We receive an email from a reader with a Dachshund that shivers:
Is it normal for a dachshund to shiver? Not only when it is cold outside but when he's on your lap. I heard it's a sign of back problems. Thank you in advance.
Thanks for the question! First off, I'm not a Vet, and if you have any medical questions about your pet, you should seek the advice of a Veterinarian. Your Dachshund may have injured himself or may need other medical attention.
Your Vet will perform an examination with perhaps an x-ray to determine if your pet has back problems.
However, from my experience with my three Dachshunds, shivering is often an indication of pain or distress. It may or may not be related to a back problem.
Odie is a short-haired and the girls are long-haired. Odie frequently sleeps underneath a blanket because he is cold. It could be the middle of the summer and he still requires that extra warmth to keep from shivering. This is why we buy dog sweaters for him.
One hot summer night, Odie came out of the covers to lie on top of my chest shivering as if it was the middle of winter. It turned out that his stomach was upset because his dog food didn't agree with him. After I took him outside to potty, he was back to normal.
Odie also shivers when he goes for a ride. He seems a little nervous and insecure. Most of his rides have ended up at the Vet due to his back problems so he tends to get scared when riding in a car.
On the other hand, when Chloe injured her back in the past, she shivered when you gently pressed along the side of her spine. She also gets very tense and tightens her back muscles when you pick her up. She does not shiver despite her problems when laying on my lap.
So is there a definitive answer why Dachshunds shiver" The most common cause is to illness or injury. But the only way to tell is to have your Vet examine your pet for the distress that is causing your dog to shiver.