Ever notice your dog start to shake without reason? I’m referencing a shake that isn’t occurring out of fear, anxiety, or distress. This kind of shaking is strictly an uncontrollable one that begins and ends randomly, and doesn’t seem to cause any discomfort or irritation. Often in the hind legs, Shaky Leg Syndrome, as I like to call it, can be an indicator of any number of things.
Ever notice your dog start to shake without reason? I’m referencing a shake that isn’t occurring out of fear, anxiety, or distress. This kind of shaking is strictly an uncontrollable one that begins and ends randomly and doesn’t seem to cause any discomfort or irritation. Often in the hind legs, Shaky Leg Syndrome, as I like to call it, can be an indicator of any number of things.
As several veterinarians have suggested in paper upon paper, these tremors tend to be indicators of something else going on, a root cause yet to be discovered. According to multiple sources, shaky legs can be indicative of kidney disease, dehydration (perhaps related to kidney disease), trauma, toxicity, a side effect of a medication, hypoglycemia, inflammation, or even a nervous system disease. Basically a shaky leg could mean just about anything.
After going through a process of elimination (i.e., a blood panel and overall exam) often times these shaky legs are left classified as “idiopathic.” Meaning there is no beginning or end, no explanation behind why the shakes are happening. This is usually where chiropractic or a number of other alternatives will come in.
Being a protector of the nervous system, when I see a shaky leg, my first thought is neurological. Either something is impinging the spinal cord, nerve roots, or nerve itself, causing the consistent shaking, or perhaps there is some misfiring between the brain and body connection leading to the shakes. Regardless of what the official cause may be, both avenues are certainly right up an animal chiropractor’s alley. When a structural shift takes place within the spine, it will put abnormal pressure on an area of the nervous system, causing a calculated misfire of messages between the brain and the body. This impingement can increase or decrease nerve responses.
What I have found to be the case is that animals with an increase in their nervous system response tend to be the ones getting brought in for examination. An animal with a decreased response is not as easily noticed, and thus we see less of it in our practice. A shaky leg is basically a misfire in the nervous system, or an over firing of the nerves.
If an animal has significant arthritis, disc disease, or even a mild structural shifting occurring, a shaky leg can be a symptom. For instance, a dog with arthritis may have so much excess bone formation going on that an osteophyte (or spur) could actually be interfering with the nerve and nerve root. This solid object may end up putting near constant pressure on the nerve causing it to respond with the shakes. When this pressure is relieved the shakiness will begin to resolve. I understand that arthritis already present in the body is not going anywhere; however, prevention of future arthritis through stabilization of the spine and restoration of normal weight bearing structure is just as important in aiding the shaky leg suffering dog.
All things considered, the root cause of a shaky leg could be as simple as a structural shift that has taken place within the body. When that shift is restored through chiropractic adjustments, the shakiness will subside and your pup could be back to normal in no time.
I realize that this is not always the case, and often times these animals are suffering from a different underlying cause. For all those classified under the “idiopathic” category though, there is some hope and a possible light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the years I’ve seen several animals with some seriously shaky legs for no apparent reason that, with some chiropractic work, have had the shaking resolved relatively quickly without medication or the need for surgery. If your dog or someone you know has an animal suffering from incessantly shaking legs, it would be a wise to give an alternative approach a try. Sometimes a simpler and more straightforward answer is standing right in front of us!
Discover the difference an animal chiropractic visit can make by scheduling an appointment to see Dr. Cristina Cole at The Pet Beastro. Call the store today at 248-548-3448.
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