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Head tremors in dog

by Jacquei Morea
(Santa Ynez, CA)

About 4 days ago my dog Pono began having head tremors. The first time I saw it, I thought I was seeing things. We were driving in the car, and his head started doing the tremor thing.

His eyes remain clear and the rest of his body is fine. The longest tremor was about 8 minutes long. I have only seen his head tremor when he is relaxing, and laying down.
It does not seem to bother him at all.

Pono is a male Australian Shepherd/border collie. He is almost 16 weeks old. I picked him out at 3 weeks, brought him home at 8 weeks. He is brilliant and active.

I have him on Canidae lamb and rice all stage formula dry dog food, and I give him a few tablespoons of wet dog food. He now likes to eat twice a day.

I exercise him a lot. I work with horses, and he is learning to keep up with them. I take him on short slow rides, occasionally longer rides, but most of his exercise is on foot on trails and the beach (in Carpinteria, CA).

He has not had any injuries. He has had all his parvo shots (the third one I gave him Nov. 1, 2011). I also put Advantix on him. He is due soon to have the rabies.

As far as how it happened, he pulls a lot on the leash around other dogs, and I wonder if he has a pulled a muscle and it spasms when he rests. Being a puppy, it's possible he could have eaten something along the way, but not to my knowledge.
There is a lot of tar on the beach and it smells like oil to me. He just recently became fascinated with the water. He never drinks it but does go in it. My gut feeling is that he is toxic.

He is a brown nosed/pink skinned tri sable color. He is very itchy, even though he has no fleas. I began giving him some coconut oil in his food. His skin looks fine though. I am wondering if he may have an allergy to his food (grains) or toxins in his liver?

I personally am under a lot of stress, and he could be sympathetic to me.

But everything I have looked up on the internet is inconclusive. I have called my vet and await her call, but in the meantime, I am more interested in the holistic approach.

Thanks for your help,

Jacquei Morea

Comments for Head tremors in dog

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Nov 12, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Head Tremors in Dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jacquei,

Pono is an adorable puppy! All the more reason to get him healthy! It would have been great if you could have actually recorded the incident with the head tremor. But your description of the tremor could be indicative of what is considered vaccinosis miasm in holistic medicine.

You mentioned that he received his Parvo on November 1, and 6 days later had the head tremor. He also had Advantix applied, I am not sure when that was done, but it may have made him more susceptible to a vaccine reaction.

Of course, there is also possible trauma or ingestion of toxins that may have contributed, but that is doubtful. I would advise that you delay his Rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccine can have neurologic side effects, and at this point, I would NOT want to subject Pono to any more risk.

Then, seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to work on treating Pono for vaccinosis. Find one with training in homeopathic remedies.

I also suspect that the dry food diet may be causing a dry skin problems resulting in his itching. Canidae is a good brand of food, but since a puppy's body is made of more than 75% moisture (more than an adult dog), it is imperative that they receive more moisture in their diet.

Therefore, I would advise NO DRY DOG FOOD, only canned food, plus some raw meat added. (NO RAW PORK or RAW FISH). You can check our page on the 10 Best Dog Food Options. And consider feeding him some of the raw dog food brands.

Of course, you can give him dog dental chews for treats. He is still teething, and will need to chew on something!

You can also supplement about 300-500 mg/day of Omega 3 fish oil for dogs to his food (more beneficial than the coconut oil) to help with his skin.

Use the coconut oil externally. Massage it into his skin and leave it on for 1-2 hours (or longer if needed to allow it to soak in). He will probably lick some of it off, so he will wind up getting it internally anyway!

You may need to put him in his kennel to prevent him from jumping on furniture and getting everything covered with oil! Then give him a shampoo with Palmolive dish soap to remove any residual oil, rinse him well, and follow with an oatmeal shampoo which will help soothe his itchy skin.


Nov 12, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Head Tremors in Dog PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jacquei,
Here is the rest of my response.

If he continues to have more 'toxic' symptoms, consider supplementing with milk thistle, dose at 8 mg per lb two times daily in his food, for liver support. This can be given together with homeopathic remedies.

Once he is cleared up, I would be VERY cautious about any future 'booster' Parvo/Distemper vaccinations. Consider having "Antibody titers" done to measure his protective levels. If he has high titers, there would be no need for any booster vaccinations. A holistic veterinarian would be able to guide you along.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area, click here.

Also, check out for a veterinarian knowledgeable in homeopathy.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Spinal Cord & Central Nervous System Section,
- Dog Epilepsy,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Seizures & Epilepsy Section
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Musculoskeletal Issues Section

Nov 12, 2011
very helpful
by: jacquei morea

Thank you dr. Tillman. This is very helpful. As I was writing about all he has gone through, the amount of toxins and chemicals is horrid.

I did not see him tremor at all yesterday, thank God. I will follow up with a holistic vet and let you know how he does.

This is a great website. Very very helpful.

Thank you for your help, J and Pono

Nov 12, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Head Tremors in dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jacquei,
You are very welcome. Please, keep us posted on how Pono is doing.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

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