9 Potential Causes of Jack Russell Shaking Explained

Categorized as Dogs
Jack Russell Shaking
Jack Russell Shaking

Jack Russell terriers are active dogs that stay active, but what about sudden Jack Russell shaking what can be the causes.

Jack Russell shaking is exactly what we will be discussing in this post. I will be discussing the most common reasons for Jack Russell shaking.

I will also discuss what some special type of Jack Russell shaking means and finally outline what you should do, so keep reading!

Jack Russell Shaking

Jack Russell shaking may be caused by a serious disease, such as poisoning, arthritis, generalized tremor syndrome, renal failure, or hypoglycemia.

Search for further signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or limping if your Jack Russell terrier starts to tremble or shiver, and then call your veterinarian right once.

Since Jack Russell shaking can be caused by lots of excitement, you should always look out to see if your Jack Russell shaking is due to excitement before calling your vet.

Jack Russell shaking and panting

Jack Russell terriers may pant and shiver excessively for a variety of reasons, including stress, worsening pain, discomfort, poisoning, renal illness, injury, allergic responses, toxins, bites, and stings.

If your Jack Russell shakes, especially if it’s not due to excitement, schedule a visit with your veterinarian.

Jack Russell shaking and vomiting

Jack Russell shaking and vomiting may be a result of whatever it ate giving it an upset stomach, such as a deadly substance, an onion ball, a garlic ball, or a harmful plant.

Additionally, pancreatitis, a renal disease, or an enlarged stomach might be to fault. It is also possible that your Jack Russell ingested anything toxic.

You should take your Jack Russell to the doctor as soon as possible if they begin to tremble or start vomiting.

Observe their frequency of vomiting as well as the volume and color of their poop.

Make an immediate phone call to your veterinarian if it doesn’t cease after a few hours.

Jack Russell shaking of legs

Jack Russell shaking of legs may be due to patellar luxation or generalized tremor syndrome, which is frequent in breeds like Jack Russell, tiny pinschers, Chihuahuas, etc.

If your Jack Russell occasionally shakes its legs, do not be frightened; shaking does not always signify a neck or spine injury or a neurological problem.

The most common culprits are aging-related symptoms like anxiety, colds, or tremors.

Many dogs suffer from patellar luxation, also known as sliding or floating kneecaps, in their rear legs, especially petite breeds like the Jack Russell.

A kneecap is referred to as the patella in medical terminology, and luxation simply indicates that it has migrated.

Jack Russell shaking of the head

Numerous medical issues, including ear infections, flea bites on the scalp, allergies, and head tremors as a consequence of head trauma, can cause Jack Russell terriers to shake their heads.

Jack Russell’s head shaking, nevertheless, could be brought on by aging or other health issues.

Jack Russells are prone to ear infections because of the shape of their ears, which is one of the most common ailments for which owners send their dogs to the clinic each year.

The head shaking of Jack Russell terriers may be a sign of an ear infection, ear mites, parasites, allergies, hematoma, toxins, or even balance issues as they become older.

If after inspecting their ears, nothing looks abnormal, but the behavior continues, contact your veterinarian.

Read more: 9 Reasons For Jack Russell Biting Explained.

Reasons for Jack Russell Shaking

Reasons for Jack Russell Shaking
Reasons for Jack Russell Shaking

The following explanations for your Jack Russell terrier’s trembling should be understood:

1. Jack Russell can shake due to old age

It is important to note that even though Jack Russell terriers are high-energy dogs, their cells get weak as they grow older.

There isn’t really much you can do to aid Jack Russell terriers that shake or shiver as they age.

Their joints are too worn-out and feeble to carry the weight of their bodies in a comfortable manner.

As they age, Jack Russell terriers are more prone to develop tremors in both their front and back legs, which makes it harder for them to move correctly and causes shaking or shivering.

Here are other signs of old age in Jack Russell terriers:

  1. Arthritis & joint problems
  2. Loss of hair, muscle tone, teeth & skin elasticity
  3. Weakened immune system
  4. Decreased mental ability
  5. Vision impairment
  6. Hearing impairment
  7. Loss of energy.

Here is how to help an old Jack Russell terrier:

  1. Avoid all forms of stress around your aged Jack Russell.
  2. Invest in anxiety products.
  3. Avoid heavy forms of exercise.
  4. One of the best forms of treatment for your aging Jack Russell is to remain in touch with your veterinarian.
  5. As your Jack Russell ages, avoid taking excessive long walks.

