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Baby, my Maltese sleeps with me. She was fine all day yesterday, ate normally etc. Last night in the middle of the night, she crawled on my chest and was shivering uncontrollably. The room was warm and was the same temperature it always is. It’s never bothered her before. I patted her for a bit and then put her next to me. She crawled right back on my chest so I just let her stay there. She shivered some more and then finally stopped. . She’s eight years old. last Time we went to the vet, the vet detected a heart murmur. Otherwise, she’s been very healthy. Has anyone experienced this shaking and shivering with your Maltese?
 

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Do you know how to find a dog's pulse? If it happens again, you could check to see if your dog's pulse is very rapid, but a dog's heartbeat is not the same as a human's. Honestly, to me, a layperson, it sounds like pain. Could she have hurt herself somehow? But another possibility is fear, perhaps caused by sound. My dogs sometimes act like that when the smoke detector beeps when the battery is low. Fireworks? Car backfiring or gunshots? Sirens? Neighbors arguing loudly? Thunder?

If she continues to act strangely, or if it happens again and there is no strange noise, check with your vet!
 

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Shivering can indicate many things including pain and anxiety. One of my babies starts to shake a few minutes before the battery replacement beep on the smoke detector - I'm not sure what she senses but whatever it is it bothers her. If it continues, see the vet to have her assessed for pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Baby, my Maltese sleeps with me. She was fine all day yesterday, ate normally etc. Last night in the middle of the night, she crawled on my chest and was shivering uncontrollably. The room was warm and was the same temperature it always is. It’s never bothered her before. I patted her for a bit and then put her next to me. She crawled right back on my chest so I just let her stay there. She shivered some more and then finally stopped. . She’s eight years old. last Time we went to the vet, the vet detected a heart murmur. Otherwise, she’s been very healthy. Has anyone experienced this shaking and shivering with your Maltese?
Do you know how to find a dog's pulse? If it happens again, you could check to see if your dog's pulse is very rapid, but a dog's heartbeat is not the same as a human's. Honestly, to me, a layperson, it sounds like pain. Could she have hurt herself somehow? But another possibility is fear, perhaps caused by sound. My dogs sometimes act like that when the smoke detector beeps when the battery is low. Fireworks? Car backfiring or gunshots? Sirens? Neighbors arguing loudly? Thunder?

If she continues to act strangely, or if it happens again and there is no strange noise, check with your vet!
I don’t know how to find her pulse but I’ll find out. There were no noises at all. Thank you!
 

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Sandi-- w/Kitzel (Kitzi) & Lisel (Lisi)
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Ask your vet how bad the murmur is? Should you be referred to a cardiologist? My Kitzi has been waking me up since Dec. He is on heart meds & now is being re-evaluated for Cushings. He was waking me up every night many times in the night. He is now on a nightly dose of Metacam for pain. I get predosed syringes (no needle) & give it to him before he sleeps at night. He has a low dose dexamethasone test next week (8 Hrs) at the vets. Let us know how it goes
 

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LACIE, SUKI & LING LING ❤️❤️❤️
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My one girl would shiver when she had a fever or when the batteries are about to die in my fire alarm. The difference between the two that I have observed is when its the fire alarms, she will cower and hide vs. when pancreatitis sick, she would shiver uncontrollably, would be more lethargic, and have no appetite.
Here is an article with an app that my girls cardiologist recommended using. Its very simple and its best to do while they are sleeping. When their chest raises and then lowers you tap the button( thats one breath).
Hope your fluff is feeling better by now.
 

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My Cody had recently had a shivering episode. He was shivering and his legs would get tucked up to his chest. Two things happened he had very bad gastrointestional pains and he had Low blood sugar too. He was also looking out of it I could tell through his eyes . Possibly ate something that gave him pains or maybe he got low blood sugar or some other pain. I would bring him to the vet to get checked Keep us posted hope your baby gets better soon!
 

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Lola (Queen of the House - and My Heart) Age 13
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I don’t know how to find her pulse but I’ll find out. There were no noises at all. Thank you!
Hi Susie,

This thread caught my eye because the same thing happened to me with my baby, who otherwise was a brave little lion at home... other posters are right-on -- both with regards to pain/pancreatitis/low blood sugar... but if it happened in the middle of the night, and not something that occurs often/before, or something that is food-related, I'm guessing it would be either a loud sound, or something shocked her out of sleep and she wanted you to comfort her.

