Shaking Dog Syndrome

This article courtesy of Pet Insurance 101.

Shaking Dog Syndrome is a generalized shaking disorder that occurs mostly in small dogs. It was first diagnosed in dogs with white coats, and is also called White Shaker Dog Syndrome. However, this name isn’t used as much anymore, as it is also found in many different breeds of different colors. Dogs who have this syndrome exhibit fine tremors throughout the body.

Some of the other symptoms associated with this syndrome are abnormalities in the neurological system like head tilts, weakness in the limbs and seizures. It can be mildly inconvenient for the dog or totally incapacitating, depending on the severity. Though it is most often diagnosed in smaller dogs, don’t rule it out if you have a dog that shakes and has tremors: It can occur in larger dog breeds, as well. The disease is usually controllable and not often fatal, but sometimes not it is not curable. It can be incapacitating, or just a mild annoyance, depending on the severity and how easily controllable the tremors are. Exercise, stress or excitement can cause the shaking to start, so it is important to keep your dog calm. In an active dog it is, of course, difficult to limit exercise and to limit excitement.

Treatment that addresses both the primary and underlying causes is essential to cure dog tremors. Treatments for shaking dog are different and can range from simple avoidance of excitement and exercise to treatment with a mild sedative and some type of corticosteroids, which are given in high doses initially and then decreased gradually over a period of several months. Sometimes both drugs are given. Most dogs respond to this treatment, and tremors usually resolve themselves the first week or so after beginning the drug therapy. The dose is then decreased or discontinued completely. If the tremors return, the drug therapy is then begun again, using the initial high dose until the tremors are controlled, then it is decreased again. Some dogs respond quickly to treatment and do not need additional treatments. Other dogs, however, need to stay on low dose treatment forever to keep the tremors under control.

Shaking Dog Syndrome can be a debilitating disorder for your dog, and if your pet is constantly shaking and has tremors, they should be taken for a visit to the veterinarian. Once your get a definite diagnosis, you can begin treatments to make your beloved pet comfortable once again.