Your Pet Question:
Is it normal for my nine-year-old, 130-lb., very tall border collie/great Dane mix to often have leg ‘quivering’ while standing up and even while he is lying down?
The Expert Says:
Quivering legs on dogs is fairly common, but the reasons behind it can vary greatly. First have your vet rule out that the tremors are caused by pain. Osteoarthritis could be the culprit, causing chronic discomfort. The muscles associated with sore joints can become tired and achy and quiver as a result. Sore joints can be assessed with a good physical examination and/or x-rays. If a source of pain is discovered, there are many excellent anti-inflammatory medications available specifically for dogs. Never medicate your animal with human pain relievers! Osteoarthritis can also be managed by maintaining a lean body condition– there are good diets and supplements available for arthritic pets– and adding low impact exercise also helps. Another cause could be an abnormality in how the nerves pass messages to and from the brain. Nerve disorders can be linked to disturbances in the hormonal or metabolic systems, or in the nerve fibers themselves. A blood profile should answer whether it is, but a specific abnormality in the nerves themselves may require a more intensive diagnostic. I would recommend a geriatric blood profile and a thorough physical examination to start with and go from there.
Dr. Leeanne Bargen, DVM, practices at Pet Vet Clinic in Steinbach, Manitoba.