Idiopathic Head Tremors. - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Idiopathic Head Tremors.

While I was cooking Easter dinner last night, I happened to look over at Ace who was snoozing in his crate with the door open. He looked up at me normal, and then after a second or two, his head began to shake. It panicked me a little, because I immediately thought it was a seizure. I called him out from the kennel, which he had no trouble doing. He could still do commands, and he didnt seem upset at all. It was almost as if he didn't even know it was happened. He was just concerned of why I was concerned and making him come out from his nap, lol.

I took the video, turned around to take the gravy off the burner so I could focus on Ace, and by the time I was back around, it was gone. He wasn't shaking and was 100% normal. No reaction, no scared peeing, nothing. He was fine and was getting loved on by my fiance. I sent the video to my breeder, and she told me about idiopathic head tremors, and told me it was common. She invited me to still do research if I wished, but she reassured me it was fine. Unexplained, but nothing to worry about. I did some googling, and felt much relief with this article. https://www.vetneurochesapeake.com/u...-head-tremors/

So, albeit scary, I just wanted to share with others here on DT in case they experience something similar. Between this guys allergies (which i still cant get under control again), low thyroid, and constant health surprises, I am not sure I am ready for kids, lol.


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 07:57 AM
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Sorry about the worry!

"
So, albeit scary, I just wanted to share with others here on DT in case they experience something similar. Between this guys allergies (which i still cant get under control again), low thyroid, and constant health surprises, I am not sure I am ready for kids, lol. "

They do challenge one's heart and brain but some how it always seems worth it. Keep your sanity!
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 08:00 AM
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That is a terrifying deal to watch for you too ! We had a dog that had them when they were very little - the breeder said not to worry , that they --- Most times will grow out of them , And they did - then when we lost a dog - the other started to have them again - the dog was heart broke over losing there best friend - then they slowly quit - We had done lots of research on this and it says that Stress can trigger them ! And yes - it made more since then , I do believe that stress can be a very big player with this .

What we did was try and snap them out of it quick ! Call there name - Or lets go get a treat ! Anything - then they quit as quick as they came on .

Best of luck ! He will be OK .
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 08:08 AM
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Chesa, thanks for your concern and video of Ace.
We know how disturbing it is when these tremors occur in your Dobe.

Aces's tremors are similar, with a bit more amplitude than our Eva's were.
Eva is coming up on 10 y/o in June and thankfully, she is growing out of them.
We only see them maybe once/ 2-months now, but used to be several/daily occurence.

Here are links to previous DT Idiopathic Tremor threads:
https://www.dobermantalk.com/midwest...ml#post4055493 (had same vet link as your post today)

https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...ad-shakes.html

https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...d-tremors.html

Eva has also been on Hypo Thyroid medication for several years, so I don't know if that is a factor in the tremors or not?


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 08:28 AM
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Have you addressed any of these health issues with your breeder? Low thyroid at his age is concerning. Out of control allergies are concerning.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 09:29 AM
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Head tremors are generally not a big deal, but yes, they are scary if you don't know what they are. The way that you know they are the ideopathic head tremors as opposed to a seizure is that they will stop if you offer the dog a treat. I would discuss it with your vet just so your vet knows this is something your dog experiences. Your vet should know about (or be able to research) them.

Richter has them every once in a while. I actually track them in a spreadsheet on Google sheets, so I can make notes about when they happen, what is going on when they happen, what might trigger them, etc. It helps me know how often they happen. His are pretty rare. He's actually gone years without an episode, then he might have one or two, then a couple of years again. Generally with him they happen when he is very relaxed; they usually start when he's deeply asleep. It's possible I may miss seeing some when we're not home, but I doubt it would be many. He always stops as soon as I give him a cookie. Again, he maybe has one or two in a year, then might go a year without any.

In all of my research and discussion with my vet, they've never found any connection to actual seizure activity.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falnfenix View Post
Have you addressed any of these health issues with your breeder? Low thyroid at his age is concerning. Out of control allergies are concerning.
She's aware of the health issues, and stays in contact frequently. None of the other pups from the litter are experiencing any issues, as we have a facebook group we communicate in. She was also surprised by the low thyroid, but I will say my vet only did the quick in-house testing... Since its not really clearing up his skin issues as I expected, I'm starting to question the diagnosis.

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Head tremors are generally not a big deal, but yes, they are scary if you don't know what they are. The way that you know they are the ideopathic head tremors as opposed to a seizure is that they will stop if you offer the dog a treat. I would discuss it with your vet just so your vet knows this is something your dog experiences. Your vet should know about (or be able to research) them.