For us, thunder broke right over the bedroom one night last year, and I mean the cloud had to have been right over the room -- it was the loudest thing I'd ever heard, and at 3am, when we were all fast asleep. She was panting and shaking and wanted to crawl up under the covers on my chest and basically hide, panting and the whole 9... it was terrifying for us, so I couldn't imagine what it was like for her.

Remember that these little guys will also dream, and go into deep REM sleep... and who knows what they dream about, and/or if they hear something that you can't hear -- backfire in the distance that didn't wake you, or even get shook awake by a foot or hand accidentally touching them while in that deep sleep, it can 'shock' them awake all of a sudden... same with the house settling sounds, etc... that may have been timed with something in her dream, who knows. She'd heard thunder before and never cared, but the fact she was in deep sleep when it woke her was the issue for us.

Others posters are right on to keep an eye on it, but if it was a one-time occurrence in the middle of the night, I am guessing something spooked her, either in her head or something she heard that shocked her awake. You're a good mama for keeping her close and comforting her.

For us, it was weird because a few weeks after that happened, anytime she'd lay in the same position against my leg and have me stroke her like I did the night the thunder broke, she'd start to shiver again (flashback), until I changed her mindset quickly to asking if she'd like to go for a walk or grab a small treat.

Last year was a particularly wet year here in SoCal, and there was a lot of thunder and heavier rain than the last few years (which isn't saying much of course). We got her a small thunder shirt / thunder vest and after that anytime it rained she was back to her crazy self again, it gave her back her crazy confidence.

Anyhow, sorry for writing a book, it just struck a chord with me, and I hope you guys don't experience this any longer. Keep being an awesome mama and if you see this persisting in any way/shape/form definitely go get her checked out. This being in the middle of the night and all and brand new, it sounds more like a fear thing or being shook awake, so just watch it during the day/normal feeding times. Good luck!
 

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Do you know how to find a dog's pulse? If it happens again, you could check to see if your dog's pulse is very rapid, but a dog's heartbeat is not the same as a human's. Honestly, to me, a layperson, it sounds like pain. Could she have hurt herself somehow? But another possibility is fear, perhaps caused by sound. My dogs sometimes act like that when the smoke detector beeps when the battery is low. Fireworks? Car backfiring or gunshots? Sirens? Neighbors arguing loudly? Thunder?

If she continues to act strangely, or if it happens again and there is no strange noise, check with your vet!
My dog sleeps with me and dies the same during thunderstorms. I agree it may be sound. Also, my dog dreams. Sometimes she’s moving her legs like she’s running, other like she’s just scared it might be that as well.
 

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Baby, my Maltese sleeps with me. She was fine all day yesterday, ate normally etc. Last night in the middle of the night, she crawled on my chest and was shivering uncontrollably. The room was warm and was the same temperature it always is. It’s never bothered her before. I patted her for a bit and then put her next to me. She crawled right back on my chest so I just let her stay there. She shivered some more and then finally stopped. . She’s eight years old. last Time we went to the vet, the vet detected a heart murmur. Otherwise, she’s been very healthy. Has anyone experienced this shaking and shivering with your Maltese?
Long time lurker here.
SHIVERING got my attention.
My 8 y o Mimi, deaf, is currently in ICU, diagnosed with GME. Treated yesterday with prednisolone & today started cytosine arabinoside.

Mimi started shivering about 2 weeks ago. She had had a haircut, weather was colder, her temp was normal, all functions seemed normal. We put a sweater on her, & the shivering stopped after a few days.
About a week later, took her to the vet with jerking or jolting intermittently. The vet we were using is pretty young, I had some misgivings about it, but they were available. Vet thought Mimi had a reaction to the Metacam I gave her for luxating patella. Gave a muscle relaxer (methocarbamol). They wanted to follow up in a week. I took her back Monday (by this time she was walking funny); she was hiccuping or spasming all Sunday night. This time the vet gave her an anti inflammatory, but didn’t really give us a diagnosis. I asked for labs & an xray of a sore foot. Vet said Rimadyl should help, but why I don’t know, since there was no clear diagnosis. Her labs (CBC, chem) were ok. I wanted a neurology referral. The vet tech called me back & said neuro could see her in a little over 2 weeks. By the next morning when the vet’s office opened, Mimi could not walk. I called them twice, one desk person was short with me, but I didn’t care. By 9:00, I was called & told that the office changed the referral to urgent/emergent. I called the vet neuro office myself, & was told again 2-3 weeks out. I said she will be dead by then. They directed me to their ER, where Mimi could see neurology & have an MRI (after reading all night, I was determined that she needed one). They performed an MRI, diagnosed GME, & started medication right away. We’re day 2 now. She didn’t even seem to recognize me today, which broke my heart.

