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shaking dog

by Marilyn

Is my "Baby" who is 9 the only neurotic dog on this web site? She shakes when she has to get groomed.....if her pony tail comes out......if she's dirty...when she goes in the car....the list goes on and on! Come to think of it, this started when she was going to the groomer once aweek. Probably at a year old. Now I have someone coming inside our home every 2 weeks to do her so she wouldn't be upset at a strange place or in a cage all day waiting to be groomed.(don't you hate that??!, they tell you to bring them in the morning and then they don't get to them until the late afternoon!) Well, back to the shaking.....she sometimes shakes for no apparent reason. The vet says she the nervous type. Are any of yours?


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Marilyn,The shaking you describe sounds like plain fear. However, there is an actual Shaking Dog Syndrome which can happen to Maltese dogs. In the case of my little Baby it was a very severe tremor of her entire body which came out of the blue for no apparent reason. It was better when she was sleeping but severe when awake and worse when excited. I learned it is a disease of the cerebellum and is very treatable. Many veterinarians apparrently have not seen much of this disease, and are not familiar with it. Often they examine and check everything under the sun and still not recognize the actual problem. I sincerely hope your little one does not have this and simply needs to be reassured to not be afraid of grooming. However if the shaking is constant and for no apparent reason, you might want to ask your vet about this.
-Cathy W.

My Shelby shakes fairly often too, particularly if anyone but me holds her. If she is a nervous dog, the only way you'd know it is from her shaking. Other then that, she's quite laid back and docile. She does shake when I hand her to the groomer, but it doesn't seem to impede his ability to grooom her (he also talks to her a lot and I think that helps). I've pretty much accepted it as part of her personality, but am also curious if this is common for Maltese.

Dear Marilyn- My dog-Zachary has a little bit of a shaking problem too. Thunder storms are the worst. Unfortunately I think I may have inadvertly encouraged the behavior by responding to it in an overly emotional way. i.e. "Ohhhh Zacky poo;come here to mommy, my poor little baby. Ohhh Zachary what's wrong? (high pitched-a little whiney, definately way too protective)come here, ohhh my poor baby are you afraid of the thunder? Isn't that cute..." etc... So Marilyn, I'm not sure what your response is to your Maltese when she/he shakes and shivers- but if it's anything like mine, you might consider reacting in a calmer more confident manner. i.e. "Hey-Zack you're ok. Lay down boy, you're ok" (voice:flat and confident in your dogs ability to wheather this storm, Ha ha! Good luck!_ Kathleen

Mine will shake when she is just a little bit afraid of something. She hates the hairblower and will do it then. I have to resort to using a very warm towel from the dryer and let her snuggle in it for a while. Other than that, it would be the cold. She is only 4.2 lbs and doesn't have too much weight on her. Could it be that she just needs more reassurence than others? I hope others will lend a hand at your request.

My little maltese was a very alert and fiesty little dog. She only shook when we entered the vets office, during thunder storms,and at the groomers. I finally had the groomer come to the house in her van, that solved her shaking with the groomer, but until she died she always shook at the vets, and during thunder storms. She always slept with me and during a storm I would keep her real close to me under the sheet BUT she still shook, so I really don't know the answer.

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