It's normal for a dog to "shake" his head. Maybe his ears itch or he's been out in a rainstorm. But there's another type of head movement that's not normal, a head tremor. Head tremors are not uncommon in dogs, especially in English bulldogs and Dobermans. Fortunately, the causes of most head tremors in dogs are treatable or require no treatment at all.
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Watch for abnormal, involuntary bobbing motions or rhythmic movements of your dog's head that occur while she is awake. True tremors subside during sleep.
Head tremors can be caused by many things, including brain abnormalities, vestibular disorders, inflammation, trauma, genetic illnesses, medications, toxins and immune-system disorders. They may also be idiopathic (having no known cause).
Your veterinarian will recommend blood work, a biochemical profile and a urinalysis. He may also order a CT scan, MRI, EMG (electromyelography) and spinal tap.
Your veterinarian will treat the primary or underlying cause of your dog's head tremors. She may prescribe one or more medications.
What You Can Do
Once your dog is home from the hospital, make sure he avoids excitement and too much exercise. Avoid exposing your dog to toxins and monitor his food intake, as dogs with tremors tend to lose weight.
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