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Old 11-21-2009, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Idiopathic head tremors

Crap!

Odin came in from potty/playing with his surrogate mom, the Portuguese Podengo Medio, Gypsy, and laid down in front of the space heater in the kitchen, waiting for his breakfast to be mixed up.

I looked around and his head was lightly shaking, side-to-side as if he were doing the usual "shaking his ear posts" in very slow motion.

I have never seen him do this except for *one* time while I was untaping his old posts in order to replace them.

[the tape was stuck to his inner ear hair and I'm sure it hurt no matter how careful I was trying to be...but that incident was so subtle as to be nearly imperceptible]

After 35 years of trouble-free Doberman ownership, now I have *this*?

I've read the extensive forum posts on idiopathic head tremors, watched the videos, followed the links to external veterinary sites discussing IHT but I'm not feeling any 'calmer' about this.

A large number of owners "see this all the time" and are not bothered by it but the only other times I've seen this was with 2 Ibizans who wound up having tick borne disease with the attendant neuropathies, so I'm extremely hypersensitive to such 'scary' things.

After 7 years being Dobeless, I SO wanted his life to be absolutely perfect and his health without trouble.

My little man is growing like a weed.
He is 4 months and 48 pounds and is wildly happy and active.
[often, maddeningly so]

Is this really "nothing to worry about" and concerning the suggested B vitamin supplementation, what formulation and what dosage should I use?

He already gets puppy vites along with EsterC, a Chondroitin/MSM/Glucosamine/shark cartilage combo and brewer's yeast every day.

He is currently teething so I've reintroduced his beloved goat milk to his breakfast meal.

His kibble is the TOTW High Prairie venison/buffalo/etc formula.

We've spent more money on our dear "son" in 3 months than we usually spend on any of the other dogs in a year, just to make sure everything in his life is as optimal as humanly possible.

I got him in the first place because I needed to hopefully, finally ease the pain of losing my 'Wonder Dobe' 25 years ago and now I fear that all I've done is bought more sorrow.
[And I can ill afford more sorrow in my life. I have already had my fill. He was hopefully to be my one final, much deserved joy.]

None of the Dobermans I had between then and now ever had any "health problems" except for getting extremely old and passing away, naturally.

I'm sorry for being over-emotional but a lot is riding on this little, much-loved maniac.

I can't swear to this but it seems I remember seeing his mother do this once, ever-so-slightly while I was visiting her and her pups.
At the time, I attributed it to nervousness about "strangers" being close to her children or possibly post-partum discomfort.

I don't think that, now.

I can't hold it against the [admittedly crappy BYB] because from what I've read, it occurs in the "great" kennels and BYBs, equally....and no one knows why or what causes it except that there may be a genetic component.



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Old 11-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I understand your concern.....ive seen Max do this twice..........but most info I have found seems like it is harmless and extremely common. I'd just keep an eye on him and if happens often, or if he has any other unsual signs I'd take him to the vet just in case. Good Luck.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I understand your concern.....ive seen Max do this twice..........but most info I have found seems like it is harmless and extremely common. I'd just keep an eye on him and if happens often, or if he has any other unsual signs I'd take him to the vet just in case. Good Luck.
Thank you so much for answering me.
It's lifted the cloud of gloom hanging over my head a bit.

I dearly hope your Max never does it again.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have had this recently with 2 pups. In both cases, even though it is idiopathic, I did enough playing around to determine that a chiropractic adjustment stopped the problem.

My current young boy has done it a couple of times and that has been due to tethering him on a leash in the agility barn - I should have used his harness. He gets excited and rushes to the end of his leash when Enid is working and gets pulled up short. That causes the more recent series of head tremors I had. As I said, I actually use VOM, but it is nonetheless a form of chiropractic adjustment in the neck that has worked for me. It doesn't do it for everyone.

I am personally also horrified when my dog does it and I run as fast as I can to cupboard to get 1/2 a granola bar - that also stops it for that incident, but won't prevent a recurrence.

Anyway, mine had been diagnosed as being idiopathic, but they are actually caused by physical temporary misalignment of the neck.

PS: a suggestion - put your pup's date of birth in your profile instead of his age. It shows 14 wks but you say 4 mths...
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have had this recently with 2 pups. In both cases, even though it is idiopathic, I did enough playing around to determine that a chiropractic adjustment stopped the problem.

My current young boy has done it a couple of times and that has been due to tethering him on a leash in the agility barn - I should have used his harness. He gets excited and rushes to the end of his leash when Enid is working and gets pulled up short. That causes the more recent series of head tremors I had. As I said, I actually use VOM, but it is nonetheless a form of chiropractic adjustment in the neck that has worked for me. It doesn't do it for everyone.

