There are few things sadder than the sight of a trembling dog. It’s a common occurrence in the veterinary waiting room, grooming parlors, and even dog parks. Wherever stress happens, shaking and trembling do, too.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only reason for this physiological reaction. Though stress or anxiety are certainly common reasons for shaking in dogs, there are other causes worth noting.

Muscle weakness is a biggie. Dogs who exhibit localized shaking of the rear legs may be experiencing muscle weakness, especially if it resolves when the dog has had a chance to rest. If you’ve ever exercised so much your legs shook, then you know what this feels like. However, stress-related shaking may be confined to just the rear legs.

Pain is another common cause of shaking. Any type of pain, including back pain or abdominal pain, can cause shaking.

Other causes are cold (obviously) and drug reactions (particularly during recovery from anesthesia).

If your dog shakes and it’s not apparent to you why, take him to a veterinarian.

This article was written by a Veterinarian.