Dachshund Shaking And Lethargic Mood – 18 Possible Causes

Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Dogs often do weird stuff that may be a symptom of a health problem. For example, here are dachshund shaking and lethargic mood – 18 possible causes. Many dog owners just assume shaking is something “normal” for small dog breeds. Others believe that lethargy is to be expected for dogs past a certain age. And while both symptoms can be non-problematic in certain situations, they can also be quite telling in others.

So, let’s go over the 18 possible causes of dachshund shaking and lethargic behavior below.

What Causes Dachshund Shaking And Lethargic Behavior?

When wondering “Why is my dog shivering?” a lot of people’s intuitive response is to just wave the symptom away as “just something small dogs do” or “it’s just a bit of chilly, it’s ok, its wolf ancestors handled worse”. And while both are technically true, in a lot of situations, the cause of dachshund shaking and lethargic mood can be much more sinister. Let’s start with a few of the non-problematic causes and move on to the ones you ought to worry about.

1. Excitement

This seldom leads to lethargy, but it can easily cause shaking. Naturally, this is a completely harmless cause, but it’s also easy to identify.

2. Fear

In this case, you can expect both shaking and shivering. If your dog is not a barker, shivering is the natural response. It’s often accompanied by whining and hiding but not necessarily.

3. Pain

Depending on the type of pain, it can lead to either shaking or lethargy. Internal and persistent pain can often bring your pup down for days and even months. And, when such a pain is caused by a serious internal health problem, it’s not a good idea to ignore this problem.

4. Depression

Dogs can get depressed as easily as people can. This can be caused by the loss of a loved one, by a recent move, by the unwanted addition of a new family member, or by an underlying health problem.

5. Stomach upset

If your dog has had stomach issues of late, especially ones accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, then both shaking and lethargy are potential side effects you can expect.

6. Allergies

Allergies, whether toward medications, food, insect bites, or vaccines, can sometimes cause shivering or lethargy.

7. Hypothermia

Short-haired dachshunds, like Chihuahuas, are prone to getting cold pretty easily. Don’t get fooled by these dogs’ history as hunting hounds in Germany – they are still not particularly tolerant toward cold climates.

8. Hyperthermia

High body temperature or fever can similarly cause both dachshund shaking and lethargic mood. Anything above 102.5o Fahrenheit is considered too high and should necessitate contacting your vet.

9. Hypoglycemia

Low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are pretty common for young pups, particularly under 3 months of age. Dachshunds, especially of the mini and teacup variety, can be especially prone to this, and it can be identified with shaking and shivering.

10. Diabetes And Other Endocrine Issues

There are many potential endocrine problems that can cause dachshund shaking and lethargic mood swings. Diabetes, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, and Calcemia are but a few of the more common culprits. Needless to say, each of those is something that needs to be looked at.

11. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is another common issue, particularly in older dachshunds, that can lead to either shivering or lethargy. Especially if you notice vomiting too, it’s smart to consider kidney problems in addition to general stomach upset.

dog is weak and shaking

12. Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

The so-called “White shaker dog syndrome”, GTS is not as common in dachshunds as they are rarely white. It is possible, however, so it can’t be discounted. Essentially an inflammation of the cerebellum, GTS affects the central nervous system and can often lead to lots of shaking.

13. Poisoning

This usually leads people to imagine nefarious intent, but a dog can easily get poisoned on accident as well. There are many poisons and toxins your dog can accidentally ingest that’d lead to shivering and even potential seizures. Some common examples include xylitol, grapes/raisins, chocolate,  insecticides, human medications such as ibuprofen, Prozac, or Advil, household cleaners and detergents, rat poison, fertilizers, and others.

14. Canine Distemper

This condition may sound like simple misbehavior, but Canine distemper is actually a virus that’s especially common in unvaccinated puppies.

15. Epilepsy

Status epilepticus is one of the more unfortunate and common issues of puppy shaking and shivering. It might be caused by physical trauma, or it can be hereditary – either way, you should seek a vet consultation immediately.

16. Seizures And Neurological Disorders

Many other neurological disorders can lead to shaking, shivering, seizures, and tremors in dogs. We can’t list all of them here but suffice it to say that there are quite a few potential issues to consider if you see your dog shaking or being depressed too often.

17. Metabolic Disorders

Similarly, there are also lots of metabolic issues that can lead to both a loss of energy and lethargy or shaking and shivering. Low calcium levels, lupus, anemia, certain electrolyte imbalances, shocks, and others can all cause problems. Especially if your dog is pregnant or nursing, you should be watchful of symptoms such as dachshund shaking or lethargic mood swings.

18. Old Age

Of course, shaking and shivering can simply be caused by old age as well. Dachshunds are one of the dog breeds with the most impressive longevity, which also means that they spend a lot of time in their senior years. If your dog’s legs or back are getting weaker, shaking is the least you can expect. And, old age also leads to tiredness that can also be mistaken for lethargy. Regardless, older Doxies are prone to a lot of the health problems we’ve outlined above, so it’s wise to talk with your vet about any symptom you notice.

What To Do In Case Of Dachshund Shaking And Lethargic Tendencies?

If your dog is weak and shaking even when it’s not particularly cold outside, this is definitely a good enough reason to call your vet. Similarly, if your dog has been especially lethargic lately, you also shouldn’t hesitate to contact a professional.

In the best-case scenario, you’re going to catch a potential problem early and treat it as effectively as possible. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll have just wasted a bit of your and your vet’s time. But given that dachshunds generally need at least two routine vet visits a year, that’s not that big of a deal.