Pepper was recently diagnosed with something called "White Shaker Syndrome."
The vet said that we don't need to medicate him until the shaking gets a lot worse than it is right now (about 10 minutes total once a week).
He just had an attack and it lasted about 3 minutes. He shook like crazy and then it stopped. I took him for a walk and all he really wanted to do was sit down. Plus, he didn't seem focused. That said, he didn't have trouble walking - something that is indicative of the escalation of the disease.
Does anyone here have any experience with this disease? I know its treated with Prednisone for weeks or months.
Would Pepper lose his hair? How about his bowel control? Is it possible for him to start peeing and pooping in the house?
He is a rescue, so I have no idea of his past history other than the vague vet report made by the rescue group. He is neutered, although this is a disease that doesn't seem to be genetic in nature, nor does it affect only Maltese - any small white dog breed is susceptible.
You need a neurology consult. Do you have anyone in your area? I can give you names if you tell me your general location.
Prednisone will not cause hair loss, or pooping in the house. You might have some issues with urination, as pred causes increased thirst and increased urination. Also causes weight gain among other things.
My dog does not have white shaker, but another neuro disorder. You can PM me if you want more info.
I did a lot of research on "white dog shaker syndrome" a few months ago. You can just search on the Internet and find a lot of information. One good source is Petplace.com but there's lots of others too. I do know that it affects mostly white dogs some articles say from 9 months to 3 years old and others have listed it as 1 to 6 years old. Larry was right at a year old. Maltese and Westies are always listed in the breeds that seem to be affected. Its not strictly white dogs as I have seen Yorkies, Min Pins, Silkies, Papillions and several other small breeds listed. Its an inflammation of the central nervous system.
I have a friend that has my Emy's brother and he has "white dog shaker syndrome". He was a little over a year old when she got him and he already had it but at that time we didn't know what was wrong. It was heartbreaking to watch him. He's doing much better now but he is on Prednisone and I think some other medications. I hadn't talked to Connie for several months and had actually called her this morning to see how Larry's doing. She's in Florida with her family but she'll be home the first part of next week. I'm sure when she gets home she wouldn't mind talking to you at all. I'm not much help but she's been dealing with this now for about 9 months. She's had him to a specialist at Ohio State University but uses her vet here for normal visits. I think she still has to take him to the vet about every 30 days to be checked so they can keep a close watch on his medications. Her vet here works with the vet at OSU. She said his hair has thinned but to my knowledge she hasn't had house breaking issues, he's potty pad trained. He has gained weight but only a few much needed ounces. He's a tiny guy and only around 3 pounds, give or take an ounce.
I put a video of him on you tube so I could send it to a family member for Connie and if you google white dog shaker syndrome Larry's video should come up. If not let me know and I'll send you the link.
I wish I could have helped more. If you'd like to talk with Connie PM me and I'll get in touch with her as soon as she gets back from vacation.
Pepper was diagnosed by my vet, and I have a lot of confidence in his ability to treat the issue, however, I'll be PM-ing you both for information. I live in Northern NJ if that helps.
I asked the question here because, (with apologies to those in the medical profession) Drs. don't always tell you what you really need to know. The internet is full of people giving out incorrect information and some of the side effects I read about scared me.
Pepper is about 7lbs and a pound or two won't make a difference - just more to love. Plus the increased urination I can handle. He already has "just in case" pee pads on all 3 floors of my townhouse, plus I walk him about 4-5 times a day (more for me than for him). He's such a good boy that in the entire time I've owned him, he's only pee'd or pooped inside 3 times, and only once missing the pad.