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What is Yelping and Shaking?

It can be scary and a little frustrating when your dog starts yelping and shaking. If you are not sure what is causing the yelping and shaking, trying to figure out what is wrong can be extremely frustrating. When your dog exhibits this type of behavior, you need to stop what you are doing and immediately assess the situation. Examine your dog for any wounds or injuries. Also, take note of any environmental factors that may have caused your dog to react with yelping and shaking. 

If there was an environmental factor, such as a loud noise or a severe storm, that caused your dog to begin yelping or shaking, monitor your dog to make sure that they stop their behavior once their environment returns back to normal. This reaction to a storm or loud noise can be normal for some dogs that are naturally more nervous or high strung. Should the behavior not change after a time, you will want to consult your veterinarian to determine what is causing your dog to yelp and shake. 

Some things that can cause your dog to be yelping and shaking include:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Poisoning
  • Fear or trauma
  • Joint or muscle problems

Why Yelping and Shaking Occurs in Dogs

It is not normal for your dog to be yelping and shaking. When you notice this behavior, you need to examine your dog and determine if it was fear that caused the behavior or if it was a medical condition that needs to be assessed by your veterinarian. 

Pain

Pain can cause your dog to yelp and shake. Your dog may be feeling pain in any part of their body but generalized pain in their neck or abdomen is especially frightening for your dog. Dogs that have been babied and are softer in nature will be more apt to yelp and shake when they are feeling pain.

Anxiety

Dogs that are naturally softer in temperament will be more prone to anxiety issues including yelping and shaking when they feel anxious. Many times anxiety will stem from some type of environmental factor. When your dog’s environment returns back to normal the anxiety will lessen. 

Poisoning

Dogs that are suffering from poisoning can yelp and shake because they are scared and feeling extremely sick. If you suspect your dog has ingested poison of any kind, you need to immediately contact your veterinarian for an emergency visit. Common toxins that dogs get into include chocolate, xylitol and nicotine. 

Fear or Trauma

Many people assume that anxiety and fear are the same thing, however, a dog can be anxious without being actually fearful. Fear can stem from a past trauma or experience that has stayed with them and they will begin yelping and shaking when they are confronted with something that triggers the memory of their past trauma or experience.

Joint or Muscle Problems

Joint and muscle problems are painful. These conditions, such as arthritis, degenerative myelopathy or degenerative joint disease will cause your dog to yelp or shake when they move or attempt to get up. Your veterinarian will work with you to set up a pain management plan for your dog.

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What to do if your Dog is Yelping and Shaking

When your dog begins yelping and shaking, you need to stop and assess the situation. If you feel your dog is in need of medical attention, contact your veterinarian immediately for an appointment. If you feel that your dog is suffering from fear or anxiety, try to calm your dog without feeding into their fear or anxiety. Your veterinarian may be able to suggest things to try to keep your dog calm.

When you take your dog in to see your veterinarian, they will do a full assessment to figure out what is causing your dog to yelp and shake. Several diagnostic tests will probably be needed if the cause is not immediately found. Once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will come up with a treatment plan for your dog. 

Medications may be required as well as other therapies and/or surgery depending on the cause of your dog’s yelping and shaking. Long-term pain management plans may be necessary to alleviate your dog’s pain and suffering from joint or muscle problems.

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Prevention of Yelping and Shaking

Preventing your dog from yelping and shaking may not be possible if they are naturally anxious or fearful. Reassuring them that all is well with their world will be important as well as adding natural supplements or anxiety medications that will help them be calm.

Regular visits to see your veterinarian is important to catch any changes in your dog’s health. Joint and muscle problems can sometimes be diagnosed early and a treatment plan set in place to give them a more pain-free life for a longer period of time.

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Cost of Yelping and Shaking

The cost to treat a medical condition can vary greatly depending on the diagnosis and your location. Diagnostic testing can be expensive and can range from $200 to $2000. Pain management plans can cost around $1600.

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Yelping and Shaking Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Chihuahua

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Yelp When Lifted

He is not active and walks slow instead of being excited for anything. He is not even barking. When he jumps off the bed he whimpers. And when I pick him up he yelps.

Sept. 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question, I'm sorry that he is not feeling well. It is hard to tell without being able to examine him, but from your description, it sounds like he has pain. It may be back pain or neck pain, or he may have some abdominal pain. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can examine him and see what might be going on. Once they know more, they can let you know what sort of treatment he needs to feel better. I hope that all goes well for him and he is back to himself soon.