Richter has them every once in a while. I actually track them in a spreadsheet on Google sheets, so I can make notes about when they happen, what is going on when they happen, what might trigger them, etc. It helps me know how often they happen. His are pretty rare. He's actually gone years without an episode, then he might have one or two, then a couple of years again. Generally with him they happen when he is very relaxed; they usually start when he's deeply asleep. It's possible I may miss seeing some when we're not home, but I doubt it would be many. He always stops as soon as I give him a cookie. Again, he maybe has one or two in a year, then might go a year without any.

In all of my research and discussion with my vet, they've never found any connection to actual seizure activity.
I definitely plan on letting my vet know, and have created a journal for it as well! But yes, Ace was very relaxed snoozing in his kennel so I don't believe its stress related. He snapped out of it as soon as my fiance got petting and loving on him.



At this point I don't know what to think. Without anyone else in the litter having issues, its hard for me to blame the breeder. Ace's personality is beyond great, better than I could have ever wished for. It definitely sucks to be dealing with some of these things, but I just do the best I can.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 09:46 AM
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Our first doberman had head tremors when she was young. She did out grow these, also.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesa View Post
She's aware of the health issues, and stays in contact frequently. None of the other pups from the litter are experiencing any issues, as we have a facebook group we communicate in. She was also surprised by the low thyroid, but I will say my vet only did the quick in-house testing... Since its not really clearing up his skin issues as I expected, I'm starting to question the diagnosis.



I definitely plan on letting my vet know, and have created a journal for it as well! But yes, Ace was very relaxed snoozing in his kennel so I don't believe its stress related. He snapped out of it as soon as my fiance got petting and loving on him.



At this point I don't know what to think. Without anyone else in the litter having issues, its hard for me to blame the breeder. Ace's personality is beyond great, better than I could have ever wished for. It definitely sucks to be dealing with some of these things, but I just do the best I can.
You REALLY need to have the full panel run. I think we all thought you had. You can't properly medicate without getting the appropriate information. The in-house testing isn't going to give you the full information. You need to do the full panel, get all the numbers, have your vet dose him based on that, and then, probably retest (again FULL panel), in about 3 months, to see how he's responding to the dose. It can take a while to get thyroid stuff figured out and stabilized. Unfortunately, it kind of sucks to deal with for a while, but typically once you get it working, you only need to test every six months.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You REALLY need to have the full panel run. I think we all thought you had. You can't properly medicate without getting the appropriate information. The in-house testing isn't going to give you the full information. You need to do the full panel, get all the numbers, have your vet dose him based on that, and then, probably retest (again FULL panel), in about 3 months, to see how he's responding to the dose. It can take a while to get thyroid stuff figured out and stabilized. Unfortunately, it kind of sucks to deal with for a while, but typically once you get it working, you only need to test every six months.
When I asked my vet, they told me it was a full workup. I called back and asked again after the initial post I made and they kept saying it was a full test. But I recently asked them when the results were going to come back from wherever they sent it to, and thats when I found out it was never sent off for anything. So yeah, at this point I am just confused. Its a nice practice, but I, once again, am getting tired of the lack of results. They also believe the blood test is accurate for food allergies as well, which I do not believe to be accurate. I'm just stuck. This practice was the best rated around for allergies and etc.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 10:31 AM
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Chesa - MC has a good point ! Don't tell her I said that - don't want to give her a big head

