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White Shaker Syndrome

Maltipoo White Shaker Syndrome

Maltipoo white shaker syndrome
What is Maltipoo White Dog Shaker Syndrome?

The canine disease, found almost predominantly with pure white dogs (though over the last decade a few more cases have been popping up with dogs of different coat colors) that causes tremors over the dog’s whole body. The tremors are not thought to cause the dog any pain. There are still studies being conducted to learn why this happens to white dogs; the current theory is that it may be an autoimmune reaction.

The Symptoms

If a Maltipoo dog does develop White Dog Shaker Syndrome, it will usually begin to show between the ages of 6 months to 3 years old. Tremors begin over the dog’s full body. In almost every case, once this starts, the tremors become more serious over the course of the first 3 days. From day 4 and onward, the tremors will remain with the same strength until treatment is given. 

The dog will:

• Have tremors that can differ from very mild to very severe – in severe cases the shaking will cause the dog to not be able to walk.
• Tremors may appear more intensely when the Maltipoo becomes excited, such as when you arrive back home after an extended leave (such as coming home from work). 

• The Maltipoo may have more tremors when they are trying to do a certain action, such as retrieving a toy on command, or listening to commands such as “Come” or “Sit”.

• If your dog does have White Dog Shaker Syndrome, the tremors typically go away or become much milder when the dog is resting and relaxed in a peaceful environment.

• Brisk eye movement may occur at the same time as the tremors 

As soon as you become aware of your Maltipoo showing possible signs of this, you must bring your dog to the veterinarian right away.

The veterinarian will compose a diagnosis of White Dog Shaker Symptom based on the signs that your dog is exhibiting and by ruling out other causes of the tremors.

The following tests should be done:
  • CBC - Complete blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Electrolyte panel
This will rule out hypothermia, anxiety, and seizures which are the medical conditions most often confused with this particular issue. 
white Maltipoo shaker syndrome
Maltipoo in field

Mediation can be given to a Maltipoo to treat this. Most frequently used medicines are:

• Corticosteroids - This is the most typical treatment method. This reduces the inflammatory response in the body. In the majority cases, the veterinarian will give a dog an especially high dose and then slowly reduce the amount as time goes on. It is very imperative to carry on with treatment until the full course of medication is completed. The medication works rapidly and a dog will show improvement in 3 to 7 days. Once there are signs of improvement, the dog will then be slowly weaned off of this medication. The majority of dogs do respond well and prognosis is good, however for some there is not a full recovery.
• Benzodiazepines - If the corticosteroids do not appear to be effective, a benzodiazepine may be added. This is a fast acting anxiety medication that has shown to work for some dogs with White Shaker Syndrome. 

Prognosis is very good. In a number of cases, a dog may completely recuperate after receiving the entire course of medication. Other Maltipoo dogs will need to be given very low doses of the medication for the rest of their lives. This usually will not affect a dog’s quality of life and the Maltipoo can live a long, happy and active lifestyle.  It should be noted that dogs that have to receive ongoing courses of steriods will need to have a check-up once per month. Long term use can have many side effects including Urinary Tract Infection (30%), thinning coat, weakened response to wound healing, weight gain, muscle weakness and/or skin infections including mange.
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