Jack Russell Trembling Front Legs

by Beth
(Orlando, FL)

Reader Question: What Causes Jack Russell Front Leg To Tremble?

My 4 year old JRT Lilly has started having tremors in her front legs. Usually the left leg. It happens at different times. Only noticed it when she was standing in my lap. No other part of her body shakes, just the front legs.

Vet Suggests Possible Causes For Trembling Canine Leg


A dog’s leg may tremble in the way you describe for a number of reasons – localized pain (e.g., from arthritis), neurologic dysfunction, and muscular weakness, for example. Trembling that affects more of the body can be a sign of anxiety, pain, fever, being cold (e.g., from low blood pressure)… but I think these generalized problems are not very likely in your dog’s case.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian – either at your next, regularly scheduled appointment or sooner, if you are very concerned. If your vet is “on the fence” as to whether or not pain could by responsible, prescribing a short course of anti-inflammatories can answer the question. When a dog’s symptoms disappear (or at least get much better) while on a pain reliever and start again when off, that’s a pretty definitive diagnosis of pain.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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