But she is 100 % right - A local Vet lab don't cut the mustard in thyroid testing ! We have had them run on all our dogs and Kadin was tested again last year - Our Vet said they send them off to a lab That they just can not do what needs to be done there . I would talk to your vet about having that done . Also MC is right - it takes time to get the right amount .
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
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When I asked my vet, they told me it was a full workup. I called back and asked again after the initial post I made and they kept saying it was a full test. But I recently asked them when the results were going to come back from wherever they sent it to, and thats when I found out it was never sent off for anything. So yeah, at this point I am just confused. Its a nice practice, but I, once again, am getting tired of the lack of results. They also believe the blood test is accurate for food allergies as well, which I do not believe to be accurate. I'm just stuck. This practice was the best rated around for allergies and etc.
Yeah, honestly, I think you need a new vet. And generally, I'm pro-vet (I think people tend to get down on vets for no reason, but)...it sure doesn't sound like you are getting good care. Especially when you aren't getting the tests you request. And I 100% agree with you on the lack of evidence for allergy testing. That's been proven over and over again via scientific testing.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 11:57 AM
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Newton had them when he was younger too. He hasn't had one in quite awhile thankfully. I can give him a treat and that will snap him right out of it. Our vet was not too worried, but we are keeping track of them just in case.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 10:31 PM
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Head tremors are very freaky to witness - especially the first time. My Harvard had some when he was still growing, and then they disappeared for many years. Now at 12, he gets them again. Sometimes it takes a little while to get them to stop..... but a few treats always do the trick. The higher value the better - and the more crunchy the better.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 04:15 AM
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My experiences are similar to Fitzmar's. I noticed Karma have a couple of episodes when she was quite young, and then not again for years, and then it wasn't something that happened often. Shelby used to have the odd episode but it didn't start with her (that we ever saw) until she was older. I've seen Wicca have a couple of episodes which only started in the past year (she's 7). One thing I've seen is that they've been in a position where their neck is kind of kinked a bit. They weren't lying flat out, for eg.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 10:58 AM
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Chesa--if you are going to get the thyroid rechecked (and I sure would) I would specifically ask that the test (it's a five or 6 part test--depending on how you count the individual parts) be done by MSU--they have been the gold standard for doing complete thyroid testing for many years. Not all labs can even do all the parts of a full panel. MSU does and lists on their website other labs that can do a complete panel. Texas A & M vet school is another that can do a full test.

A full panel should include T4, T4 by ED, T3, T3 by ED, TSH and TgAA. TSH and TgAA are basically the parts that identify genetic forms of hypothyroidism.

Good luck with this--drives me crazy to hear about people who want full panels and then have to deal with vets and clinics who CAN'T do them in house and lie about sending them out.

Low thyroid issues are so common in Dobermans I always do full test between two and three years.

Good luck.

dobebug

PS I've had a couple of dogs who had issues with head tremors--the first was my one and only bitch--she'd have one and I'd say "Dee!" to her and they'd promptly stop--finally she had one when I had her at my vet for something else--he looked and said "Oh yeah, a fair number of puppies have those and they just seem to outgrow them. That's not what the beginning of a grand mal or even a petite mal siezure looks like."

Then 20 years late I had a puppy male who had a couple of episodes when very young and had a couple every few years as an adult--but they didn't seem significant in his life so I just made note off them and he lived to be well over 10.

dobebug
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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I'm on with the vet now for a teleconference they requested when I sent them the video. These people are very kind, but I have a heck of a time.

I asked the vet flat out about the complete panel for low thyroid. He said that yes, he does that testing, however not immediately. He said that if he finds the one hormone he is looking for is low in the in house test, then he feels confident in treating it without further testing. He said if it is low, then doing the complete panel is only going to tell him WHERE its low at (pituitary gland) and be treated the same way. He said the complete testing is expensive, and he knows I am budget mindful. He said if his in-house test had come back normal, then the next step would have been to do the complete panel.

I'm not vet, so I am just repeating (probably not worded as well) as my vet explained. Just the messenger.

He does have a more aggressive action plan for Ace's other issues, and wants me to change a few things up that I am doing, so I am going to give it all one more shot. I really just want some relief for the guy. Some real improvement already. I get so excited by the little improvements that always seem to stop shortly after. Its been exhausting.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesa View Post
I'm on with the vet now for a teleconference they requested when I sent them the video. These people are very kind, but I have a heck of a time.

I asked the vet flat out about the complete panel for low thyroid. He said that yes, he does that testing, however not immediately. He said that if he finds the one hormone he is looking for is low in the in house test, then he feels confident in treating it without further testing. He said if it is low, then doing the complete panel is only going to tell him WHERE its low at (pituitary gland) and be treated the same way. He said the complete testing is expensive, and he knows I am budget mindful. He said if his in-house test had come back normal, then the next step would have been to do the complete panel.

I'm not vet, so I am just repeating (probably not worded as well) as my vet explained. Just the messenger.

He does have a more aggressive action plan for Ace's other issues, and wants me to change a few things up that I am doing, so I am going to give it all one more shot. I really just want some relief for the guy. Some real improvement already. I get so excited by the little improvements that always seem to stop shortly after. Its been exhausting.
This is when you have to be insistent. INSIST on a FULL thyroid panel sent to MSU. Your money, your dog. Your Vet should do what you request.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 10:02 AM
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My Priscilla has done this twice in the past 6 weeks. I talked to the vet and did some research but it's still awful to see. Thanks for the info.
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