2. Jack Russell can shake as signs of cold

Jack Russell can shake as signs of cold
Jack Russell can shake as signs of cold

Jack Russell shaking due to cold weather partly depend on where you are living and the time of the year.

A Jack Russell’s body temperature typically ranges between 34 and 37 °C, thus if the room’s or environment’s temperature dips, your Jack Russell will be impacted.

Jack Russells still get chilly even with their hyperactive nature, but this all depends on where you live.

If the temperature in the surroundings lowers to a level that your dog can’t withstand, your Jack Russell may start to shake.

So if your Jack Russell starts to tremble, take the temperature of your surroundings into account.

Jack Russells can also get cold if you leave them wet after bathing or swimming with them.

Here are some suggestions for managing cold symptoms in Jack Russells:

  1. Consider giving your Jack Russell a dog jacket, some exercise, or a change of scenery to help them warm up.
  2. Don’t allow your Jack Russell to stay outside when the weather is too chilly.
  3. Never give your Jack Russell a chilly bath in the winter and leave them wet.
  4. Try keeping your Jack Russell’s room warm when the outside temperature or your house is too low.
  5. Do not hesitate to bring your Jack Russell to the vet if the shaking continues after you have tried warming up your room.
  6. Try to make an investment in a dog chilly jacket if you reside in a cold area.
  7. Keep your Jack Russell indoors during winter.

3. Jack Russell can shake when they ingest toxins

Chewing gum, nicotine, snake bite, garlic, cigarettes, xylitol, and chewing tobacco are all harmful to Jack Russells and can make them tremble if consumed in large doses.

These chemicals or poisons can cause uncontrolled shaking and shivering in dog breeds like Jack Russells.

Your Jack Russell might get stung by a scorpion, get bitten by a snake, get food poisoning, or get stung by a bee.

This is a serious issue even if you don’t see your dog come into contact with something hazardous.

Due to their size and strength, dogs like Jack Russell terriers react quickly when ingested poisons.

The following are signs of poisoning or toxins in Jack Russells:

  1. Uncontrollable seizures
  2. Continues vomiting
  3. Continues diarrhea
  4. Total and sudden weakness
  5. Sudden disorientation
  6. Slow chewing of the tongue.


Do not hesitate to take your Jack Russell to the clinic if you think or observe that he may have ingested anything dangerous or was bitten by a tiny animal.

The longer you treat your Jack Russell terrier your self the worse his condition will be if you don’t see a vet.

4. Jack Russell can shake due to generalized tremor syndrome

Generalized tremor syndrome is more common in small breeds including Jack Russells, Pugs, Shih Tzus, tiny pinschers, and Chihuahuas.

Full-body tremors, like those a dog experiences when it becomes cold, are a defining feature of this illness, sometimes known as shaker syndrome.

While the signs of generalized tremor syndrome might vary from dog to dog, they often appear between the ages of 5 months and 2 years in Jack Russells.

Although the exact etiology of widespread tremor syndrome is unknown, it is often regarded to be harmless.

Your dog’s doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, but for some dogs, shaking could be an inevitable part of life.

Here are some common signs of generalized tremor syndrome:

  1. Uncoordinated gait
  2. Abnormal eye movements.
  3. High-stepping
  4. Sudden paralysis
  5. Seizures
  6. Head and body muscle tremors.

5. A case of canine distemper

The virus is known as distemper primarily affects puppies and young dogs that have not had all of their vaccines.

The distemper virus has an impact on the digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.

The signs and symptoms of distemper are frequently fatal.

The disease of the distemper must be treated by a veterinarian.

Call your veterinarian as soon as you suspect your Jack Russell has canine distemper.

The good news is that distemper affects Jack Russells seldom since the majority of them can receive vaccinations.

The common symptoms of distemper include shaking and shivering, it also includes:

  1. Circling behavior
  2. Head tilt
  3. Muscle twitches
  4. Convulsions with jaw chewing movements and salivation.
  5. Seizures
  6. Partial or complete paralysis.


To treat Jack Russell as having distemper you need to take him or her to the vet.

6. Jack Russell can shake when overly excited

Jack Russell terriers do thrive on human interaction, so when a family member returns home your Jack Russell will be overjoyed to have you back.

You may occasionally be observed your Jack Russell shaking or shivering due to excitement, which is not an indication of worry or disease.

