White Shaker Dog Syndrome in Maltese Terriers
Have you ever heard of White Dog Shaker Syndrome? I didn’t until recently either…
It’s official scientific name is idiopathic cerebellitis.
I stumbled upon a site that talked vaguely about this phenomenon with small white dogs, which includes the Maltese Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, small white Poodles, and Bichon white shaker Frises. Less often, this syndrome affects Yorkshire Terriers and Beagles.
It is a disorder developing in small white dogs around the age of 1 or 2 years old. It is known to cause a diffuse intention tremor throughout the dog’s entire body.
The actual cause is still unknown, but it does seem to be onset by stress. An intention tremor means that it happens when the dog starts to “do” something, such as walk, eat, run or undergo stress…these could all possibly cause the tremor to occur. Once the dog starts to relax or rest, the tremor will decrease in strength and then stop. It can be anywhere between mild to severe.
It is speculated that it could be caused by an overall generalized neurotransmitter deficiency. It does not affect your dog’s personality and is not known to be painful. However, depending upon how severe the tremors are, you may opt to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian, and they will decide whether to treat them with medication.