White dog shaker syndrome

White dog shaker syndrome (also known as shaker dog syndrome and "little white shakers" syndrome(Latin name Idiopathic Cerebellitis)) causes full body tremors in small, white dog breeds. It is most common in West Highland White Terriers, Maltese, Bichons, and Poodles. There is a sudden onset of the disease at one to two years of age. It is worse at times of stress. Nystagmus, difficulty walking, and seizures may occur in some dogs. The cause is unknown, but it may be mediated by the immune system. One theory is that there is an autoimmune-induced generalized deficiency of neurotransmitters. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis may reveal an increased number of lymphocytes. Treatment with corticosteroids may put the dog into remission, or diazepam may control the symptoms. Typically the two drugs are used together. There is a good prognosis, and symptoms usually resolve with treatment within a week, although lifelong treatment may be necessary.


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