Jack Russell might sometimes shake and shiver before eating their favorite dish or playing with their favorite toy.

Some Jack Russell may shiver, yell, and even urinate out of excitement while returning home late at night; this is not a sign of disease.

Even while some of these traits are typical of companion dogs like Jack Russell, you may help your dog unwind by giving calm, quick welcomes.

7. Jack Russell can shake due to Hypoglycemia

Your Jack Russell’s body will tremble due to hypoglycemia, which happens when your Jack Russell’s blood sugar levels decrease rapidly.

Some Jack Russells are reported to be more prone to hypoglycemia than others.

If your dog is underfed or overstimulated, this can happen.

This illness, which is often marked by sleepiness followed by violent shaking, may be brought on by insulin used to treat diabetes.

If you don’t treat your Jack Russell, it might have a seizure or fall into a coma.

Since Jack Russell’s puppy’s ability to regulate their blood sugar levels has not fully matured, this problem is more common in them (up to 7 months).

If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead your Jack Russell to lose consciousness or, in the worst case, end in death.

If your Jack Russell is trembling and you notice these symptoms, consult your veterinarian right away.

Here are a few typical canine hypoglycemia symptoms:

  1. Lack of coordination
  2. Muscle twitching
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Seizures
  5. Discoloration of skin and gums
  6. Extreme lethargy
  7. Weakness

8. Jack Russell shaking can be a sign of seizure

Both large and small dogs, as well as other animals, can experience seizures, which are neurological illnesses that cause collapse and jerking in certain canines.

Aberrant brain activity is the main factor in canine seizures, which can affect Jack Russells of any age.

Seizures are known to occur over time and are always accompanied by a dog’s entire body trembling violently.

Even while your Jack Russell may not experience pain when having seizures, your Jack Russell might still get hurt if it trips or knocks something over and on top of itself.

As soon as your Jack Russell starts having seizures, call your veterinarian. Medication to stop seizures can be used to treat this.

Other signs of seizures include:

  1. Muscle twitching
  2. Loss of consciousness
  3. Collapsing
  4. Jerking
  5. Tongue chewing
  6. Foaming at the mouth
  7. Stiffening

9. Fatal diarrhea and nausea

When Jack Russell terriers are constipated or experience chronic nausea and diarrhea, their trembling becomes quite noticeable.

Shaking might occur after eating unpalatable meals or during long automobile drives as a result of chronic nausea and diarrhea.

Among other symptoms, chronic nausea can lead to vomiting, drooling, lack of coordination, shivering, and yawning.

Consider your Jack Russell terrier’s daily schedule, nutrition, and how frequently he is shaking.

For instance, your Jack Russell may be trembling as a result of the fantastic daily automobile trip you enjoy.

What you should do if your Jack Russell shake

Keep your cool when your Jack Russell is having a seizure in order to effectively aid them through the incident.

If you become anxious, your Jack Russell can sense it and become more afraid, which will make the situation much more challenging.

It’s important to assess the issue if your dog begins to shake.

Is it too chilly there? Is there anything scary or upsetting that your Jack Russell may encounter?

Eliminating these stresses may help your Jack Russell terrier de-stress.

The symptoms your Jack Russell will exhibit include shaking, disorientation, and loss of coordination.

It can start to gallop about without noticing its surroundings.

Take your Jack Russell to a safe location away from stairs or the edge of the bed to prevent it from falling or harming itself.

You must stay close by to keep an eye on your Jack Russell and reassure it during the situation.

RESIST the urge to pet your Jack Russell because it could become more terrified and bite you in self-defense.

Your Jack Russell should be comforted by being sat near to and spoken to softly.

If there are no external reasons that might cause shaking, calling the vet is the recommended line of action.

What you shouldn’t do if your Jack Russell is shaking

Here are things you shouldn’t do over your Jack Russell shaking:

  1. Block your Jack Russell from getting enough air.
  2. Start panicking
  3. Locking up your Jack Russell in one room.
  4. Staying away or leaving your Jack Russell out of your sight.
  5. Trying to push your Jack Russell into his crate.
  6. Never give any form of self-medication.
  7. Not calling a veterinarian when shaking gets beyond your control.
  8. Not removing or leaving sharp objects around your Jack Russell when they shake.

By Nelly Cage

Nelly Cage is a pet lover who loves and lives with cats. She will be sharing her experience with cats and other pets.