Help! My Dog Is Shaking After Being Bitten

Help! My Dog Is Shaking After Being Bitten

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Pain, shock, fear, and anxiety may cause a dog to shake after being bitten.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Help! My Dog Is Shaking After Being Bitten“.

A multitude of reasons may cause dogs to shake or tremble. Dogs that are trembling after being bitten by another dog can be doing so for physical or psychological reasons. In either case it should always be taken seriously and you need to examine their injuries.

Help! My Dog Is Shaking After Being Bitten

Dog owners know that dog bites can cause various health complications from fractures to rabies infections. The scary thing about dog bites is that the wound may look mild from the outside but it can wreak havoc on the inside. The following is a comprehensive overview of dog bites and dog shaking.

Why might a dog shake after being bitten?


Additionally the pain from the wound can cause them to shake shiver or have muscle tremors.


Here shock does not simply refer to emotional shock. In dogs shock occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the body which often occurs after an injury.

Fear and anxiety

When they’re scared dogs tremble just like humans do and its a normal reaction following an attack.

What other reactions might you see from a dog after being bitten?

Even if you are not there when another dog bites your dog you might not even see the wound because the fur covers it. Your dog may also show several other symptoms after being bitten by another animal.

  • Limp
  • Lethargy/low energy
  • A certain area feels painful swollen red or tender
  • Where there is a lot of heat

You should check your dogs skin for wounds (external or internal) if they are experiencing one or more of those symptoms.

What should I do if my dog was bitten by another dog?

Break up the fight

When your dog is bitten the first thing you should do is separate them from the attacker. Consider distracting them with a loud clap or another type of diversion rather than getting between them and putting yourself at risk. Additionally you can try pulling the dogs away from each other if there are two or more people around.

Ask the owner about the attacker dog’s immunization updates

A rabies immunization certificate is available from the owner if he or she is present. You can also obtain this information from animal control centers and animal hospitals.

Check vital signs

From nothing to death depending on the health of the attacker and how deep the bite was. Therefore it is important to check their vital signs.

  • Place two fingers on their pulsing femoral artery on the inside of their rear leg at midthigh. Calculate the beats per minute (bpm) by counting how many times it pulses in 15 seconds and multiplying that number by four. The normal pulse rate for puppies and small dogs is 120 to 160 beats per minute. The normal pulse rate for dogs over 30 pounds is 60 to 120 beats per minute.
  • You can count the number of breaths they take in a minute by counting the number of breaths they take. For dogs the normal respiratory rate is between ten and thirty breaths per minute.
  • Take your dogs body temperature rectally using a thermometer. It is normal for dogs to have a temperature between 38.3 and 39.2 C. If the temperature is over 40 C your dog needs to see a veterinarian.
  • It is normal for dogs to have pink gum. The animals color should be paler bright red blue-white or yellow. Consult a vet immediately if these colors are present.

Check thoroughly for wounds and infection

If there is dense fur covering an area you may miss wounds. Make sure to examine your pups whole body for any anomalies. An infection can still occur in an area that has been bitten even without an open wound. Infection is characterized by redness swelling warmth pain or tenderness in the affected area.

Clean the wound

Use warm water and soap to clean around the wound to prevent contamination. Dispose of objects like dirt or hair that may be present.

You can just run warm water over the wound if the skin isnot broken. Warm water is best for treating wounds because it keeps blood flowing thus treating the tissue. When you do this if your dog shakes in pain it probably suffered internal injuries.

Apply pressure to the wound

As with humans if the dog is left with a gaping wound apply pressure to it in order to control the bleeding. A bite wound does not bleed much so all you need to do is apply constant pressure with a clean cloth for five minutes until the bleeding stops.

Go to the vet and massage them on the way

It is always a good idea to take your dog to the vet if they get bitten by another dog. You can massage your dog gently to try to calm them down on the way since anxiety is a leading cause of your dogs shaking. If you see any signs of infection tell the vet at the animal clinic.

How can you treat a dog bite?


Veterinarians will usually prescribe topical antibiotics such as povidone-iodine.

Pain meds

Your dog will be put under anesthesia before their wound is cleaned and they will be prescribed pain medication if their wound is extensive.


Sutures will be applied to lacerations. Avoid getting the sutures wet and dirty.


You’ll have to use an electronic collar on your dog so they do not lick their wounds.

Change bandages frequently

Change the bandage frequently to keep it clean and dry if your vet bandages your dog.

What makes a dog bite bad?

Certain body parts are more prone to complications

Irritation is most common on a dogs legs torso neck and joint area. Veterinarian care should be sought if your dog is bitten in one of these areas. A bite on the mouth or nose on the other hand heals faster and should not cause complications.

If it’s deep

An attack by a dog can potentially penetrate the skin and threaten bones and blood vessels because dogs have strong teeth and jaws. Dog bites may damage the tissues beneath the wound causing internal bleeding.

If it’s infected

Although a broken bone or muscle damage is more painful an infection is more worrying because it is harder to detect. Rabies is the most common infection that can be transmitted through dog bites. This disease affects the nervous system and often results in death. The bacteria in dog teeth can also cause an abscess to form under the skin.

In addition an open wound may become infected due to contamination resulting in tetanus. The wound can be infected by bacteria from the surrounding skin hair or even the environment. Because of this you must be careful when cleaning around it and apply pressure with a clean cloth.

How can you treat a dog for a shock?

A dog in shock is another possible reason for shaking after being bitten. Shock is one of the most common causes of death in dogs after physical trauma other than infection.

A rapid heartbeat bright red gums shallow breathing and anxiety are early signs of shock. A dog might become lethargic develop blue gums and have a low body temperature if its not treated quickly. Your dog must be taken to the vet as soon as possible if there is any sign of shock.

Here are some things you need to remember to treat your dog when they’re in shock before you take them to the vet.

  • If they have an open wound clean the area around it and press on it.
  • Restrain them to preserve energy and wrap them in a warm blanket to preserve body heat. Avoid giving them a heating pad or other artificial heat as it might cause their blood vessels to dilate.
  • Inspect their breathing and make sure their airways are clear.
  • Make sure they have good circulation by massaging them.
  • Make sure they are not fed or given fluids.

How do you socialize a dog that has been attacked?

Fear or anxiety is the last reason your dog might shake after being bitten. Try reintroducing your dog to other dogs slowly if you notice they are getting timid or trembling when they see a bigger dog.

  • When your dog is extremely timid and anxious around other dogs after being attacked you need to start small. To re-introduce them to dogs play dog videos or play barking audio. Make sure the dogs are friendly.
  • Take them on a walk with another dog (and their owner) while they are both on leashes. Put some distance between you and your dog if they are still scared.
  • Take them to obstacle courses or teach them tricks to boost their confidence. This is especially helpful if you take your dog to a group training class but even just being active reduces anxiety.
  • Its a good idea to bring them to a dog park if they do not seem to be scared of other dogs anymore. Keep your distance if they become timid and do not force them to socialize.

What are the (other) main reasons that dogs shake?

In addition to being bitten there are a number of other reasons why your dog might be shaking. Excitation the cold nausea pain and aging are some of the most common causes of nausea. Poisoning and kidney disease are also common causes of shaking. You should contact a veterinarian if the shaking does not stop for an extended period of time or if other symptoms are present.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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