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Dog Back Legs Shaking After Exercise | Why?

I recently heard someone talking about his dog’s back legs shaking after exercise. It never happened to my dog, but if it did I would definitely worry about it. 

So I couldn’t stop myself from doing some research on the subject. Here’s what I found about hind legs tremors and trembling in dogs following physical activity.

Why Are Your Dog’s Back Legs Shaking After Exercise?

The shaking of your dog’s back legs after exercise is due to the muscles contracting when at rest. Why it happens can be difficult to determine. Dog back legs tremors and trembling after exercise are often related to muscle weakness. But it can also be caused by excitement, pain, an injury, or a disease.

Dog Back Legs Shaking

Therefore, your dog might be experiencing shaking hind legs for many different reasons. The sudden rest after exercise can trigger contractions in those specific muscles. However, it’s not necessarily the primary or only cause. 

So you shouldn’t just stop your dog from doing any physical activity. It won’t solve the problem and can lead to several other issues. Instead, you should find the real reasons your dog may be experiencing back legs tremors and trembling.

What Can Cause Shaking In A Dog’s Hind Legs After Exercise?

Now that you understand the concept behind your dog’s back legs shaking, it’s time to learn more about each potential cause. Then, it will be much easier to know if you should worry and do something about it. So here are the main reasons why rear leg tremors occur in dogs after exercise.

Muscle Weakness.

If your dog’s back legs lack strength during exercise, it can result in weak contractions afterward. That can explain the shaking. After a too intense or extended physical effort, your dog’s body will react a certain way. So trembling localized in the back legs might be caused by muscle weakness.


Another reason why a dog’s hind legs can shake when exercising is excitement. Dogs love to play fetch, run, and work out with their owners. That enthusiasm can cause their back legs to shake or have involuntary muscle contractions before, during, or after exercise.


Your dog might experience a sudden shaking in the rear legs after exercise because of an injury. Muscle sprain or strain and fractures can cause weakness, which might result in trembling. So if it doesn’t happen often and your dog seems to suffer or limp, he’s probably injured.


Tremors in the back legs may occur when a dog is experiencing pain. Exercise is physically demanding and can be hard on the body. Your dog might also already suffer from knee, hip, back, or any other type of pain. Thus, exercising can increase it and cause shaking afterward.

Disease & Health Conditions.

Shaking back legs after exercise in dogs can also be due to health problems. A dog that suffers from degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, arthritis, and diabetes may experience trembling in the hind legs. It can be a symptom or due to the pain.

Here’s more information about each of those health conditions, and why they can lead to shaking in the back legs.

Degenerative Myelopathy.

Degenerative myelopathy is a neurologic disease affecting the spinal cord in dogs. It consists of progressive hind limb paralysis. It’s not painful but can result in back legs weakness and shaking. Other symptoms include scuffing hind feet, muscle loss, worn nails, etc.

This health condition generally only affects older dogs. It’s most common in German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Collies. You can read this article on VCA Hospitals for more information about this chronic disease.

Intervertebral Disc Disease. 

Intervertebral disk disease in dogs is another degenerative condition related to the spinal cord. It can be described as a ruptured, slipped, bulging, or herniated disk. That can lead to pain and symptoms, including unsteadiness in the legs and shivering.

Once again, it often occurs in older dogs. Some of the most commonly affected breeds are Beagles, Dachshunds, Pekingese, Labradors, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels. The sudden disk rupture or herniation can occur after an injury or a small jump. So it might happen after exercise. 

Some information on this health condition was retrieved from this article on the Carolina Veterinary Specialists Matthews website. I also read another post on VCA Hospitals about degenerative disc disease.


Arthritis is another disease that can cause pain and weakness in a dog’s back legs. Those symptoms can lead to shaking, especially after exercise. Again, it’s generally a problem that affects older dogs.


Trembling and shaking are symptoms of hypoglycemia. So your dog might have diabetes and experience back leg tremors because of low blood sugar. It can be caused by an overdose of insulin, not eating enough, or too much exercise.

Other Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Shaking!

Many other things can make your dog’s legs and body shake. The causes mentioned above are just the most common ones often related to exercise. Here’s a list of other possible reasons your dog’s back legs may be shaking.

  • Fear.
  • Fatigue.
  • Cold.
  • Infection.
  • Poisoning.
  • Kidney Disease.

How To Find Why Your Dog’s Back Legs Shake After Exercise?

With all the potential causes behind rear leg tremors, it can be hard to find the one that applies to your dog. The best way to do so is to consult a veterinarian. A professional will be able to perform tests, observe your dog, and give you a diagnosis.

But even after that, you might not be able to pinpoint the source of the problem. On the other hand, you will probably have a better idea of what it’s not. Thus, that should help find why your dog’s back legs are shaking after exercise.

The veterinarian will also tell you if there’s something to worry about. In most cases, it’s not problematic as long as it doesn’t affect the dog negatively. So knowing the exact cause isn’t that important. Just make sure it’s not something that will harm your dog.

What Can You Do To Treat Trembling Hind Legs In Dogs?

How to treat dog leg tremors will vary depending on the cause. You should always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and consider the medication prescribed if it’s the case. Some people also suggest dogs should cool down, walk, rest, and receive a massage after exercise to prevent, treat, or soothe back legs from shaking.

In this article, a veterinarian has mentioned possible treatments such as pain medications and the drug called Gabapentin. But you should consult a professional for personalized solutions and advice for your dog.

How To Prevent Your Dog’s Legs From Shaking After Exercise?

Prevention is always better than care. Proper nutrition and exercise are essential to keep your dog healthy. Regular physical activity can also help build strength and endurance in all muscles, including the back legs. So it might prevent your dog from shaking and other health-related problems.

But you can only avoid it to a certain point. That’s why you should always look for signs of overexertion, pain, or leg weakness. It will allow you to notice the problem before the shaking happens. Then, consult a vet and adjust your dog’s exercise routine if necessary.

Last Thoughts About Back Legs Shaking After Exercise In Dogs!

Finally, your dog’s back legs are most likely shaking after exercise because of involuntary muscle contractions. The reason why it happens can be hard to find. Potential causes include muscle weakness, excitement, pain, and health conditions.

Dog Standing Exercise

So take your dog to a veterinarian ASAP to ensure it’s nothing serious. Professional medical pet consultation will help you find the potential causes and treatments. Then, you can find ways to prevent your dog from having leg tremors again in the future.

Take Care Of Your Dog’s Shaky Legs!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice. I’m just a normal pet owner that wants to help you care for your dog’s health and well-being. However, you should always consult a veterinarian for professional and personalized pet care advice.