Idiopathic head tremor in dogs - two case reports

S.M. Caramalac S.M. Caramalac F.O. Frazílio M.I.P. Palumbo About the authors


Idiopathic head tremor is a form of paroxysmal dyskinesia recognized as hereditary or associated with certain races, being reported in English bulldogs, doberman pinschers, and boxers. Also known as head bobbing or episodic head tremor, the affected dogs present with seizures characterized by tremors limited to head region, horizontal direction, vertical or both and are usually related to a triggering event. Two dogs of the English bulldog breed (a male of 1 year and a female of 7 months) with a history of episodic tremors restricted to the head region were seen at the UFMS Veterinary Hospital. Complete physical and neurological examinations were performed, and no alterations were found. Based on race, history, absence of other clinical signs and exclusion of other causes of tremors, the diagnosis of head bobbing was performed. Such a disease is characterized by tremors restricted to the head region, associated with a benign genetic condition. It is not considered a form of seizure, since the animal remains alert and responsive to environmental stimuli, the tremors can be interrupted by distractions or any interaction with the environment, being not responsive to anticonvulsant therapy. According to the literature review, these are the first cases diagnosed and reported in Brazil.

english bulldog; epileptic seizures; paroxysmal dyskinesia; head bobbing

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil