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Thread: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

  1. #1
    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    We've had experience with Head Tremors in the past...with our first bulldog Jake. Our vet even went against the vet who owned the practice and stated..."I disagree this is NOT a seizure" and contacted Ohio State to get others opinions on what was going on. They agreed it wasn't seizure activity...BUT wasn't sure what it was at that time...possibly he might out grow it. [Which did NOT happen]

    Fast forward...Tank our oldest bulldog never had head tremors as a pup...nor the first year we had him...but we noticed he was putting on some weight so we changed his food to DIET dog food. And...low and behold came the tremors. Concerned...and hoping that they would know more about head tremors. We contacted our new vet. And learned that bulldogs due to their muscle mass can burn dog food with their metabolism speeds up and their sugar levels have been known to drop. Using the diet dog food had less calories than the previous dog food. Thus...his sugar dropped from the food change. So we switched foods...and she said that ones have also gave oatmeal as an in between snack. Since oatmeal breaks down into sugar...which helped people keep those tremors at bay. We put him on perscription dog food which was a better diet dog food. And give him 1/2 of a "Sunbeam" Honey and Oats granola bars as a filler for in between his two scheduled meals...

    Now since switching vets over an error that they gave him ACE when I have marked on his charts he's not to have it...a new vet practice we are not seeing. And they no longer carry the diet perscription food. So we tried another food. And Sarge had horrible reactions to it...so they suggested to just go with the same "brand" of food just not perscription...so that's what we're doing...and so we no longer give him the 1/2 of a granola bar. He only gets a granola bar if he's being stubborn and not wanting to eat his breakfast meal. And I have mentoring at school. I will give him one to keep a tremor at bay while I'm gone. Or if we take a walk or he's extra playful for I found when he's extra playful...it can bring on a tremor...[low sugar from his metabolism kicking in during play I would guess]

    Switching vets and dog food caused us to have to figure in the trigger of when his sugar may drop. But now we've got it down to a science and he again is head tremor free!

    Speaking to the surgeon who did his ACL surgery...he asked me pointed questions since Tank's chart was marked that he had tremors in the past. Wanted to know what we found that worked...so he could mark it in his file on his computer for future reference. [Which I thought pretty cool]
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

    Australian Shepherd: Ahsoka ~ Sarge's sister from another mother...and father

    The rest of my zoo:
    1 Pastel Ball Python - No Feet
    2 chinchillas - Nibbles and Fluffy
    2 Ornate Wood turtles- Franklin and Turkish


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    That is VERY interesting, I am glad you got it under control. With Cutty I know it isnt a sugar issue per se and he rarely actually has the tremors even. When he does have one he seems to get over it fast if I get him distracted by something. For him it seems to help to get him to just focus on something else then they stop. The fact that he has had them rarely lately like maybe 3 a year to me makes me think it isnt a sugar thing, although I DO know food makes a diff cuz he got them more at one point and they stopped with food change. But now he is steady with his food so not sure what would be the cause mainly now. Especially since the few times he does get them it is usually at night when he is sleeping. I wonder if every dog can get them for many different reasons maybe?

  3. #3
    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    What schedule do you feed your dog. We feed no later than 4 pm...but on days Tank's been "busier" is when he's woke up with them at night. We tend to just give him half a granola at bedtime if we see that he was busier...The vet said that having them occur at night was a common thing she seen with another of her client's dog.

    That your not dealing with many...I wouldn't concern yourself overly...BUT...if it would happen again. Think about what happened was he more active that evening before he went to bed? Sort of thing...if that the case...maybe a snack before bedtime...to bring up levels on evenings that he's been busier. To keep them at bay. I know my vet said it's better to find the "trigger" that sets them off...and prevent them. Than to allow them to have them. But three in a years time isn't bad. But...to sort of know what triggers them and prevent them is definitely a key. Someone told me they now make something for dogs who's sugar levels drop...to control it. Tank's isn't to that point due to we're keeping them at bay. And know how to prevent them...but knowing what triggers one.
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

    Australian Shepherd: Ahsoka ~ Sarge's sister from another mother...and father

    The rest of my zoo:
    1 Pastel Ball Python - No Feet
    2 chinchillas - Nibbles and Fluffy
    2 Ornate Wood turtles- Franklin and Turkish


  4. #4
    Doggie Boutique Owner Angelgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    When we had Cassie, she was probably around 3 or so and had head tremors. She looked like a little bobble head. We thought it might be from her and our Boston tugging on the rope toy so hard (he would shake her head so hard) but found she would get them even if they weren't playing with the rope toy.Took her to the vet and he said it's probably epilepsy but there was no test for it and once she went on the meds she would have to take them for life. I just couldn't believe she had epilepsy so went to do some digging online and came across a bully forum where some others had the same issues and they said they keep granola bars in the house and when their bully gets head tremors they gave them half a granola bar because they sometimes have low blood sugar. Thought it was worth a shot so next time she had a tremor I gave her half a granola bar and they stopped. I would keep track of when she had tremors and it was mostly in the morning when she just didn't feel like getting out of bed to eat or when she was really hyper if we had company over.

