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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18817
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Dog is wobbly and his head is going back and forth. Laying

Resolved Question:

Dog is wobbly and his head is going back and forth. Laying down and getting up, shaking. Could this be internal? Or is it definitely caused from something he ate?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

Hi Gunther,


In most cases of poisoning you see vomiting and diarrhea. Shaking or trembling in small breeds can be due to hypoglycemia, liver shunt, or a neurologic response such as a seizure. Trembling can also be a sign of pain, stress and cold.


Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and frequently causing trembling in small breeds. Feeding your dog smaller meals more frequently can help. If you suspect your dog is having low blood sugar you can put a drop of pancake syrup on your dog's tongue which should raise the level.


A liver shunt is usually a genetic condition. It is a condition where instead of the blood going through the liver and being cleansed, part of the blood is diverted around the liver resulting in a toxic buildup in the blood. You can read about these here:


Seizures can manifest as trembling and a dog may not lose conscienceness. You can read more about seizures here:


There is a condition called vestibular disease. Symptoms include standing with legs spread out, swaying, head tilt, abnormal eye movement, walking sideways, falling over and may include vomiting. There are a few things that can cause this condition such as an ear infection, some medications and old age. Have your Vet check your dog for this condition.

Here are some great sites on this condition:


The good news is that if this is the problem and it is due to old age, the condition normally resolves itself over a few weeks. Your vet will most likely prescribe dramamine or bonine to help with the symptoms. You can read about dramamine and bonine usage, precautions and dosage here:


Your dog may have injured his back or have a problem with an invertebral disc. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:


At this point it would be difficult to give you a definite cause as there are quite a few possibilities, but perhaps the sites I have given you can help you eliminate some of these possibilities or allow you to discuss the possibilities with your vet. Since your dog seems like they might be in pain, I would be inclined to see if you can have him seen.


Hope this helps.

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