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Old 06-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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head shaking....

I have not posted here in quite a while, when I originally did I got some flak for my dog being potentially cross-bred or not purebread or badly bred - whatever the case, long story short she was a rescue who was taken from a breeder at a steep discount because of her poor markings, and her original owners (who obviously didn't have alot of $$$ but wanted a doberman) ended up somehow letting her fall down some stairs @ only 2.5 months of age and break her left front leg badly. I got her @ 4 months with stitches still in place and still growing, very underweight and skinny due to the lack of exercise since she had the injury. She is now a year and a month, fully grown and in phenomenal shape - she weighs 64 lbs and is 24.5" @ withers! She is very fast and I rehabilitated her by jogging no less than 2-3 miles daily since she was 5 months.

Anyhow - on to my issue, regardless of whether she is purebred or not (she certainly looks to be mostly dobie and her DNA tests state this) - she has most of the traits. My wife and I noticed on a handful of occasions tremors stemming mostly from her upper torso/head area out of nowhere. At first we chalked it up to her being "cold" but it has happened once or twice in warm weather. I read that this could be something that she could grow out of or it could be something more serious. Is there any way to have her checked for wobblers like a test or something?? It has happened recently she is about 1 year and 1 month, it happened last maybe 2 months ago that I can remember (in warm weather/room).

Here's a recent pic of our little beast.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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.02

My pup, reputable breeder, 30 years of history behind her...

Around the one year mark my pup had three episode that we witnessed, head shaking. Just this ever so slight twitch of her head and shoulders... Kind of like a bobble head, shake.

We inquired with the breeder and she did say that she's heard this before from other litters and one other littermate displayed same at approx the same time. We were told to keep an eye on it... If it continues bring her to the vet, but she would most probably out grow it.

She will be two at the end of the month and I or my wife have never seen her have this "shake" again.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In Dobermans, this is generally referred to as idiopathic head tremors... no known cause or origin, no ill effects. Some folks have reported that a B Vitamin complex 50 mg. has resulted in episodes ceasing. Sometimes, it just stops on it's own... sometimes, it does not. During an episode, lots of folks report that giving a biscuit will cause it to stop... I assume the act of chewing changes what is neurologically going on somewhere in the head or neck. Even though not much seems to be known about it, the general consensus is that it is not really a harmful or dangerous or bad thing... it just is what it is.

This is NOT Wobbler's Disease. The most frequent first sign of that is weakness beginning in the back end.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would be inclined to think nystagmus - that's just what comes to mind first. Are his eyes shaky?
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Please be careful Doberman's or any larger breed dog should not be jogged until they are about 18 months to two years old since their growth plates are not closed until then. When you jog them too young it can sometimes damage their joints causing arthritis at a latter date. I hope this will not happen to your Fur Kid just wanted to bring it to your attention so if your Fur Kid becomes lame you may tell your vet.Good Luck with your baby and welcome back to DT mixed breed or not you still love them & they are yours..
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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They told me to jog w/ her rather than letting her run about, making "hard cuts" like an NFL wideout and twisting her leg - what you're saying may be true, but when a dog's muscle growth and conditioning has been stifled due to having a cast and being confined to a crate most of the time and only going on short walks most of her early life - she needs "catching up" and she needs that exercise in a controlled manner - not just running around like a maniac.

I did not start running her longish distances until she was about 7-8 months, it started with long walks w/ periods of jogging, then I would jog a mile and walk a mile, slowly building her up. Now she is extremely fit and healthy. All this was at the recommendations of my personal vet, and the technicians/vets at the MSPCA Boston - which, as you can imagine, is literally one of the most distinguished veterinarian establishments around, state of the art, very well funded, and w/ the top vets available.

OH, and Patches-mom - SHE WILL have arthritis, it is nearly a given w/ the severity of her injury, however the vet(s) are astonished at her muscle growth and rehabilitation (not to pat myself on the back LOL) but I knew this going into the adoption

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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And thank you for the replies, this puts my mind at ease. Her eyes don't shake I don't think...mostly head and neck/chest area. And it has only been a handful of times (that I've witnessed anyway)
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You can look up idiopathic head tremors, which seem to be common in Dobermans. Quite often they come on if you wake up/startle the dog when napping- and often you can snap the dog out of it by talking to them, offering a cookie, etc.

You can always take a video and show it to/talk to your vet about this if they increase in length, severity, and frequency. Would not want to advise anyone to ignore something that may be a real seizure occurring.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellenm View Post
You can look up idiopathic head tremors, which seem to be common in Dobermans. Quite often they come on if you wake up/startle the dog when napping- and often you can snap the dog out of it by talking to them, offering a cookie, etc.

You can always take a video and show it to/talk to your vet about this if they increase in length, severity, and frequency. Would not want to advise anyone to ignore something that may be a real seizure occurring.

ALWAYS happened when we woke her up from sleeping!
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like head tremors. My boy gets them on the rare occasion. First time we were so panicked I was looking for keys to get him to emergency vet. It stopped and I calmed down (he seemed perfectly normal) so I did some research and found out what it was and confirmed with my regular vet the next morning. He wasn't having a stroke, but I almost did!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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vitamin b-12 500mg once a day,he will pass(pee) out what he dont use.give it a try,bobby
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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head tremors are pretty common in Dobermans - if you can distract her out of them with a treat, then I would not worry.

Sounds like you have done a great job with her.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi
I havent posted in ages on the forum but was on here today and saw your post. My Kaiser has idiopathic head tremors as well. From the research I have done (and talking w his vet who also happens to also be a dobie show handler and breeder for several decades) this is common in dobermans, boxers and king charles spaniels.

I found some anecdotal evidence on the internet in which others have noticed this happening in females who are nursing and their blood sugar drops. My sister is raising Kaiser's brother, and he has the same condition. We both have found that giving our boys a half teaspoon of molasses or maple syrup makes it stop immediately (same idea as a cookie or biscuit but seems to work quicker).

One thing our vet did advise is to NOT let a vet try to medicate the dog thinking this is a seizure...that will create other far worse health issues of course.

All indications are that the tremors or bobbing is completely harmless to the dog and they dont know they are doing it. It is just horrible to witness!

I have heard that some grow out of it, others dont.

One thing you might consider doing is participating in ProjectDog. I was sent this link from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, as there is a research project underway specific to Dobermans to find out the genetic causes of common doberman ailments such as head bobbing, Wobblers, etc. It is a short survey and you have the option to also provide DNA samples from your dog for their research. Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Canine Behavior

Good Luck!
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