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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I had a few questions I needed some imput on. I have read all the old threads and could not find what I needed. I first off want to say, That anyone buying a dobe...Make sure your breeder crops it's ears first! What I have been through, and am about to go through is ridiculous!


First Problem, Multi-Questions.

The puppies are still at the vets. This is day #3. And while I'm happy he has there best intrest at heart. I miss them terribly. They had there ears cropped on Friday, and I won't be picking them up until Monday. As far as I know, they will be coming home with braces on. I need some advise on post crop ear care. I have read alot and want to know what you all think. Should I clean the wounds? Or leave them? What is this about "streching" the ears and rubbing oil on them? Are braces a long term device? Or will they need to be posted in another method at some time?

Second Problem.

My husband came to me saying that Rayna was bobbing her head alot. I could never catch her doing this, but he has on several occasions. I finally seen her do it yesterday when I went and visited them at the vets. I did'nt know if it was the pain killers, or an after effect of surgery. My husband said that she had done this same thing at home. She seems to do it when she is tired. And it seems involentary. I asked the Tech to have the doc give us a call, but nothing yet. I am of course thinking wobblers. Does anyone know what this could be? Or what some on the onset symtoms of Wobblers Disease looks like? The back ground Health of my puppies is fairly good. No wobblers in the last 5-6 generations at least. I talked to my breeder and she seems to think it's not wobblers. But said to have a neuroligist check her to be sure.


Thanks in Advance.
 

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I don't know what it could be.....don't freak out! You sound like me...because I lost both my Weims in 3 months....WITH PETEY I FREAK OUT ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING! My family is completely sick of my obsession over the dog. One day at a time right now....see exactly what is going on when she is home and well rested and her life is "normal" again.

Carol oxoxoxoxo
 

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First Problem, Multi-Questions.

The puppies are still at the vets. This is day #3. And while I'm happy he has there best intrest at heart. I miss them terribly. They had there ears cropped on Friday, and I won't be picking them up until Monday. As far as I know, they will be coming home with braces on. I need some advise on post crop ear care. I have read alot and want to know what you all think. Should I clean the wounds? Or leave them? What is this about "streching" the ears and rubbing oil on them? Are braces a long term device? Or will they need to be posted in another method at some time?

Second Problem.

My husband came to me saying that Rayna was bobbing her head alot. I could never catch her doing this, but he has on several occasions. I finally seen her do it yesterday when I went and visited them at the vets. I did'nt know if it was the pain killers, or an after effect of surgery. My husband said that she had done this same thing at home. She seems to do it when she is tired. And it seems involentary. I asked the Tech to have the doc give us a call, but nothing yet. I am of course thinking wobblers. Does anyone know what this could be? Or what some on the onset symtoms of Wobblers Disease looks like? The back ground Health of my puppies is fairly good. No wobblers in the last 5-6 generations at least. I talked to my breeder and she seems to think it's not wobblers. But said to have a neuroligist check her to be sure.


Thanks in Advance.
I never clean or do anything with freshly cropped ears other than put a clean sock bonnet on them daily until it's time for the stitches to be pulled. This is the kind of thing with no right answer, tho...everyone handles it a little differently. Leaving them alone has consistently resulted in ears that heal quickly without any infection, so it works for me.

Head bobbing is pretty common in dobermans. It appears to follow some family groups. Not a lot of research has been done about it, because it doesn't seem to lead to anything more serious. Dogs can usually be distracted out of it..some people have found supplementing with vitamin B can decrease or eliminate head bobbing. I don't believe there's any connection with it to CVI. General anesthetics can cause head tremors in some dogs, but since you said she did it prior to being cropped, I doubt that's what caused them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am pretty nervous about everything. My family too has about had it with me. Though my husband is as worried as I am. I plan to use the clean sock. That is a great idea. I just don't know if it will fit over the rack. Is the rack going to be perminant? And do you have to strech the ears? I can understand how they would crinkle with stiches in. My skin did when I had a 60 plus and staples. (C-Section)

On the head boobing, You have heard of it before? Thank god, that alone makes me feel a bit better! It really seem neurological. Almost like a shiver from being cold. I did'nt find much when I google Wobblers. I'll try to search using head bobbing. You know, Now that I think of it, my husband was not quite clear if he seen this before or after the FIRST time she had anesthesia... I will have to ask him when he gets home. If caused by the gas...Does this go away? Or is she ask risk? I hope one of the techs see her doing it.
 