I am personally also horrified when my dog does it and I run as fast as I can to cupboard to get 1/2 a granola bar - that also stops it for that incident, but won't prevent a recurrence.

Anyway, mine had been diagnosed as being idiopathic, but they are actually caused by physical temporary misalignment of the neck.

PS: a suggestion - put your pup's date of birth in your profile instead of his age. It shows 14 wks but you say 4 mths...

I updated the profile.
Sorry about that!

Where do I find a canine chiropractor [in the boonies] and what is "VOM"?

Odin's only walked with a collar *once* and that was hubby trying to 'teach him to heel' in a Home Depot, no less.
[usually he's in his figure-8 harness]

I pitched a public fit when I saw him nearly dragging Odin along [hubby is NOT dog training savvy] and took the leash away from him immediately.

Could that one incident of what I consider spectacularly stupid mishandling have triggered this?

He initially took the dog's leash from me because Odin was dragging me along by his harness, in his excitement of seeing all the wonderful new stuff in his world.
I'd much rather be dragged than have my baby's neck injured!

Even my Ibizans are lead about with harnesses rather than the martingale collars which contain their tags.
None of them are "pullers" but they have very thin, elegant and potentially fragile necks, should they suddenly see something that resembles "prey" and jerk the leash trying to "hunt it".

Now that's he's got his footing and a semblance of a desire to please, I intend to start training him to lead properly, if it ever stops raining.

[He's only recently had his "3rd shot" and is just now going out into the world on foot so "puppy classes" have been out of the question. I'd rather even wait until he's had 2 more Parvo-only shots before attending formal group classes]


And to make it even more confusing, now I question what I saw.
He was laying front of a fan-forced heater which blows air onto the floor, where his head was laying.

He really hates anything blowing in his posted ears so now I wonder if he was reacting to the air blowing past his ears rather than having a tremor.

He'd stop it when he'd raise his head as I spoke to him and then soon do it some more after laying back down.

I don't know what I saw for sure, now.....


Just to make the day even more "interesting", hubby told me the raw meat Odin and Gypsy ate this morning was "getting stinky" and he'd thrown it out.
[I have no sense of smell and fed it to them unknowingly]

I shoved probiotic caps down them both and hopefully that will minimize any stomach problems.

Ugh.

What a day.



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Old 11-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear about Odin. They can scare us so much, can't they?

I found this info online:
Head Tremors in Dobermanns and others
What can cause head tremors - JustAnswer

My thoughts are with you and Odin
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello,

My dear dobie Lady occassionally would tremor while lying down. If I got her up and asked her to walk a little, it would stop - I think sometimes she just has a pinched nerve. If it happens again though, it never hurts to see a vet ... I often go in saying... I'm visiting you so I can stop worrying! LOL. I think that Jerseys' vet is equal parts vet adn shink.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear about Odin. They can scare us so much, can't they?

I found this info online:
Head Tremors in Dobermanns and others
What can cause head tremors - JustAnswer

My thoughts are with you and Odin
My dogs are about to scare me right into a straight jacket!......:eyeball:

Thanks for the links SO much!
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hello,

My dear dobie Lady occassionally would tremor while lying down. If I got her up and asked her to walk a little, it would stop - I think sometimes she just has a pinched nerve. If it happens again though, it never hurts to see a vet ... I often go in saying... I'm visiting you so I can stop worrying! LOL. I think that Jerseys' vet is equal parts vet adn shink.
You must be going to my vet....LOL!

40% of the visit is for the dog, the other 60% is devoted to him convincing me to not worry about the dog.


Bless his heart, he puts up with me and my constant worrying.

Most vets wouldn't.



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Old 11-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When I look into the eyes of one of mine doing head tremors, they are not happy eyes, until I break out ther granola bar, then the eyes are happy and the tremors stop after the first bite - it takes a couple of bites to stop it totally for that incident. I just hate that lkost look in the eyes. Massaging has worked a couple of times and making them play a game has worked (once).

VOM is veterinary orthopedic manipulation - google it or go to:
Veterinary Chiropractic, Animal Chiropractic, Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I look into the eyes of one of mine doing head tremors, they are not happy eyes, until I break out ther granola bar, then the eyes are happy and the tremors stop after the first bite - it takes a couple of bites to stop it totally for that incident. I just hate that lkost look in the eyes. Massaging has worked a couple of times and making them play a game has worked (once).