Sept. 13, 2020

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Dachshund

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Yelp When Lifted

My dog yelps when picked up, running. If she is laying down in bed with us and we move she yelps. She's still walking and jumping on surfaces though

Sept. 8, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Without seeing your dog, it is hard to say what might be going on, but dachshunds are very prone to disc disease and back problems. From your description, that would be the first thing that I would think of. For that, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian before it starts to get worse, as she may need some anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant medications. They will be able to examine her, see what might be going on and if that is what is happening, and get her treatment if needed. I hope that everything goes well for her.

Sept. 8, 2020

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Yorkie

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Pain When Lifted

she was in pain last night, yelping basically after i lifted her.

July 31, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If she is still painful, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to examine her and see what might be wrong, and get treatment for her. I hope that she is okay.

Aug. 1, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Six Months

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Shaking Whinning

Shaking whinning acting like something hurts

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say whether your puppy is in pain or not feeling well without being able to see him/her, unfortunately. If your pup is continuing to whine and shake, it would be a good idea to have a veterinarian examine your pup, as they can see what might be going on, and let you know what treatment might be needed. I hope your puppy is feeling better soon.

July 25, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Five Years

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Yelp When Lifted

My dog Olive recently just began to act periodically tired and sort of sad. She also has been hiding alot and wouldn't want to be around people. I tried even attempting to get her to come out with her favorite treats and she almost ignored it the majority of the time very uninterested in them. She was also not wanting to really walk or get onto my bed which is a fair amount off the ground so I think it's something with her leg. When I attempted to pick her up she started yelping and baring her teeth at me the whole time. Any help would be appreciated just want to make her happy again.

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I think it would probably be best to have Olive seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dogs can have neck pain, back pain, or hip or joint pain, and she may need help or medication to help her feel better again. They will be able to examine her, localize the source of the pain, and get her medications that are safe for her so that she feels good again. I hope that all goes well with her.

July 22, 2020

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Beauty

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Dachshund

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9 Years

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Critical severity

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Yelping

my dog jumped off the jumped off the couch and landed perfectly fine then she fell over and started yelping. whenever i move her left leg a lot she starts to yelp and whine again i then layed her down on my couch and applied an ice pack for at least 15 mins. She's been in the same position for over an hour and i don't know what to do she's never been sick or injured in her whole life. her breed is dashund and she's around 9-10 years old plsssss answerrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

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Crumble

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Parson Russell Terrier

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Shaking
Yelping
Unhappy

my jack russel/parsons terrier is a usually very happy dog and in the last few days she has been very shakey unhappy and yelping and jumping up at any sudden movements she has been very clingy and always at my side and cuddling up to me more than usual she is eating and drinking as normal but i don’t know why has came over her at first i thought she had been naughty because she bowing her head but she hadn’t so then when she was yelling and shaking i assumes she had hurt herself but i examined her as best as possible and there’s was no signs of and pain or injury. she doesn’t tell when she moves earlier she was lay at the end of my bed and i extended my leg towards her but it didn’t touch her and she yelled like she was really hurt as ran away anyone with any information please her very worried

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Barry

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

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Screaming While Lifting Up His Leg

My dog from nowhere starting screaming and running really fast around the yard with this continues screams. It was so scary and we settled him down and he was so shaky. we couldn't find anything in the area that would have bitten him, and we were unable to see even a mark on him. We checked him out all over. We kept him calm all night and due to worry the next day I drove to town to the vet. When the vert seen him he was honestly acting all normal which well I couldn't explain. I tried explaining to the vet what had happened and that every now and then getting around he would again yelp, so I know that something was upsetting him. The vet simply said it could have been just a jumping ant and to keep him still for the next few days. He is still taking it easy and just resting but I would really like to know what had happened becuase if was so horrible for him and us.

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Oscar

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Dachshund

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking
Limping
Whining

My family dog has been whining and shaking for a few days now. One minute he's fine and the next he's not. I'm so worried about him. I don't have the money for a vet myself and I'm not the primary caregiver of him. Should I push my parents to take him asap? He's old so it might just be arthritis, but breaks my heart to see this. He crawls into my lap and whines and even though he's hurting he still tries giving me puppy kisses

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Cookie Crisp

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Chihuahua

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking
Yelp When Lifted
Pain When Lifted

My dog started yelping when I told her to go bye-bye once we got in the car she started yelping when we got back home she started shaking and every time I picked her up or put her down I accidentally hurt her