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I am pretty nervous about everything. My family too has about had it with me. Though my husband is as worried as I am. I plan to use the clean sock. That is a great idea. I just don't know if it will fit over the rack. Is the rack going to be perminant? And do you have to strech the ears? I can understand how they would crinkle with stiches in. My skin did when I had a 60 plus and staples. (C-Section)

On the head boobing, You have heard of it before? Thank god, that alone makes me feel a bit better! It really seem neurological. Almost like a shiver from being cold. I did'nt find much when I google Wobblers. I'll try to search using head bobbing. You know, Now that I think of it, my husband was not quite clear if he seen this before or after the FIRST time she had anesthesia... I will have to ask him when he gets home. If caused by the gas...Does this go away? Or is she ask risk? I hope one of the techs see her doing it.
Socks will fit over just about any kind of rack, I've even seen them used over the old fashioned metal racks that thank God aren't used that often any longer. I prefer used (but clean) socks, I think the fact they're stretched out allows them to fit more comfortably. No, whatever is done with a freshly cropped puppy isn't permanent, whatever is done with the ears at that time is only done until the stitches are ready to be removed. After that, when the ears are fully healed, the ears have to be posted..and there are many, many threads already on this board about ear posting.

Ears don't need to be stretched. In fact, a lot of breeders just have the ears laid over the top of the head and glued down until the stitches are pulled. When the ears are ready to be posted, they straighten right out.

Yes, head tremors are very common in dobermans. While none of my own dogs have ever done it, I know many dogs who do it. It's no big deal.

If it's caused by an anesthetic, I'd imagine the tremors would go away when their body has finally assimilated the anesthetic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From what I looked up, here is something. Maybe this is it?

A syndrome called “idiopathic head tremor”, for lack
of a better name, has been recognized in dogs.
Dobermans are most commonly affected, with English
bulldogs being also common. Other breeds can also be
affected.

Signs consist of an intermittent tremor of the head. This
can be an up-and-down movement or a side-to-side
movement. The tremor starts and stops spontaneously.
The dogs are alert and responsive during the tremor
and are able to walk normally. In some cases,
distracting the dog, for example with food, can stop the
tremor.

Diagnostic testing, including CT/MRI, spinal fluid
analysis, and EEG are typically normal. Affected dogs
do not develop other neurologic signs. There is no
treatment but the episodes sometimes eventually stop.

This has been discussed among neurologists and
nobody really agrees on the nature of these episodes.
They may be focal seizures, but they rarely respond to
anti-seizure drugs. Another theory is that this is a
movement disorder. A behavior disorder, such as
stereotypy has also been postulated. I have seen
related Dobermans affected, suggesting there may be a
genetic component.

WB Thomas DVM,MS
Dipl.ACVIM(Neurology)
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
http://www.vet.utk.edu/
 

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good luck with your 2 babies, and we all are overly protective of our kids!!
My boy "Utah" went to the bridge in November (8 1/2 years old), he was diagnosed with Wobblers 2 years earlier. It pains me to even write this and remember how horrible it was for him but I can honestly say he NEVER bobbed his head. He did have the head shakes occasionally but we dont think that it was related. He was approximately 6 years old when he first had symptoms and they had nothing to do with his head, I would definitely get those bad thoughts out of your mind. Doberman's normally do not show symptoms of wobblers before the age of 4-5 years, whereas Dane's show them as puppies(by wobbling as they walk). I know how crazy you feel worrying about them, I have panic attacks if my Romel acts anything but perfect , but all we can do is take care of them to the best of our ability and with alot of love. Im sure that both your kids are going to be fine and you are just nervous from the surgeries. Cant wait to see some pic's.:)
 

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From what I looked up, here is something. Maybe this is it?

