First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

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

Book First Walk Free!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yelping and Shaking Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Missy
Chihuahua
2 Days
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Yelping, shaking, hunched rear

My Chihuahua is 2 years old and when I got home from work on Wednesday she was all of a sudden walking around with he rear hunched alittle and anytime you touch her she yelps and is constantly shaking. She has no signs of wounds. No limping. She can jump up on the furniture fine. Nothing has changed around the home or food. But she acts like she is in some sort of pain but I cannot figure out where or why.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
265 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Missy, I can't determine where she might be painful, or if she is painful, but from your description she does sound like something is wrong. It would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine her, determine what might be wrong, and get treatment for her so that she is more comfortable. I hope that she is okay.

Add a comment to Missy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Honey
Chihuahua Papillion
11 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Whimpering shaking

My dog suddenly started shaking and whimpering when I touch her. It does not matter where she's touched. She yelped when I picked her up. She's also tucking her backside in and sort of hunching over while sitting upright. She's definitely in pain. Any suggestions?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
265 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Honey should be seen by her veteirnarian for an examination and pain medication if she needs it - human pain medications can be quite toxic to dogs, and your veterinarian will be able to localize the source of the pain, or anything else that might be causing her signs, and get her some relief. I hope that she is okay.

Add a comment to Honey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Oscar
Dachshund mix
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Yelping
Shaking

My 11yr old Dachshund began yelping and crying out a few days ago. First time this has happened so I’m a bit freaked. He seems to favor his front left leg and limps a bit. When I try to look him over, I can’t find anything. I can move his leg and apply pressure without any yelping. He’s tense and shaky and I’m not sure if I need to take him to the vet or just give him aspirin and rest. Thanks!

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
You could try giving Oscar a bit of rest over the weekend to see if there is any improvement, but if he is having episodes of yelping and shaking I doubt aspirin would be strong enough to control this; rest is best and don’t allow him to run or jump around. I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian on Monday morning for check over and some pain relief as required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Oscar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Tiny
Chweenie
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Yelping

My little dog has recently been yelping at everything. She’s not in pain. If you walk towards her she runs away, if you pick her up she yelps and shakes a little, if we are trying to get her to go outside she hides and if we get behind her to try to get her to go she yelps and runs outside. After her little Yelp of picking her up she starts wagging her tail and let’s you hold her. Nothing has changed in her diet, home, or anything else. She doesn’t lay in the same room as us anymore either.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
265 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining her, it is hard for me to determine if she is painful or if she is nervous. It would be a good idea to have her examined by your veterinarian to make sure that she doesn't have joint pain, or mouth pain, that is causing her to cry, If she is given a clean bill of health, she may benefit from some training to build her confidence. An unconfident dog will run and act scared even if they want to be with you, and training classes can make her more confident so that she is able to behave more normally. I hope that she is okay.

Add a comment to Tiny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Lexi
Maltipoo
6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Been to the Vet twice in the past 10 days. Bloodwork and x-rays are all perfect. She pants very hard and shakes uncontrollably. When I pick her up and walk with her, all symptoms are gone.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
If your Veterinarian has been unable to find any cause as well as x-rays and blood work coming back normal, I would think that she just wants to be held if she stops all symptoms when you pick her up; this may be due to fear or separation but there may not be a medical issue here just a behavioural one. I would look into speaking with a Behaviourist in this instance as I feel they may be able to guide you about this if all medical examinations and testing came back normal. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Lexi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Boltz
Staffie Bull
4 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My staffy chewed an ingested a plastic bottle took him to vets an all was well except he wouldn’t poop 3 days later an long walks he pooped but he still shaking an yelps when gets up to greet me an even when just laying

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
Pieces of plastic show up on x-ray but are very difficult to see, I would recommend having an x-ray done to determine whether there was a shard causing pain whilst passing through; there is little else to say in these situations other than determine what is there and remove it is appropriate. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Boltz's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Mable
Pug/English bulldog
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Yelping and shaking

My dog is screaming and shaking every time I apply pressure to its fronts legs top joint, it goes crazy, it also hasn't tried to jump on us or on the bed which is a normal thing for her but we can't seem to find out what's wrong with her. Its as if her joint was sprained I that's possible

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
Joint sprains are common injuries in dogs and if there are changes in activity it is a tell tale sign that there is some type of injury; without examining Mable, I cannot say what the specific cause is but keep her rested and look for improvement. However, you should have your Veterinarian check her out determine the specific cause and to get for her some pain relief. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Mable's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Chesney
Dachshund
12 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My dachshund that I rescued from a shelter about 9 years ago started yelping and trembling a few years back. It comes out of the blue and being a retired VET TECH I check him out thoroughly. I don't find any wounds, he does not yelp in pain when I do this. He will not eat anything and he hides somewhere quiet in the house. I bring him to bed where he continues to tremble. Usually next day he will be back to normal. I've been told it could be an upset stomach but this really concerns me. I am on a fixed income now and cannot afford such high costs and do not want to put him down since this happens once in a blue moon. Please help! I'm scared...

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
Sudden pain and trembling may be caused by a few different causes, stomach pain I am a little dubious of but spinal pain is something which is possible; Dachshunds are known for their bad backs and some vertebral instability would show up out of the blue, it would cause severe pain and possibly shaking, as well as popping back if rested long enough in some cases. I believe that is most likely the cause, but without an examination and x-ray I cannot say for sure. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Chesney's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Logan
Chihuaha Jack Russell
12 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Yelp When Lifted

Yelps randomly when petted without visible injury. Stands with slight trembling sometimes for long periods before laying down. Recovers within a couple of hours and behaves normally

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes for the symptoms you are describing, especially in an aging dog; spinal issues (like intervertebral disk disease) are most common and would need to be seen by your Veterinarian to confirm or rule out certain conditions. A thorough examination is needed and x-rays may be useful too; without examining Logan, I cannot really say what the specific cause is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My chihuahua is almost doing the exact same thing except she is comforted when i pet her. she threw up sat 11/15/17.

Add a comment to Logan's experience

Was this experience helpful?