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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

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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

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Yorkie

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

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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0 Recommendations

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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Unknown severity

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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 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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Unknown severity

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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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Dachshund

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Ten Years

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Yelp When Lifted

my dog is yelping when touching my his back legs and shaking. What could be wrong?

July 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello I'm sorry that your pup is not feeling well. It sounds like he may have either back or hip pain. He could have arthritis or intervertebral disc disease. I recommend that you take your pet to the veterinarian for an exam. They may want to give pain medication and perform x-rays of his hips and spine. Good luck.

July 21, 2020

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Chihuahua

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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Yelping

I have a senior dog and she as of recently has been randomly lightly shaking Her head and yelping.

July 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Those signs are commonly seen when dogs have ear infections, or other problems in their ear canals. Because the anatomy and the bacteria found in ear infections in dogs are different than in people, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can see what might be causing the problem and get treatment for her. I hope she feels better soon!

July 21, 2020

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Patsy

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Blue pit mix white english

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking
Yelping
Walking As If Sore,
Just Ended Here Heat Cycle,
Tail Tucked In

I live in Florida and only one thing truamatically happened recently being hurricane Michael. However it has been months sense the storm and suddenly my healthy intact female dog begins yelping and shaking all over. She had a month long heat, month of January and she is winding down.( The swelling in her privates going down) however through out her heat she was yelping and shaking as if in pain? Tail tucked between her legs and her heat ending she is still doing so. We wormed them recently, and I have witnessed here moving without yelping but other times she does? I don't have a vet I can afford financially but I love my patsy very much

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Mo

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Pomeranian

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Yelp
No Energy
Spacing Out

My dog has been acting weird for the past week or so. He keeps looking like hes spacing out and/or tired and just has no energy to do anything. He will also yelp at random times as well. We took him to the emergency vet and they did an xray and bloodwork and everything came back fine, but were still a bit concerned.

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Jaydon

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Dachshund

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Yelp When Lifted

about two days ago my 1 1/2 year old mini dachshund started yelping when I pick him up or accidentally step to close to him. This started after I gave him a bath ( which he doesn't necessarily like but does not fight) and dried him off. he seemed fine that night but the next day he began his yelping. he was left alone for a few hours at home and when I returned he seemed fine. no visual wounds. still wanted to play. later that night I apparently stepped to close to his face as he yelped as if I stepped on him. I also quit letting him on my bed as I know dachshunds are prone to back issues and has been very used to climbing in the bed with me every night. I've had him since he was 4 months old. not sure what's going on.

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Pierre

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Frenchy

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Trembling, Salivation, Yelping

Hi, friends! Pierre, my frenchy terrier mix, has recently started trembling relentlessly and will yelp/scream if we touch him while having one of these episodes. When we recoil, he slowly crawls toward us to be comforted. The vets can find nothing causing pain but something odd is that he salavates a ton when he has these episodes. I’m worried he’s swollowing a ton of air because he becomes nauseous, he dry heaves and gets really worked up. Something to take into consideration is that he is a very emotional/sensitive dog. He is extremely active and very well socialized. The last couple of times this has happened, he has been left alone for 3-4 hours (which is a very rare occurance although, it has never been a problem in the past).

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Mojo

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Yorkshire Terrier

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Yelping When Pooping

My dog yelps when pooping. He is a Yorkshire terrier and 4 years old. In July he started yelping when pooping and he does it every time. He now dog struggles to poop. He has had an X-Ray, Ultrasound scan and a CT Scan. They can’t find anything wrong. I have no idea what to do. Other then have him put down.

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