A syndrome called “idiopathic head tremor”, for lack
of a better name, has been recognized in dogs.
Dobermans are most commonly affected, with English
bulldogs being also common. Other breeds can also be
affected.

Signs consist of an intermittent tremor of the head. This
can be an up-and-down movement or a side-to-side
movement. The tremor starts and stops spontaneously.
The dogs are alert and responsive during the tremor
and are able to walk normally. In some cases,
distracting the dog, for example with food, can stop the
tremor.

Diagnostic testing, including CT/MRI, spinal fluid
analysis, and EEG are typically normal. Affected dogs
do not develop other neurologic signs. There is no
treatment but the episodes sometimes eventually stop.

This has been discussed among neurologists and
nobody really agrees on the nature of these episodes.
They may be focal seizures, but they rarely respond to
anti-seizure drugs. Another theory is that this is a
movement disorder. A behavior disorder, such as
stereotypy has also been postulated. I have seen
related Dobermans affected, suggesting there may be a
genetic component.

WB Thomas DVM,MS
Dipl.ACVIM(Neurology)
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
http://www.vet.utk.edu/
This question about the head tremors in Dobe puppies gets asked so often that I finally saved one of the posts I sent to a list and have been reposting it when the question comes up--I think I may have even posted it on this forum in the past.

Here's the post--mine is all entirely anecdotal but it pretty much is the same thing that the neurologist says.

My post posted with my permission if anyone actually cares.
*******************
I'm basically rather uncomfortable with the information and conclusions drawn in that article about the "Doberman Head Bobbing Syndrome". I read it some while ago when it was first published and didn't agree with some of it then and still don't and I've written about "head bobbing" so often now I should really remember to save the text and simply repost it when it comes up again.

My information is entirely anecdotal--but I wonder if the conclusions drawn in the article have a big enough data base to be accurate.

One thing is certain--this isn't new and I don't see it more often now than I did 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago. But then I've been looking at the breed for a long time. I saw the occasional puppy with a head tremor in the 60's and I see an occasional puppy with a head tremor now.

The first time I read the article it struck me that it was almost as if two different syndromes were being described.

The first Dobe I had who had (what I really couldn't call a head bob--but rather a tremor) a head shake was whelped in 1961. When she was about 5 months old I was reading and she was playing in the same room--I looked to see what she was doing because she was being too quiet (kids and puppies make noise) and she was sitting and looking at me. Her head was quivering--this was not a bob, not much of anything except a tremor--it looked the way you might imagine a shiver would look confined to the head alone. I said, "Dee!" and it stopped. For several months she would do this every three or four weeks--there didn't seem to be any apparent trigger--it was as likely to happen after she'd been playing hard as it was right after she woke up.

I took her to her vet--she was obliging enough to have an episode in the office--we ran what tests were available and seemed appropriate (not many) and ultimately came to no conclusions--her vet records said "fine tremor (etiology unknown) affecting the head only".

When she had an episode she'd get a distant look in her eye and the fine tremor would start but as soon as you called her name she was back to normal--wondering why you were saying "Dee!"

By the time she was a year old she had stopped having the tremors at any particular interval--and by the time she was three, as far as I know, she had stopped having them at all.

The second dog that I owned who had head tremors was whelped in 1996--and like the bitch started having an occasional tremor about the time he was 5 months old. He never did have as many as she did--his showed up every five or six months or so and by the time he was 2 he stopped having them and didn't have one (at least not when I was around to see it) until he was well over six--that was the last one I saw him have.

Over the period of years between the first bitch and the recent dog I owned a fair number of Dobes and while I didn't have another who had head tremors I saw them fairly frequently in dogs owned by other people. Often the owners never even noticed that the dogs were having an episode and more than once I asked owners "How often does he have those?" and got the answer "Have what?"

