clintf07 avatar image

Is this head shakes / tremors?

I've read several articles on here about head shakes or tremors and most threads suggest low blood sugar is cause. This is the 1st time we've seen this with Bean but he has had two episodes tonight. The 1st time we gave him extra dog food and seemed to stop it. But the second time we gave a tbs of karo syrup and then a spoon of peanut butter. Neither seemed to kick it. He eventually stopped after 2-3mins. He also seems like he can control it cause when we call his name if briefly stops to listen as if he's about to recieve a treat. Also, he had a non normal food day today due to our schedule. Typically he eats 3 times a day morning, noon and afternoon. However, today we left a little before noon so his 2nd and 3rd feedings were pushed together and later than typical.

Any thoughts or advise? 



clintf07's picture

sorry here's video link

Read Cathy's info... it GREAT info !

Gizmo went through these about a year ago, that it woke us up out of sound sleeps (when she was sleeping in the big bed)  we tried the sugar routine, but found the best, was to startle her   *CLAP* *GIZMO! ! !*    she had several episodes in a few weeks, but she hasnt had any since last spring.

Its scarey to see. 



Last steps taken May 26, 2014 -- Been rolling along ever since . . . . 

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Yes, that is a head shake...

Newman does the same thing although not quite as strong as that.  The karo always stops Newman's, maybe try an extra spoonful?  It looks a lot worse than it is.

Stephanie and David's picture

This is not uncommon in bulldogs

It's really frightening, but it doesn't seem to bother the dog much. The karo or other sugar syrup treatment is usually effective.

It is scary the first time it

It is scary the first time it happens .. my bulldog recovered quicker from her head tremors than my wife


Farley had those when he was younger...

They are super scary for mom...not so much for him.  I just keep Kayro on hand and give him some and they stopped.  He eventually quit having them.

clintf07's picture

thanks everyone

This vid is directly after we'd given him "light corn syrup" any idea how much different that is than karyo? (We'll be going to get karyo later this morning) He ended up having 5-6 spells (lasting 1-6min) between 10:30 and 1:00am. We changed between light corn syrup, peanut butter, and honey between each spell cause neither seemed to work. Finally at 1am I decided to give him a bully stick to try and distract him. That seemed to work for a good while till he slept. I heard him once again at 4:30am but not since.

My wife was comptemplating an emergency vet visit last night. Had I not read the head shake article from this site previously I'd taken him, but after reading more last night we decided to not take him to the after hours vet but rather wait for our Bulldog vet. Now that have confirmation here and the fact that he functional and coherent during the episodes I'm contemplating not going to vet, but that's hard to convience the wife of still.

We'll be going for karyo in just a bit to have it on stock as everyone seems to swear by it. How much does everyone give? Most i read is 1 tbl spoon, but like said that didn't do much for us last night. I see someone recommend doubling up, but what is too much?

Interestingly, the article from the main page mentioned a survey that showed of 14 surveyed 9 started after a Surgery. Ben had entropion survey 6 days ago. 



Yogurt For Brit, Wine for mom

We give Brit aprox. 2tbsps. frozen yogurt. She loves it!Her mom appreciates if I give a glass of wine afterwards :)


Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Low Blood Sugar

According to my vet the low blood sugar thing has no truth to it. That it has nothing to do with low blood sugar, and giving them Karo Syrup (or something sweet) makes us feel better and they don't stop any sooner because of it. I would be concerned that he has had so many in such a short period of time. And the surgery thing is very interesting. In my opinion it is neurological, not low blood sugar but there has not been enough studies.

I would have a discussion with your vet and show him the video.

I also disagree that they are common in bulldogs, while they are common to the breed. Breeders should not be breeding dogs with history of head shakes. I've had bulldogs for 16 years and my only experience with them is MacKenzie started having them around age 8. He had maybe 2 the first year and maybe 1 every 2 or 3 or months now. I did findout that his grandmother started having them at a later age as well.

CathyandZimmer's picture

I sent you some info..

check your email.


Cathy & Zimmer



clintf07's picture


Hey All,

Thanks again for replies and reassurance. It was certainly scary the night of and had we not seen/read about it here, we'd have made an emergency trip to the vet and who knows where that would have led us and $$ spent. We went a head and scheduled an appointment with our bulldog vet today. After seeing the video he immediately confirmed that they were indeed benign head tremors. He did a fantastic job of easing my wifes mind and in fact he mentioned his 1st bulldog had them and he lived to 12yr. It's nice to have a big group of bulldog folks to share info with even if not vetinarians it's helpful to be able to draw from others experiences. Thanks again!