View Full Version : Head shaking !!!!

29th December 2005, 11:13 AM
Please can someone give me some personal experience if they have it???

We noticed over the past couple of days that Gizmo's head is shaking when he starts to fall asleep on our laps.... it's literally like the human condition "parkinsons disease" .. it's only his head that shakes. When he moves the angle it stops.

He doesn't seem to be in pain, isn't off his food, has been wormed + ears appear clean, his toilets are ok and he's generally in good form.
He sleeps in our room and we've never seen him do this before 3 days ago and he only does it when he's lying on us and dozing during the day.

I rang the vet and he just said if it was still like that in a few days to bring him in and they'll run some tests to ensure he hasn't a temperature or ear infection or cold ....

Has anyone else had this with their dog???? If he's still showing some shaking tomorrow we are taking him directly to the vet.

Any info is really welcomed and appreciated !!!!


29th December 2005, 01:43 PM
It is more a tremor then that only happens at certain angles?

I suppose there are two choices -- it is probably either something to do with the inner or outer ear -- from an infection to mites to PSOM ('glue ear') -- or it is neurological, where it might relate to a range of things. Maybe epilepsy or related conditions, maybe syringomyelia, though I hope it is none of these more serious issues.

Here's a description of a sleeping bulldog that gets head tremors:


Here's something on boxers where they don;t know what causes it, but it seems to happen to lots of the breed:


It looks like head tremors can be a sign of liver disease problems (such as liver shunt), all things a vet might consoder though you may well get referred to UCD's vet school to a neurologist.

You should print out the information on SM and PSOM if you haven;t done that, and take it along to your vet, because both of these conditions can cause neurological side effects. PSOM is fairly easy to treat but might need repeat drainages of the affected ear:

PSOM: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/psom.htm
SM: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/infosheet.htm

I hope you find the cause and that it is something simple to treat. icon_crssedfingers

29th December 2005, 01:58 PM
Thanks Karlin for the info.

I checked the sites on the bulldogs as that's exactly what it is with Gizmo ... it's head tremors and it stops by itself after about 10 secs or when he simply moves.

I'm back in work today and the OH is home with Gizmo so he's keeping a strict eye on him.

We'll let you know the outcome. I was already onto them earlier today and he's bouncing around the place playing with his christmas toys....

Thanks for the info.... We are aware of the PSOM and SM symptoms and hopefully it's not these as there's no pain at all and no other signs but we'll let the vet be the judge.

29th December 2005, 04:53 PM
My lab did this as a pup!!! It was sooo freaky! We had it evaluateed by the neurologist (coincidentally, the same one who did Rory's surgery) who diagnosed "idiopathic head tremors". Literally - head tremors of unknown cause.

But there can be lots of causes. Also look up "intention tremors".

I'd get her checked out by a neurologist to make sure there's nothing else going on more serious.

29th December 2005, 04:54 PM
Oh!!! Try to get it on video tape. This is very important for the vet and neurologist to see what's happening.

29th December 2005, 04:57 PM
Thanks Kendall that's a great idea about the tape ... can even use my phone as that's always near-by...... Will do it without distrubing him as he stops once he moves!! It is scary to see as he doesn't even seem to notice it !!! Really appreciate the advise and will keep you posted..

29th December 2005, 07:00 PM
Good luck, that bit on the boxers too makes it sound like some dogs just have this and there's no cause and it never results in any problems. Fingers crossed for you. The chance of it being something serious is very small.

29th December 2005, 07:04 PM
Good luck, that bit on the boxers too makes it sound like some dogs just have this and there's no cause and it never results in any problems. Fingers crossed for you. The chance of it being something serious is very small.

This is what Shiloh had. She did it quite a few times at about 8 months old and then never again!

3rd January 2006, 11:59 AM

My OH brought Gizmo to the vet on Thursday before I got home and he had a "mild" inner ear infection which he gave us something for (can't remember name) ... he also gave us something to clean out his ears as a precaution each week .. we were using antiseptic wipes but the vet said for this type of dog the wipes weren't adequate and this other (very sterile smelling!!) liquid should work ....

He's had no head tremors since Wed. night and is bounding around the place as normal ... he even was back to snoring VERY LOUDLY last night....

So relieved..... but will keep a close eye on him ......

Thanks for all your advise and good wishes ....

3rd January 2006, 01:15 PM
icon_banana icon_banana
That is great news!! It is amazing how something minor and simple can account for some of these worries, isn't it? Ear infections can have some real knock-on effects like this -- and cause dizziness and lack of coordination etc as it can effect balance, and so many things. This is great news. BTW if you are bathing your dog regularly, it is recommended to gently put cotton balls into the ear canal to keep water from getting in, as the dampness can make them more prone to ear infections. It seems some dogs just have more ear problems than others, too -- I know some who have lots, while mine -- who swim regularly and thus often have damp ear canals! -- have never had a single ear infection. A lot of owners do a regular cleaning of the type your vet is suggesting as a preventative and that seems to really help.

3rd January 2006, 03:35 PM
What great news!! glad it's just an ear infection and responding to meds! :)

3rd January 2006, 03:46 PM
This is great! Congrats!! icon_banana