I have also seen dogs who had symptoms which really could be described as a "head bob". At least one dog was found to have an invasive brain tumor when a necropsy was performed after he was put to sleep because of increasing episodes of head shaking and ultimately seizures. I know of another who ultimately was diagnosed with a liver disease and as the disease grew worse so did the head shaking. But these didn't look anything like that fine tremor that I've seen in dogs of mine, friends dogs and hear about regularly.

I hear about things that people believe have helped these tremors--B vitamins, supplimental vitamin E, feeding a variety of "natural" diets (as opposed to good quality kibble) including both entirely raw as well as home cooked.

The fact is that when these tremors show up in puppies in the four to six month range they seem to eventually go away, by themselves or appear so infrequently that there may literally be years between episodes.

This seems to happen whether the dogs get B vitamins (any combination you may care to think of) or not. Whether you give vitamin E--or not. And lastly no matter what kind of diet you end up feeding--no matter whether it contains grains (or not) or is raw--or cooked or home made or bought at a feed store.

You can make of this what you will--I would suggest if you see something like this in a dog of yours that you ask about it at the next regular appointment with your vet. Generally if you can offer the dog a cookie or say its name and it stops the symptoms it will probably turn out to be nothing that our present diagnostics can determine but if it worries you then you should ask about it and keep track of the episodes and their frequency and duration so that you can offer some information to your vet.

There are certainly things that will make a dogs head shake and some very serious things indeed--but for the most part those that I've heard about have started to occur in older dogs--not in puppies as the fine tremors tend to.

I've also heard people claim that some lines are more prone to this than others--and it may be true--as I say my information is entirely anecdotal and in my experience the two dogs I've owned who had these fine tremors as puppies had common ancestors but they were about 15/16 generations back in the recent dog before you get to dogs that were also in the pedigree of the the bitch from the 60's.

If your dog is of such quality that you would be breeding him I don't think the fine tremor that I'm describing should be a reason to not breed him (but you have to remember that I don't think most of the dogs and bitches who are bred should be) but he'd better be very high quality indeed.

The bottom line would be to discuss this with your veterinarian--new information turns up out of research every day and for the record I've seen other breeds do the same thing--at least a couple of terrier breeds, a springer, a weim and a standard poodle that I can think of just off hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. I have not had a panic attack yet. Thankfully. As they are no stranger to me these days.

Thank you Utah, For sharing your experience. I'm sure it's still painfull to remember. I feel a bit better though hearing that they do not usally show symtoms as young pups. I will be glad that they are home tomorrow. The only thing I can say, Is I will now and forever advocate that the breeder SHOULD crop puppies BEFORE letting them leave. No matter what. Even with my experiance in dogs, and my medical backgroud as a vet tech, I am no where near prepared, Nor do I have the know how to get these ears healed and standing. I'm sure it's not Rocket Science, but it takes some knowlage. Anycase...Since our breeder did not crop before, I'm now left with this forum for guidence through the ear posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey all, The girls are back from the Vets. That was a long 4 day stay. There ears look great. I love the cut. He did a medium fancy cut. They are looking pretty sore still. He put them in a brace thing as soon as they were done. It looks like a plastic circle on thier heads with plastic Triangle stays attached. Thier ears are glued and taped a bit. Nothing over the edges. Which have stitches in still. They also both have E collars on. Is this common? They are scratching horribly. I'm getting some socks on them as soon as the tranqulizers kick in. He perscribed Acepromazine 10mg one before desired effect is wanted. This does not say how often though. We have a return appointment on Friday. I went out and bought the biggest Vari-Kennel I could find to confine one while one is out. They won't fit in there mediums with the E collars on. I'm going to take some pictures tomorrow and post them.
 

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Gawd I love these kinds of forums. Such a wealth of information. I've owned the breed for 33 years and am never done learning. I've never even heard of the head bobbing thing, so this information was interesting to me. I have never bred dobermans though, only bought and showed them.