VOM is veterinary orthopedic manipulation - google it or go to:
Veterinary Chiropractic, Animal Chiropractic, Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy
His head was turned away from me at the time so I don't know what his eyes were like.
Right now, he's acting like he's not feeling so great....probably the spoiled meat he ate this morning.....

I will try and find a VOM vet or dog chiro in my area, just in case.

I so wanted his life to be nothing but happiness and joy.


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Old 11-21-2009, 08:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I first noticed head tremors with my older Dobe when he was young. He had a few when he was young, and then I went years and years and years without ever seeing them again. He passed away about 2 weeks ago at the age of 11 years 3 months. I can't remember the last time he had a head tremor. Some people have told me that their Dobes have outgrown the tremors. My younger Dobe, who is 2 years 4 months old, has had a few tremors.. far and few between.. but when they occur, I get so upset. A few of them had a LOT of head bobbing and lasted quite awhile... In 2+ years, I think I've seen her have maybe 5 instances of it... The last one was about 3 1/2 weeks ago. Sometimes I wonder if stress triggers it.... When I first saw the tremors, I called her breeder. She said that her foundation bitch had these tremors, and she did every test under the sun... nothing showed up. I'm not sure, but I think this dog outgrew them. My younger Dobe's 1/2 sister has also had a few head tremors. So far, I haven't seen it have an impact on quality of life.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When I look into the eyes of one of mine doing head tremors, they are not happy eyes, until I break out ther granola bar, then the eyes are happy and the tremors stop after the first bite - it takes a couple of bites to stop it totally for that incident. I just hate that lkost look in the eyes. Massaging has worked a couple of times and making them play a game has worked (once).

VOM is veterinary orthopedic manipulation - google it or go to:
Veterinary Chiropractic, Animal Chiropractic, Veterinary Cold Laser Therapy
I found *2* VOM practitioners very near me!
I never would've imagined!

Thank you!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Quita View Post
I first noticed head tremors with my older Dobe when he was young. He had a few when he was young, and then I went years and years and years without ever seeing them again. He passed away about 2 weeks ago at the age of 11 years 3 months. I can't remember the last time he had a head tremor. Some people have told me that their Dobes have outgrown the tremors. My younger Dobe, who is 2 years 4 months old, has had a few tremors.. far and few between.. but when they occur, I get so upset. A few of them had a LOT of head bobbing and lasted quite awhile... In 2+ years, I think I've seen her have maybe 5 instances of it... The last one was about 3 1/2 weeks ago. Sometimes I wonder if stress triggers it.... When I first saw the tremors, I called her breeder. She said that her foundation bitch had these tremors, and she did every test under the sun... nothing showed up. I'm not sure, but I think this dog outgrew them. My younger Dobe's 1/2 sister has also had a few head tremors. So far, I haven't seen it have an impact on quality of life.
Firstly, please accept my sorrow for the loss of your boy.....

Thank you for you reassuring words, as well.

I hope this was just a fluke born of he and his "surrogate mom" playing too crazy in the yard.

In the house, he jumps on her and flattens her because he's now much bigger and stronger.
Outside, she exacts revenge because he's nowhere near as fast and agile as she.

I'm glad you have an honest, informed breeder.

My greeder wouldn't admit it even if she had any clue about what I was asking.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Everyone says they outgrow them usually by around 1 year, but sometimes there persist for a couple of years longer. I assume it is about the development of strength in the neck and learning not to lunge on a collar (I guess I really need to teach my boys to heel properly <sigh> and not tether in the barn without a harness).

I first heard of this about 25 years ago but hadn't actually experienced it for myself until recently. It doesn't matter how many times someone tells you that there is nothing really hurting the dog, I see the lost look and my heart just crumples.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
Everyone says they outgrow them usually by around 1 year, but sometimes there persist for a couple of years longer. I assume it is about the development of strength in the neck and learning not to lunge on a collar (I guess I really need to teach my boys to heel properly <sigh> and not tether in the barn without a harness).

I first heard of this about 25 years ago but hadn't actually experienced it for myself until recently. It doesn't matter how many times someone tells you that there is nothing really hurting the dog, I see the lost look and my heart just crumples.
You are truly a person after my own heart.

I have had several dogs diagnosed with illnesses that displayed no other "symptoms" save a "look in their eyes" that I knew was not "right".

A few times, I've had to become brusque with e-vets because I KNOW my dogs and can tell from the subtlest of clues whether one is hurting or not.

I live with them 24/7; the vet does not and a good vet will take that into account and listen to what the caretaker of the dog "intuits".

Sadly, all too few do.



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