What is shaker syndrome in dogs?
Shaker syndrome is a condition involving generalized head and body tremors in dogs. Other names for this condition include steroid responsive tremors or generalized tremor syndrome.
You may hear this described as Little White Shaker Syndrome, because the condition is seen most commonly in small-breed white dogs such as the Maltese, West Highland White Terrier, and Poodle. Although the condition is most common in dogs weighing less than 30 lbs., any color and size dog is susceptible to this condition.
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Corticosteroids are a class of medications related to cortisone, a naturally occurring hormone.
Corticosteroids are a class of medications related to cortisone, a naturally occurring hormone. The corticosteroids most commonly used for dogs include either prednisone or prednisolone although others are also available.
6 Side Effects Of Prednisone and Other Steroids Use In Dogs
Unfortunately, corticosteroids can have side effects. These can range from relatively minor to more serious effects, both physical and behavioral, or a combination of both.
In fact, studies and dog owner anecdotes both have shown that as many as 30 percent of dogs show some kind of behavioral change when taking these medications. If your dog is prescribed a short course of prednisone or other related corticosteroids, the side effects will likely be minor to none at all. Longer courses of treatment, however, may cause side effects.
An increased thirst is one of the most common side effects of corticosteroids for both short courses of treatment as well as longer ones. Unless the veterinarian recommends otherwise, water should always be available for dogs taking these medications as some dogs get very thirsty. You can also add water to your dogs meals, increasing the amount of water added to the Honest Kitchens food if your dog is eating that, to the point of even making the food soupy. If your dog is eating other foods, perhaps canned or kibble foods, add water to those also so you are supplying more of your dogs increased water needs in his meals.
This thirst doesnt generally cause many behavior problems except that if he drinks his water bowl dry, and the increased water added to his food doesnt satisfy him, hell go looking for water. Medium to large sized dogs may drink out of the toilet which means any cleaners in the toilet could cause additional problems as some are toxic. Small dogs who cannot reach the toilet may bark for more water or if no one is available to give them more water, they may chew destructively in frustration.
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“My 10 year old Shi-poo was put on Prednisone. After a few weeks she seemed improved, so I took her off prednisone but in about 3-4 days her symptoms came right back and I had to put her back on the meds. She is driving me crazy on this medication, constantly begging for food and acting like a maniac!! She is not like my little dog that I love, what can I do to help her?? HELP!!”
The story above is a common example of what we hear from pet owners dealing with a pet on prednisone. The side effects of prednisone for dogs can range from mild to severe, but in any case, the medication has many undesirable side effects.