My Shih Tzu keeps licking its nose. It also trembles in its sleep, even when it's not cold. What's causing these behaviors?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
From the nose-licking to the trembling, it sounds like you have
a stressed-out pet. According to Joan Hustace Walker, author of
Training Your Shih Tzu, the type of licking that
you describe -- when it appears the dog is frequently trying to lick its
nose -- can be a symptom of anxiousness. Other “stressed body
language,” as she calls it, includes a droopy or overly stiff
tail, a “half-moon eye” sideways glance, panting, a
closed mouth when panting, yawning and flattened ears.
trembling, cringing, hiding, crying and whimpering are also all
behaviors tied to stress in the Shih Tzu, writes Walker. You mention
that your dog trembles in its sleep, however. Many small dogs do
experience trembling and tremor with some frequency. Theories as to why
this happens range from body-heat maintenance issues to genetic issues.
Some medications can help to reduce this behavior, but speak with your
veterinarian about what is best for your particular dog.
a proponent of not over-medicating unless absolutely necessary, given
possible side effects, the expense and more. In this case, your dog may
not even be in any pain -- especially since it’s sleeping
through the trembles -- but your vet is the one who can make the
determination about the need for medication, such as prednisone or other