Idiopathic generalized tremor syndrome in Dogs (Canis) | Vetlexicon
canis - Articles

Idiopathic generalized tremor syndrome

ISSN 2398-2942

Contributor(s) :


Synonym(s): Shaker dog disease, Idiopathic cerebellitis, Sporadic acquired tremors of adult dogs, White dog shaker disease

Introduction

  • Cause: possibly an immune-mediated reaction to tyrosine-producing cells which are important in neurotransmitter production.
  • Occurs most often in small white breeds.
  • Signs: tremors in all four limbs and the head which may worsen with exercise, stress or excitement but may disappear with sleep.
  • Diagnosis: signs and breed.
  • Treatment: immunosuppressive doses of glucocorticoid.
  • Prognosis: good although signs will not resolve in some cases.

Presenting signs

  • Mature white, small breeds.
  • Signs worsen over 1-3 days and then stabilize.
  • Mild/moderate body swaying and hypermetria.
  • Seizures.

Age predisposition

  • 9 months-2 years old. Range 1-4 years.
  • Occasionally in younger or older animals.

Breed/Species predisposition

  • Maltese Terrier Maltese.
  • West Highland White Terrier West Highland White Terrier.
  • It was once thought that breeds with white hair coats, ie Maltese Terriers, were predisposed, however, dogs of any hair-coat color may be affected.
  • Miniature Pinschers Miniature Pinscher.

Cost considerations

  • Once diagnosis made no further expense.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Inflammatory brain disease.
  • No obvious etiology has been found as a cause of the encephalitis Encephalitis.

Specific

  • Traditionally white dogs (but now it is accepted any color of dog can be affected.

Pathophysiology

  • The disease is often associated with a mild encephalitis.
  • Very mild diffuse non-suppurative encephalomyelitis → immune attack on tyrosine-producing cells → decreased production of neurotransmitters → tremor.

Timecourse

  • Generally a chronic disease.
  • Tumors can occur acutely.

Diagnosis

Subscribe To View

This article is available to subscribers.

Try a free trial today or contact us for more information.

Treatment

Subscribe To View

This article is available to subscribers.

Try a free trial today or contact us for more information.

Prevention

Subscribe To View

This article is available to subscribers.

Try a free trial today or contact us for more information.

Outcomes

Subscribe To View

This article is available to subscribers.

Try a free trial today or contact us for more information.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ives E, Mackillop E, Olby N J (2018) Saccadic oscillations in 4 dogs and 1 cat. JVIM 32, 1392-1396 PubMed.
  • Bagley R S, Kornegay, Wheeler S J & Cauzinille L (1993) Generalized tremors in Maltese - clinical findings in seven cases. JAAHA 29 (2), 141-145 VetMedResource.
  • Bagley R S (1992) Tremor syndromes in dogs - diagnosis and treatment. JSAP 33 (10), 485-90 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Lowrie M and Garosi L (2016) Classification of involuntary movements in dogs: Tremors and Twitches. Vet J 214, 109-116 PubMed.
  • Farrow B R H (1986) Generalized tremor syndrome. In: Current Veterinary Therapy IX.W B Saunders. pp 800-801.