As Murreydobe said, there are as many different ways to take care of an ear crop as there are breeders. I used to be the "kennel girl" for Bob and Pat Hastings about 100 years ago and learned the majority of what I do from them and helping raise their puppies. I personally can't stand to see scabs, so I keep the cut edges clean. I gently cleanse them a couple of times a day with a warm, wet washcloth and apply triple antibiotic ointment. I have always used the styrofoam cup on top of the head with the ears skin-bonded to it and nothing covering it. As soon as there is no more red along the cut edge the sutures are removed and the ears are taped. Again though, there is no real "right" or "wrong" method of ear care, it's all individual opinion.
 

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Hey all, The girls are back from the Vets. That was a long 4 day stay. There ears look great. I love the cut. He did a medium fancy cut. They are looking pretty sore still. He put them in a brace thing as soon as they were done. It looks like a plastic circle on thier heads with plastic Triangle stays attached. Thier ears are glued and taped a bit. Nothing over the edges. Which have stitches in still. They also both have E collars on. Is this common? They are scratching horribly. I'm getting some socks on them as soon as the tranqulizers kick in. He perscribed Acepromazine 10mg one before desired effect is wanted. This does not say how often though. We have a return appointment on Friday. I went out and bought the biggest Vari-Kennel I could find to confine one while one is out. They won't fit in there mediums with the E collars on. I'm going to take some pictures tomorrow and post them.
Can you post a picture of that contraption? I'd be interested in seeing it. I've always had the cuphead thingie and it is so easy. I've also seen the ears glued over the head till they are healed - and have posted a puppies that were done both ways. I've never needed an elizabethien collar on any cropped puppy.
 

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Can you post a picture of that contraption? I'd be interested in seeing it.

I've never needed an elizabethien collar on any cropped puppy.
The contraption is called a wolf rack. One of the vets who does a lot of cropping for show breeders out here, Dr. Zarrilli, uses them. I think the cups work just as well.

I've never used an elizabethan collar on newly cropped puppies, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, I have never heard of a Eliz collar being used after eaither. But I'm kinda glad I have them. They are trying to itch non-stop! The E collar is cut to a good length and not touching the ears. I guess it's not called a brace. It's a crown? It just a plastic ring with two triangles to glue the ears too. I'm pretty sure it was made for cropped ears. I will try to get some good pictures tomorrow. The husband just bought a digital camera. We lost our old one at a concert. So stiches out Friday. I can't wait.

Tell me what you think of the price I paid and what is included. I think I got off with a great deal. First off the ears are really nice and will only look better healed. He did the cut I wanted.

Cropping included, full blood panel, Surgery (and everything that comes with that), rabies and distemper, 4 days stay, free bath and nails, tranqulizer for take home, crown, and FREE posting for as long as needed, and any hospital stay needed for the ears!

All of this times two of course...It came to $672 and he took $100 off because of where Rayna did not receive a lot of gas last time. Brings it down to $572.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, these tranqulizers are NOT working! God help me.
 

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Mandy,
My dobie has "Doberman Head Bobbing Syndrome". If you google it just like that you will find some information. I too, FREAKED. Especially because my boyfriend had seen Bumpy have an "episode" several times and didn't tell me. I went to one vet who had no clue and then to the vet I have now that has worked with Dobermans for 20 years. It is idiopathic, meaning, no known cause and it is painless. At one point he was having this every day for two to three weeks and I was so concerned. People on this forum gave me the same advice as my vet...try to snap him out of it with treats. It worked. He would have an episode while playing with his ball and just keep on playing. It bothered him much less than it bothered me. I would call him, he would come, after about three or four treats it would stop. His last episode that I saw was months ago...it seemed to come and go in spurts and I hear that sometimes they grow out of it. Several of his episodes lasted for 2-3 minutes - which seemed like forever. As he grew, the frequency of his episodes grew farther and farther apart.

I can't give any ear cropping advice as mine has natural ears, but if you need help finding the articles on head bobbing please let me know....I have pages of research and would love to pass it along.
 

