking

If your dog is vomiting and shaking because of an emotional upset, they'll need some time to calm down. Watch your dog carefully to see if their symptoms subside, continue, or even worsen. Check your dog's gums by pressing them gently with your finger. Unless there's a physical problem, their normal pink color should return within two seconds.

If any other symptoms are present, such as difficulty breathing, changes in the dog’s pulse, or loss of consciousness, there's likely something else wrong. If the vomiting and shaking don't subside within about half an hour or your dog experiences other symptoms, go to the vet immediately.

Diabetes is diagnosed through blood tests and urinalysis. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will discuss treatment and prescribe a home care routine, which will include daily insulin injections, regular blood glucose readings, a specific diet, and regular exercise.

If poisoning is suspected, your veterinarian may try to clear the dog’s stomach, depending on the timing. To get a more accurate treatment plan for a specific toxin, your vet may contact poison control.

Lab testing will likely be needed to determine metabolic disease, whether acute or chronic. Your dog will likely be hospitalized to receive fluid therapy and medications, and your veterinarian will advise you on what to expect.  

Prevention of Vomiting and Shaking

If you know that your dog responds to excitement, anxiety, or fear with vomiting and shaking, take care to minimize their exposure to situations that trigger these emotions. 

Diabetes is less likely to develop if you keep your dog at a healthy weight. Keep all toxins and poisons safely stored out of your dog's reach.

The causes of vomiting and shaking can be expensive to treat. To protect your dog and prevent high vet care costs, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

Cost of Vomiting and Shaking

The cost of treating vomiting and shaking depends on the cause. Your dog may be prescribed a drug for anxiety, but your vet may also recommend training methods to keep your dog calm in triggering situations. The cost of treating diabetes can range from $500 to $3,000. Treatment of poisoning varies between $150 to $1,500.  

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Vomiting and Shaking Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Labrador Retriever

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Eight Weeks

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11 found this helpful

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11 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Not Eating
She is not eating, shaking, and vomiting. She ate this morning but now nothing. She moving slowly too

Dec. 10, 2020

Answered by Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

11 Recommendations

I'm sorry she is so unwell. Vomiting can have many causes including toxin ingestion, an obstruction, parasites, an infection etc. Puppies need to eat 3 to 4 times a day or are at risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration. It sounds as though she is very unwell indeed so should go to a vet right away.

Dec. 10, 2020

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French Bulldog

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Three Weeks

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3 found this helpful

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3 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Throwing Up And Moving Uncontrollably
My puppy is just 3 weeks old and doesn’t seem to want to latch on to the moms nipples, he just threw up & was shaking uncontrollably like if he was having a seizure

Nov. 23, 2020

Answered by Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

3 Recommendations

This is very abnormal and the pup could have a congenital issue or low blood sugar from a failure to feed. They need to be seen by a vet immediately and may need bottle feeding going forward.

Nov. 23, 2020

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