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Hello - My 2 year male, Kosar, recently started shaking his head uncontrollably. It’s always when he’s sleeping. He’s had six episodes that we are aware of. We did catch the most recent, and longest, episode on video however I’m unable to attach it here. When we notice he’s having an episode we wake him up. He’s alert, responsive, and able to walk during the episode. Typically moving stops the shakes. His head goes left to right not up and down. Our vet thinks that he’s having partial seizures. Has anyone else had a boxer do something similar? What did you do for it? I appreciate your insight!
 

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This may sound like a dumb question but since it only happens when he is sleeping, could it just be dreaming? My guy Zuke will shake his head, legs and sometimes his entire body enough to wake me up from a dead sleep when he is dreaming.

Also its odd that it stops after you wake him up, and he is completely alert and responsive. I dont think a seizure would work that way. I'm no vet though, it just seems weird.
 

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Boxer head shakes are more common than most people think. With our first boxer who got them when she was 3 we were able to just refocus her by asking her "who's outside"? They would immediately stop as she jumped up and ran to the window. They're kinda scary when you don't know what's happening. We just managed them ourselves.
 

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Boxer head shakes are more common than most people think. With our first boxer who got them when she was 3 we were able to just refocus her by asking her "who's outside"? They would immediately stop as she jumped up and ran to the window. They're kinda scary when you don't know what's happening. We just managed them ourselves.
Was there a diagnosis? This is the 1st time I have ever heard of this.

I had and older dog who had a few seizures but he would lose all function and it would take a good hour before he was somewhat normal again.
 

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Oh Kosar certainly twitches a lot in his sleep; I assume chasing our cat around the house. But these head shakes are definitely not those. It’s almost rhythmic. While they tend to stop when he moves it doesn’t always stop them right away.
 

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Yes, Tundra did this when he was 2 years old or younger. He was awake typically. He'd randomly shake for a few seconds like this. If we distracted him, he would stop.

It only lasted a few weeks or months maybe. We haven't seen it since he was younger- he will be 6 this year. His litter-mate brother never had it and we don't know the cause.

I don't recall what the exact diagnosis, but the vet knew right away what it was. I think it may have just been a tremor. We were freaked out when it started, but the vet was right.

This link has some data. (Humans have Familial and/or essential tremors- I have relatives with these).

https://wagwalking.com/condition/head-tremors


I'd discuss with the vet again if they started up again or were different as we know boxers are prone to tumors and such....I'd want to make sure it was nothing more serious.

Our boys absolutely dream and move during their sleep, sometimes try to bark, etc... the head shakes were more pronounced (larger range of motion) than a sleep movement. That's the best way I can describe it, and for Tundra, he was conscious.

I hope your baby is OK.
 

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Was there a diagnosis? This is the 1st time I have ever heard of this.

I had and older dog who had a few seizures but he would lose all function and it would take a good hour before he was somewhat normal again.
It's a bit unnerving for sure, but much less severe or impacting than a seizure. There are no lingering affects, it's almost like they were in a trance. It's kind of like a person with Parkinson's as far as the shaking- tremors are different that Parkinson's, but more people are familiar with Parkinson's.

The boxer sleep movements are generally smaller (except when they kick, LOL) and smoother than the tremor.
I think it only happens with their heads too- the tremor- at least Tundra's was only there. When our boys sleep their entire bodies may move- depending on what they are 'doing'.
I wish I could see their dreams at times....or maybe I don't... :crazyeye:
 

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It's a bit unnerving for sure, but much less severe or impacting than a seizure. There are no lingering affects, it's almost like they were in a trance. It's kind of like a person with Parkinson's as far as the shaking- tremors are different that Parkinson's, but more people are familiar with Parkinson's.

The boxer sleep movements are generally smaller (except when they kick, LOL) and smoother than the tremor.
I think it only happens with their heads too- the tremor- at least Tundra's was only there. When our boys sleep their entire bodies may move- depending on what they are 'doing'.
I wish I could see their dreams at times....or maybe I don't... :crazyeye:
Ah ok, thanks for the description. I have never heard of this before. Always good to learn something new.

Lol as far as the dreams. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. I have a feeling though some of them are, what he would do if he had thumbs.
 

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It’s quite interesting that at the time that Kosar has the head tremors we were giving him Benadryl. I have since stopped giving him the Benadryl and he hasn’t had one episode, that we’ve observed. Has anyone’s boxer had reactions to Benadryl?
 

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It’s quite interesting that at the time that Kosar has the head tremors we were giving him Benadryl. I have since stopped giving him the Benadryl and he hasn’t had one episode, that we’ve observed. Has anyone’s boxer had reactions to Benadryl?
Nothing adverse like this...but it would make sense as each brand has different inert ingredients and all dogs like people have different tolerances and allergies...
Glad he's doing better.
 

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We were using Benadryl to help shrink an mct on Gingers front leg. She didn’t get head shakes but she was definitely zoned out. We quit using it after 2months. Have much meter results with a low dose of prednisone.
 
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