Tl;DR- GME should be suspected in dogs -esp middle-aged ones- with new neurological symptoms, especially Malteses. I think Mimi’s delay in diagnosis was due to
-my not recognizing the shivering as something important, though my gut told me something was wrong
-the young vet’s not realizing the potential severity or taking time to do a thorough neurological exam, though she did note some abnormality with Mimi’s pupils. Assessing Mimi’s gait may have told her more.
-vet’s personal philosophy of not being aggressive with keeping very ill pets alive
-living in a relatively poor area, where many would not want to spend the thousands GME often takes to treat it (so far $4,000, but if I have to sell what I have to save Mimi, it will be worth it, if she retains a good quality of life).

Posted so people will know about this disease, because your vet may not! I had to be a strong, persistent advocate for my baby. I regret her not being diagnosed sooner. This disease can be RAPIDLY fatal. Pray for Mimi (& me), please!
 

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Long time lurker here.
SHIVERING got my attention.
My 8 y o Mimi, deaf, is currently in ICU, diagnosed with GME. Treated yesterday with prednisolone & today started cytosine arabinoside.

Update: I’ve had Mimi home for several days now. Appears she tolerated the “chemo” quite well. She is taking prednisolone every 12 hours and gabapentin every 6-8 hrs for her foot, which no one seems to be able to diagnose yet (tender, limping).
She is making strides quickly, now > 80% of her normal self and improving every day. I’m quite hopeful. Found and read old threads on here re: GME. REALLY appreciate those who helped with the research in 2012! Thank you all!

OP-didn’t mean to hijack your thread. Hope I didn’t scare you to death either.
 

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Anjee, I am happy to read your update saying Mimi is getting treatment for GME now and improving already! {{{{{}}}}}

I am glad there is so much information on GME on this site. It is a great resource, and thank you for adding to it. I hope you can keep us up to date on how Mimi does.

I am wondering how the original poster's dog is doing.
 

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Hello, my name is Trish and I have not posted here for awhile. I recently lost my beloved dog Gizmo just this past December. He was a wonderful dog who never let life get him down and brought joy to everyone. He was very Hakuna Matata.
I realized after reading Anjee’s story that GME is what killed my dog. Gizmo was diagnosed with Cushings and spent a week at Cornell in mid November. But that isn’t what killed him. He came home from Cornell, seemed to stabilize and enjoyed Thanksgiving with me and my other Maltese Billie Bo. Then in the space of 17 days, he began to lose the ability to walk, to balance and finally to use any of his legs. Through it all, he had an incredible spirit. But it is like his own body turned on him. My local vet, Cornell was too booked to see him, was convinced he had picked up some kind of infection that traveled to his brain and spine but it was too late to help him. She tried everything to save him but I had to put my Gizmo down December 16. He was 14 but he was so full of life. Just this past Halloween he was playbowing and running with Billie.
I pray that Mimi will pull through. I can only imagine the pain you are going thru.
I wish Gizmo had been correctly diagnosed sooner. I would have spent every penny I had, and gone into debt, to save him.
 

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Anjee, I am happy to read your update saying Mimi is getting treatment for GME now and improving already! {{{{{}}}}}

I am glad there is so much information on GME on this site. It is a great resource, and thank you for adding to it. I hope you can keep us up to date on how Mimi does.

I am wondering how the original poster's dog is doing.
Thank you for asking & understanding. It means a lot!
After a couple of days home, she was on a good positive trajectory, with daily gains/symptom improvement-hind legs working better, she started barking at the TV again, which thrilled us. Was constipated for about 4 days after discharge. No problem with that now, after pumpkin for a couple of days. Due to the medications, she drinks a lot & is absolutely obsessed with food.
As of now, Mimi appears to have plateaued a bit. Incoordination in both back legs has improved, but seems to wax & wane. She is slowly regaining her adorable personality. No clear seizure activity, but she kicks her right rear leg at times almost spasmodically, is still circling to the right sometimes, most distressing to me is that she is not very affectionate. She did give me a kiss last night, but in general she has not been nearly as loving as she was prior to GME. It’s my understanding that she will have another Cytosan treatment in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to find information anywhere to know whether to expect continued significant improvement - the answer seems to be that they don’t know enough to say. Will keep posting.
 

