Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know about this? Does anyone have a dog with this? I have been having so many health issues lately with Bumpy....he has begun having what the vet says is "idiopathic head bobbing" where his head bobs back and forth in very quick movements. I didn't mention this in any earlier posts because I wanted to do as much research as I could and check with several vets, but now I wanted to see if anyone had any experience or feedback on this. I presume that several people with years and years of Doberman experience may have seen this condition, so please enlighten me with what you know. I have been able to "snap him out of it" with treats over a period of several minutes. I hadn't seen any previous threads on this, so wondered if anyone had experienced this with their dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
"Idiopathic" implies that the cause is from an unknown origin. Did you discuss Wobblers or cervical spine instability?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The vet actually witnessed an episode and then researched it online to get additional information. He said that it is predominantly found in dobermans, boxers and bulldogs and that it is not known to cause any pain or discomfort. I saw a video online and it matched what my dog does to a T. I did not discuss Wobblers or Cervical Spine Instability - I will look into that now. A neurologist was suggested just to be on the safe side.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,734 Posts
A lot of Dobermans will do some head bobbing at one time or another. Velma did when she was around a year old. She would be awake and alert and her head would just start shaking slightly - what I first noticed was the tips of her ears wobbling. She mostly did this at night when she was most likely tired but awake and resting. It happened on and off for awhile and then disappeared.

If it is more than a slight shaking, and especially if it is fairly violent shaking then I would look into it more. If it is not and bumpy can be distracted out of it with the offer of a treat, then I would not worry about it overmuch.

Kind of the rule of thumb is that if they seem unaware of doing it, and can be distracted out of it with the offer of a treat, then it is most likely nothing to worry about. If it is a young dog, they will often outgrow it. Velma did. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but that is just the general consensus among the Doberman people I've talked to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CoDobe

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you - that is what I was hoping to hear. Yes, he still continues chewing on his toy or ball...etc....seems unaware of his head shaking. He just turned a year old, so he is young still. The vet was not overly concerned and nothing I had read gave me reason to be overly concerned, but I thought that with all the experience on this forum I would check and see what insight I could get. My other question is, when he under anaesthesia for neutering, should I be concerned that he could have an episode then that could be dangerous?
 

·
Extraordimary
Joined
·
4,954 Posts
Head bobbing gets discussed on all of the Doberman groups from time to time. It's pretty common. And it seems like it's usually nothing.

I witnessed it twice when Karma was quite young. Both times, she was sleeping, awoke and had a brief episode from which I distracted her. She's going to be 8 this year, I never saw her do it again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,160 Posts
I've posted to so many lists so many times about "head bobbing" that I finally started saving the posts because I got tired of typing the same thing over and over.

The following is one of the posts that I saved and which has been on several lists (some of them multiple times). Hopes it sheds some light on the subject for you.

There is some information (the article on "Dobermn Head Bobbing Syndrome" for one is on the DPCA breeder education website I believe.

The following is the post I keep sending out:

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.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very informative!!! Thank you so much. Bumpy has been having these every day lately so even though my vet told me there was nothing to worry about, I wanted input from those of you that have so much Doberman experience. Much appreciated Dobebug.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Rocko's tremors

This is my first post so please forgive me if I am not replying correctly.

My one year old just began shaking his head the day I brought him home from having his ACL repaired. I am very nervous, but am calming down since researching this. He, too, can be snapped out of it. He does not lose consciousness or lose bowels. He remains focused but does seem a bit tired when he does it.
My concern is does anyone think it is surgery related. Did he possibly get too much anesthesia?
I called the ortho vet and he said it has nothing to do with the surgery. Rocko's regular vet said maybe he wasn't eating or drinking enough. I felt the problem was not addressed at all with either vet.
Any additional opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
SC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Doberman Shaking Head

My Doberman is a little over a year old and has done this shaking head now and then and it has scared me. He has only done it after waking up, in a very relaxed state, also it does not seem to effect his listing, he will do as I say... It is reasuring that it does not harm or cause him pain thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
My 7½ year old male have it, he started having this attacks when he was 7 month old, and every 4-7 month there have been there, but in this week, he have had 3-8 attacks a day, so now we will know if we can help him, here in Denmark the vets don't anything about this, so we feel helpless................
One of his attacks you can see here,
YouTube - Thor have, head-bobbing syndrome

the drooling is because he want's the treat Jan got for him, to stop the attack, but we have full contact to him, but can only stop it with treats or someels he can bit in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,725 Posts
I have know many people to start them on B50 one a day, They say that takes care of it.. I have kow many It never stopped them from living a normal life.
JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have a male dobie and he doesn't do this. My daughter had a red dobie and we are watching her. I was playing music and she started shaking her head. I was so scared she was having a seizure. I called my daughter and asked her about it and she said that Leelu did that. Also she has a male dog that was sired by our male doberman and he does it also. I had never heard of this. When I googled it I saw your site. Is this something I sould be worried about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
No they will outgrow it.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top