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I have photos of Java and her littermates w/ their ears attached to the foam coffee cups on their heads, looking like a doggie Shriner's convention. I don't have any photos of her right after cropping, but have seen photos of other pups and the ears look worse before they look better, with the scabbing and swelling. Our breeder had the ears done and after they started to scab over, would pierce a Vit E capsule and apply it to the scabs. Promotes sloughing of the dead skin and prevents scarring, plus keeps skin leather supple. Itching is a sign of healing, and you may want to pick up a collar or two to prevent scratching.

Re: had tremors - thanx for the info. I had no idea that they could signify a more serious problem. Java has this type of tremor when she is cold, and her head and shoulders shiver. It's as if the cold is coming out of her. Once she is under a blanket, the shivering subsides.
 

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The head bobbing should just be isolated to the face. Mandy, is that what you are experiencing? Bumpy's face shakes in quick movements side to side, without moving his neck. It is as if he is shaking his head "No" but in rapid, shorter movements. His lips flap as he does it. If this is what it is, it truly is much more alarming to us then to them. Bumpy's eyes are never distant as this happens, it is business as usual, just with a bobbing head. I also saw a video on google I believe as well with a boxer, and it was exactly what my Dobe does. Many vets will not know what this is I found, but people on here completely calmed me (as did my vet thank goodness).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We asked our vet and he seem to know a bit about the Head Bobbing Snydrome. And said that some more studies are still being done. He said he would contact the Neuroligist and see what he recommended I do. I would love to see those links if you have any. My searches pretty much came up with just what I have already posted.

They girls already have Elizabethen collars. They are a great help. One pup I could prob manage, but not two! My husband and I are having a hard time with the both of us. Well, it seems the Tranqulizers finally kicked in. I hate to use them, but I think they really need them for now. I only give one a day. It does not say what time, nor did he say...Only said an hour before I wanted them calm. Maybe I should give it to them when they first start getting real active in the afternoon. As night they like to sleep, and they sleep in mornings too.

I forgot to mention, My puppies were freaking starvin when they got home! I wish I had an acurate scale. I bet they lost at least 5 lbs. in 4 days time. I wonder how drugged he kept them. I had to send kibble as I didnt want to make a fuss with the RAW diet. Anywho, you can tell they have lost weight. even thier legs are sunken in a bit. I feed them 3-4 times a day. I bet they only fed once.

They are having so many problems with stairs and such, this is going to be a set back on house braking for sure. I have to carry them both. Also I don't think this wolf rack, crown or whatever will allow a sock to be placed over it. It's pretty flexable. Like milk carton plastic. Looks just like it too. If I did use the sock, which I want to and the ears bend...thats bad right? I hate the looks of all those stitches and blood. Thankfully, my pups have really great ear leather. The vet commented on Raynas ears saying they were perfect. The stiches look really good, no noticable crinkling so far. Im sure that will happen though. Well im off to watch The Sopranos.

Thank you all, I trully don't know what I would of done without this forum, and all you friendly people. Thanks soo much! ~Hugs~
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The head bobbing should just be isolated to the face. Mandy, is that what you are experiencing? Bumpy's face shakes in quick movements side to side, without moving his neck. It is as if he is shaking his head "No" but in rapid, shorter movements. His lips flap as he does it. If this is what it is, it truly is much more alarming to us then to them. Bumpy's eyes are never distant as this happens, it is business as usual, just with a bobbing head. I also saw a video on google I believe as well with a boxer, and it was exactly what my Dobe does. Many vets will not know what this is I found, but people on here completely calmed me (as did my vet thank goodness).
Yes, Just the head. Quick sharp movement up and down. Looks like a shiver...You can tell it's a involentary responce. It's trully freaky. She has never done it more then maybe 5 seconds at a time, but has them through the day on and off. It kinda remind me of...Well you know if you cry really hard...(or picture a child)...and when your done, you breath in like 5 times fast? Kinda like a sigh? Something like that.
 
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