Many people consider their dogs as family members. Some even refer to their pets as fur-babies. But since they are animals, they cannot tell their humans that something is wrong with them or when they are not feeling well. By the time symptoms are noticeable, the pet may be near death's door.
One of the most troubling signs that something is wrong is when your pet shivers uncontrollably while being lethargic. If this sounds like your pet, there may be a problem with a major organ. If so, you'll need to act quickly. Here's what you need to know.
Warning signs you shouldn't ignore
Lethargy is when you have no energy to do anything. This can be due to being exhausted, of course, but it can be a symptom that something in the body isn't working properly or a sign of dehydration. Many of the medical conditions that result in lethargy can be quite serious, including (but not limited to) hypoglycemia, food poisoning, internal parasites, and or kidney infection.
Uncontrollable shivering is also a warning sign that should not be ignored, especially if your pet does not have a fever. Shaking, shivering, and trembling may be caused by a kidney disease or an injury. Food poisoning can also cause your pet to tremble and shake. When your pet is both lethargic and shivering, chances are the symptoms are related and being caused by the same thing.
It's a good idea to check the color of your dog's urine when these symptoms are present, particularly because the kidney could be involved. Watch your dog's urine stream when he or she urinates so you can determine what color the urine is.
Call an emergency pet clinic as quickly as possible
Given the possible serious nature of the symptoms, it's crucial to call an emergency pet clinic as quickly as possible. With symptoms of lethargy and shivering, do not wait until the next business day to make a call as there could be something seriously wrong with your pet that could cause your pet to pass away in the meantime. When placing your call, you'll want the person with the most knowledge of the pet's condition on the phone in order for all questions to be answered appropriately. In all likelihood, the receptionist will agree that your pet needs to be seen as soon as possible.
Carefully transport your pet to the nearest emergency vet
It's crucial to transport your pet as carefully as possible. While you may be tempted to pick your pet up and carry it to the car and into the emergency vet clinic, it's a better idea to have your pet walk on it's own if it is able to. The reason for this is because they may be bleeding internally or may have a tumor that could easily rupture inside their abdomen with any amount of force put on their belly.
For example, if a dog has a tumor encasing a kidney, the tumor could rupture and cause internal bleeding if the dog is picked up. If this is the case, an emergency surgery will be necessary to remove the tumor and the affected kidney.
However, if your dog refuses to walk, you'll need to figure out a way to safely carry your pet. If you do not have a pet carrier for your pet or cannot get your pet to walk into the pet carrier, create a hammock or sling out of a blanket and use it to carry your pet. Depending on the size of your pet, you may need two people for this job. Whatever you do, do not lift your dog up by placing your arms/hands underneath it's abdomen, just in case an internal organ is at risk of rupturing.