Canine Shakes and Stops Breathing

by Diann
(Jackson, NJ, USA)

Reader Question: Why Does My Dog Shake and Stop Breathing?

This is the second litter for my min pin. After her first litter (approx 1 week) she had a hard time breathing - could not get her breath. I rushed her to an emergency vet and they could not find anything. She had her second litter 2 weeks ago and it has happened again. Is there a possible reason, she shakes and cannot get her breath.

Veterinarian's Answers With Possible Reasons For Dog Shaking


Small breed dogs are at risk for hypocalcaemia (eclampsia) when nursing. Typical clinical signs include tremors, disorientation, unsteadiness when walking, collapse, and seizures. Did your veterinarian run a blood calcium level when you brought her in? If so, a calcium concentration of less than seven mg/dl would confirm the diagnosis.

If eclampsia has been ruled out, I would need a more thorough history (e.g., what and how much you feed her during pregnancy and lactation, other medical problems she’s had, etc.), the results of a physical exam, and possibly even some baseline lab work (e.g., blood chemistry, complete cell count, urinalysis, fecal examination, and heartworm status) to come up with other potential explanations.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Seizures.