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Thank you for asking & understanding. It means a lot!
After a couple of days home, she was on a good positive trajectory, with daily gains/symptom improvement-hind legs working better, she started barking at the TV again, which thrilled us. Was constipated for about 4 days after discharge. No problem with that now, after pumpkin for a couple of days. Due to the medications, she drinks a lot & is absolutely obsessed with food.
As of now, Mimi appears to have plateaued a bit. Incoordination in both back legs has improved, but seems to wax & wane. She is slowly regaining her adorable personality. No clear seizure activity, but she kicks her right rear leg at times almost spasmodically, is still circling to the right sometimes, most distressing to me is that she is not very affectionate. She did give me a kiss last night, but in general she has not been nearly as loving as she was prior to GME. It’s my understanding that she will have another Cytosan treatment in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to find information anywhere to know whether to expect continued significant improvement - the answer seems to be that they don’t know enough to say. Will keep posting.
Updating after about, what, 7 months since diagnosis? Mimi’s had 6 monthly Cytosar treatments, prednisolone- relapses frequently with attempts to decrease dose to lower than 0.7 mg/Kg twice a day- & seizure medication.

GME has been an absolute roller coaster ride.
Up ups- 2-3 months ago after 3-4 Cytosar treatments & high dose prednisolone, Mimi was absolutely normal, as if she’d never been ill, totally her old perfect, sweet self…& low lows, like when she had her first grand mal seizure in April, or as this week when she was hospitalized after her second set of seizures.

Things I wish I knew before…
1. This is an EXPENSIVE disease to treat without pet insurance. I could almost pay for a (small) car for what it’s cost.
2. INSIST that the vet or neuro provide an emergency pack of intranasal midazolam syringes in case the GME dog seizes (I believe over half will, eventually). We may have been able to avoid paying $2,300 for an ER visit (& permanent damage to Mimi’s brain) if we could have aborted her cluster seizures early. The ER was over an hour away, & these things always seem to happen during the weekend/middle of the night.
3. Regular vets often do not recognize GME, and even neurologists don’t know the best way to treat GME. The research out there is lacking. More small dog owners need to be aware of the disease, so they can hit HARD with high dose steroids before permanent damage occurs. It can happen incredibly quickly.

There is an excellent GME Facebook page with lots of anecdotal information that Mimi’s specialist never had time to tell me, and the advice is usually correct. Wish I had been a stronger advocate for Mimi in the beginning. She would have been taking supplements (I was a skeptic), I would have paid more attention to her medication bottles to make sure no errors occurred, & I SURE would never have put on a topical flea medicine (it made her symptoms worse).
4. In retrospect, might have been more cautious with vaccines & only allow boosters if I had to.

Mimi is still with us. To make it past the 6 month mark is generally regarded as a good prognostic sign, but that’s with GME.

Per her 2nd MRI yesterday, it appears that now she has NME, aka pug dog disease, which has a worse prognosis. I do not understand enough to know how this occurs. Having a background in human medicine, her MRI certainly appears to me to show necrosis (death of brain tissue) where there used to be inflammation. Mimi is stumbling around, acting confused today since being released from the hospital. She’s appeared similar to this before, so I’m holding out hope that she’ll recover, despite the new NME diagnosis.

I’d still do it all over again. Mimi’s been the light of my life for most of this year.

If anyone has any advice about medications, anti-inflammatory diets, etc, I’d be very happy to hear it.
 

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What a lot she and you have been through! I have no experience or advice to offer about GME or NME, but I've been on rollercoaster rides with other dog health issues, so my heart goes out to you and Mimi. Hoping for good things in the future for you. {{{{{}}}}}
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this, and thank you for sharing. GME and NME are horrible diagnosis for any pet parent to receive. Paws crossed that things continue to stabilize for Mimi!
 

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Sandi-- w/Kitzel (Kitzi) & Lisel (Lisi)
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Maggie----we used to have "stickies" --- is that still a thing? Maybe this information could be combined on one page & listed for those who are looking for info from this site on GME, NME?
 
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