    I'm not saying it's right for every bully and God knows I'm not a vet, but it worked for my baby girl. She didn't get them very often..maybe 10 in the 10 1/2 years we had her.

    Thanks for sharing that @cadillactaste !
    "A bulldog is like a potato chip, you can never have just one"

  5. #5
    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelgirl View Post
    When we had Cassie, she was probably around 3 or so and had head tremors. She looked like a little bobble head. We thought it might be from her and our Boston tugging on the rope toy so hard (he would shake her head so hard) but found she would get them even if they weren't playing with the rope toy.Took her to the vet and he said it's probably epilepsy but there was no test for it and once she went on the meds she would have to take them for life. I just couldn't believe she had epilepsy so went to do some digging online and came across a bully forum where some others had the same issues and they said they keep granola bars in the house and when their bully gets head tremors they gave them half a granola bar because they sometimes have low blood sugar. Thought it was worth a shot so next time she had a tremor I gave her half a granola bar and they stopped. I would keep track of when she had tremors and it was mostly in the morning when she just didn't feel like getting out of bed to eat or when she was really hyper if we had company over.

    I'm not saying it's right for every bully and God knows I'm not a vet, but it worked for my baby girl. She didn't get them very often..maybe 10 in the 10 1/2 years we had her.

    Thanks for sharing that @cadillactaste !
    Thanks for sharing...it shows that others have had luck as well with keeping tremors at bay. My vet said she was going to pass along the granola trick to her other clients that were working with the oatmeal trick. It just makes it easier to take with you...when your out and about with the bulldog. And you can keep it in the bedside table too.
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

    Australian Shepherd: Ahsoka ~ Sarge's sister from another mother...and father

    The rest of my zoo:
    1 Pastel Ball Python - No Feet
    2 chinchillas - Nibbles and Fluffy
    2 Ornate Wood turtles- Franklin and Turkish


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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Very interesting! Chunk's previous owner said he had head tremors and her vet said to give him vanilla ice cream?! So weird. Thankfully we have never seen them happen, maybe it was the wonderful food change we did.
    You can close your eyes to things you don't want to see,
    but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.

    Live Genuinely


  7. #7
    Dog Park Attendant cadillactaste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunksmama View Post
    Very interesting! Chunk's previous owner said he had head tremors and her vet said to give him vanilla ice cream?! So weird. Thankfully we have never seen them happen, maybe it was the wonderful food change we did.

    I agree...the food change may very well be the reason for no sign of head tremors...I'm glad to hear that he's not had any with you...
    ~ Darlene: 20+ years of being owned by bulldogs. But I can still learn something new from forums and other people's experiences.

    Bulldogs: Tank and Sarge

    Australian Shepherd: Ahsoka ~ Sarge's sister from another mother...and father

    The rest of my zoo:
    1 Pastel Ball Python - No Feet
    2 chinchillas - Nibbles and Fluffy
    2 Ornate Wood turtles- Franklin and Turkish


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillactaste View Post
    I agree...the food change may very well be the reason for no sign of head tremors...I'm glad to hear that he's not had any with you...
    OMG, me too! That was the only thing she mentioned that really scared me! I could just picture myself sitting there crying 'cause I wouldn't know what to do!
    You can close your eyes to things you don't want to see,
    but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.

    Live Genuinely


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelgirl View Post
    .Took her to the vet and he said it's probably epilepsy but there was no test for it and once she went on the meds she would have to take them for life. !


    No disrespect to the vet ... but now that we are trying to work out whether Maggie's episodes are epilepsy related, and then her also having this head tremor, I have googled a bit. If I can work out that a head tremor isn't anything like epilepsy then this vet should have done the same thing!!! So glad you didn't take any notice of him, and you followed your instincts!!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    wow, i had no idea these were so common!!

  11. #11
    Doggie Boutique Owner Angelgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by kazzy220 View Post
    No disrespect to the vet ... but now that we are trying to work out whether Maggie's episodes are epilepsy related, and then her also having this head tremor, I have googled a bit. If I can work out that a head tremor isn't anything like epilepsy then this vet should have done the same thing!!! So glad you didn't take any notice of him, and you followed your instincts!!!!

    The vet we go to is a "learning hospital" and there are a lot of young vets there just out of school. I think they don't see too many bulldogs and were just looking for an easy answer. We've found one now that does know the breed and their issues. We've heard of a bully vet about 1 hr. away so if we have any major issues Belly is going for a road trip for sure!
    "A bulldog is like a potato chip, you can never have just one"

  12. #12
    Wrinkle Wiper Become a 4 Paw Member kiss1069's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head Tremors...and the solution we found to keep them at bay.

    just my 2 cents, about a month or 2 after we got Coda we noticed that she had her tremors going first slow then more aggresively and this took place on the weekend so had no available vet, instead wifey got on the interweb and did research and the most common reason was low blood sugar...we learned that most were giving a spoonfull of peanut butter so we did and tremors stopped, now shes 2 yrs old and hasnt had tremors at all and hope they never come back. After talking with vet he said that there wasnt much to worry since they stopped and just see if itd come back or not to inform him...dont know if anyone else here tried the pb spoonfull


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