Why is My Dog Shaking Two Weeks After Surgery?


Having your furry friend go through surgery can be a lot to handle. Sometimes, the surgery is something you choose to do, while other times, it’s necessary to save your pet’s life.

Nowadays, vets do a bunch of checks before surgery. They thoroughly look at your dog’s health to make sure it can handle the procedure. They also run tests to see if there’s any risk of problems from the anesthesia.

After the surgery, your dog might be a bit confused about what happened. So, you need to be super careful during the recovery process. This means giving them medicine, keeping an eye on them, checking their temperature, and making sure they don’t lick or scratch where they had surgery. You also need to watch out for any signs of infections.

Even though these things sound simple, it can be tricky to figure out if your dog’s acting normal or if something’s up because of the surgery.

For example, let’s say your dog is shaking after surgery. Is it because they’re cold or in pain? What should you do? Do you need to rush to the vet?

In this article, we’ll talk about the signs your dog might show after surgery, what’s normal, what’s not, and what you can do in these situations.

dog-shakes-after surgery

Why Do Dogs Need Surgery?

When it comes to treating dogs, surgeries are split into two types: elective and urgent. Elective surgeries aren’t emergencies; they’re not about saving a life, but they can make a dog’s life better. Sometimes, these surgeries are just for looks.

Here are some examples of elective dog surgeries:

  1. Spaying
  2. Neutering
  3. Dental extractions
  4. Tail docking
  5. Ear cropping
  6. Removing harmless skin growths

Now, if your pet is facing a medical emergency, surgery might be the only way to save them. For instance, if your dog has had an accident, surgery can stop internal bleeding and fix injuries. Or, if it’s a serious health problem like cancer, surgery could be a lifesaver.

Here are some examples of urgent dog surgeries:

  1. Broken bones
  2. Ruptured bladder
  3. Malignant tumors and cancer
  4. Internal injuries
  5. Obstruction due to a foreign object
  6. Skin lacerations

No matter why your dog needs surgery, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on them and search vet near me and tell about any strange signs you notice.


Is it Normal for My Dog to Shake After Surgery?

Whether or not it’s okay for your dog to shake after surgery depends on their specific situation. Generally, shaking can be a result of anesthesia or other medications. However, shaking, along with symptoms like nausea, grogginess, and tiredness, should usually go away within a day or two.

If a significant amount of time has passed since the surgery and your dog is still shaking, that’s not normal.

On the flip side, if your dog had a habit of shaking before the surgery due to an existing health problem, then it’s considered normal for them to shake afterward. For instance, if your dog is older or has a condition like generalized tremor syndrome, shaking is a common symptom.

But if shaking is a new thing your dog is doing after surgery, that’s not normal. In this case, it’s important to talk to the vet. They might want to check your dog or make adjustments to their medication. We as the best pet surgery hospital near you in Tornoto can help your dog.


Why is My Dog Shaking After Surgery?

Thanks to improvements in veterinary care, dogs are typically awake and quite alert when they leave the hospital after surgery. However, it’s still possible for your dog to have some side effects following the procedure.


In recent years, there have been significant advancements in managing pain for dogs. There are now proactive pain management processes in place to minimize the impact of pain.

For instance, before anesthesia, the vet might administer pain medication to the dog to prepare and shield its body from pain during surgery.

After the surgery, most dogs receive a pain reliever along with NSAIDs to help with pain and inflammation. Depending on the type of surgery and the pet’s condition, the vet might also prescribe medications that you’ll need to give the dog at home.

Despite these precautions, your dog might still experience pain. It might become restless or agitated because it doesn’t fully understand the situation.

If your dog is shaking due to pain, it’s crucial to contact the vet. The vet may reevaluate the pet and make adjustments to its medications as needed.


Changes in Body Temperature

Research indicates that hypothermia is the most common side effect observed in 40% of dogs and cats undergoing anesthesia.

The condition progresses through three stages after anesthesia administration. In the initial stage, the body’s core heat is redistributed as a reflex response to cold exposure, aiming to minimize heat loss. This first stage results in a decrease in body temperature by 1°C to 1.5°C.

During the second stage, which occurs over the next 2 to 3 hours, further temperature decreases happen as metabolic heat production struggles to keep up with heat loss.

Finally, in the third stage, heat is confined to the body’s core, and the core temperature stabilizes, typically within 4 hours of anesthesia administration.

Hypothermia can lead to prolonged recovery times in dogs, raising concerns about issues such as blood loss, wound infection, sympathetic activation, and shivering.

While using blankets for insulation can be helpful in mild cases, veterinary care is essential for moderate and severe instances.


Underlying Medical Condition

A hidden medical condition might be the reason your dog is shaking after surgery or anesthesia.

For instance, during surgery to remove a tumor, an underlying issue with the organ involved may be revealed. Alternatively, if you haven’t been keeping a close eye on your pet and using an E-collar, there’s a higher likelihood of the dog developing infections.



How long will my dog shake after surgery?

Recovering from surgery is generally smooth for most dogs, and the shaking usually stops within a day or two. During this time, your dog will spend a few days in a crate, staying calm and relaxed to ensure proper healing.

Once you bring your dog home, it’s essential to limit their activity until the stitches are completely removed, and the incision has healed.

Several factors can influence how long your dog shakes after surgery:

Type of Surgery:

The kind of surgery your dog undergoes plays a role in how long they shake afterward. Common surgeries include orthopedic procedures like hip and knee replacements, as well as dental surgeries. Generally, the more extensive the surgery, the longer the recovery time.

Age of the Dog:

Your dog’s age can impact the recovery duration. Minor procedures, such as removing a nail or tooth, may allow your dog to return to normal activity within 24 hours. However, more significant surgeries, like a leg amputation, might require up to 2 weeks for recovery.

Breed and Health:

The breed and overall health of your dog also contribute to the recovery period. Dogs without excess weight and no underlying health issues may shake for only a few days or weeks. On the other hand, overweight or health-compromised dogs might need a more extended recovery period. If your dog is older or has specific health concerns, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian before allowing them to resume regular activities.


Sum Up

If your dog is shaking after surgery, it’s important to take it seriously. It could indicate pain, the lingering effects of anesthesia, or an underlying health issue surfacing.

The initial 24 hours post-surgery are crucial. During this period, your pet requires exceptional care and attention. Keep the surgical site clean, utilize an Elizabethan collar, limit your pet’s movement, administer medications as directed, and closely observe for any unusual signs.

Ensure your dog has a clean and warm place to rest, using blankets for added comfort and insulation. This can help alleviate shaking. However, if the symptom persists, it’s advisable to consult with the vet for further guidance.


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