Why is my dog head-bobbing and vomiting? You may ask. In fact, many dog parents ponder about the sudden rotational and sideways head movement their pups display.

You are most likely not left out of this. Truth is, there’s a lot of contradictory and even outright false information floating around about head-bobbing, and all these have caused more panic than normal. 

That’s why we thoroughly sourced the latest articles and we have discovered that head-bobbing is harmless for your dog and vomiting could be because of your dog’s dietary indiscretion.

You’ll find more stirring details about this matter as you read on. 

Vomiting In Dogs 

Poor canine judgment, which is also called dietary indiscretion, can lead to dog vomiting and it might not be a big deal.

Yet vomiting could be a symptom of serious or even life-threatening conditions that need to be attended to urgently. This must be diagnosed and treated by a vet.

If your dog vomits many times in a day or for over one day consecutively, you need to reach for the vet immediately. Especially if these symptoms follow:

  • Pale or white gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Change in thirst
  • Change in frequency of urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Unusual or severe lethargy
  • Collapse

Underlying Causes Of Vomiting In Dogs

If your dog vomits once but still has normal bowel movements and displays healthy eating habits will be fine without having episodes.

But when vomiting is severe and followed by further symptoms, it must be checked by your vet to eliminate any potential life-threatening underlying causes.

Severe vomiting in dogs may be caused by either of the following conditions. They include:

  • Infectious diseases (ex. tick-borne diseases)
  • Dietary allergies
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Metabolic disease (such as kidney or liver failure, pancreatitis, diabetes, Addison’s disease…)
  • Cancer

If vomiting is sudden and critical, it may be because of either of the following conditions. They include:

  • Bloat
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Parasites in the intestines
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Parvovirus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Ingestion of a toxic substance

Diagnosing And Treating Of Vomiting In Dogs 

Before Canine Ultrasound Treatment is begun, the cause of vomiting is considered.

The vet would run some simple diagnostic tests like x-rays, blood work, and fecal analysis to identify a precise diagnosis.

Sometimes, an abdominal ultrasound may be proposed to examine internal organs properly.

When there are severe cases that are more difficult to diagnose, additional diagnostics like a test for Addison’s disease, a blood test for pancreatitis, or surgery to collect biopsies may be needed to identify underlying causes.

Feeding a bland diet and/or anti-nausea medication are common treatments for dog vomiting caused by an inflammation of the stomach or intestines (gastroenteritis).

Fluids, hospitalization with injectable medicine, and, in some situations, surgery are often required for more severe disorders.

It’s critical to follow your veterinarian’s advice and be honest with your family veterinarian.

Finding the correct treatment plan for your ill dog as soon as possible can help you get rid of the symptoms faster.

Early treatment can save your dog’s life in many circumstances, such as vomiting caused by ingesting a hazardous chemical.

What Is Idiopathic Head Tremor In Dogs?

 Idiopathic head tremor is a mild condition that is depicted by uncontrollable head tremors that start and stop spontaneously.

Idiopathic head tremors in dogs are classified as such because the cause is unknown.

Nervous system disorders, seizures, and head injuries may all play a role in idiopathic head tremors in dogs.

Although some dogs show other signs of sickness besides head tremors, head tremors are usually not accompanied by any other symptoms.

This illness affects dogs from puppyhood through middle age, and some breeds are more vulnerable than others.

Head vibrations have also been suggested as a cause of the problem called white dog shaker syndrome.

Symptoms Of Idiopathic Head Tremor In Dog

Some breeds, such as Spanish Hounds, Chow Chows, Samoyed dogs, Sled Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Spaniels, Pitbulls, and Bulldogs, are more prone to this illness than others.

Idiopathic head tremors in dogs are defined as an involuntary movement of the head from side to side or up and down.

The movement has been described as a bobblehead doll-like head bob. It’s not a voluntary head shake like one from an ear itch or infection.

Rotational, up-and-down, and side-to-side motions are all common in idiopathic head tremors.

They happen on their own and usually last 1-3 minutes.

Because idiopathic head tremors are not considered seizure activity, there is rarely a postictal state following a seizure.

During an episode of this tremor, dogs are usually alert and responsive.

What Can Cause Head Bobbing In Dogs? 

On a random day, if your furry friend wakes up and you see him doing a strange head movement.

Summon him and examine his head and ears. If you can’t figure out why, monitor him for the rest of the day.

The episode might repeat the next day and be considerably more noticeable this time. At this point, you might want to put a call through to the veterinarian.

Is A Dog’s Head Bobbing The First Sign Of A Convulsion?

Certain breeds are prone to head bobbing, as stated earlier. Some incidences have also been found in mixed breeds as well.

It hasn’t been related to any medical concerns and is, mostly, completely safe.

Most dogs may experience attacks regularly. They may be symptom free for weeks or even hours before the head bobbing reappears.

When the dog is engaged in an activity such as eating or playing, the head bobbing appears to stop. Head bobbing in dogs may be caused by: 

  • Low Glucose Levels

Head bobbing has been linked to low blood glucose levels in some circumstances. This can happen in nursing dogs with low glucose and calcium levels.

Hormonal variations, which can cause more noticeable head-bobbing during estrus, can also cause head bobbing.

If the head bobbing is caused by low glucose levels, rubbing some Karo syrup or honey on the dog’s gums should help.

  • Calcium Deficiency

Puppies undergo head bobbing episodes, because of their low calcium levels during development.  

  • Medication for Heartworms

Head bobbing has been associated with the delivery of heartworm medicine in some situations.

While there may be a correlation, no comprehensive research has been conducted yet to support this theory.

 Hormonal variations could also be a cause, as idiopathic head tremors are more common during estrus.

Although the most common head tremors have no known cause, other types of head tremors do, such as:

  • Trauma or head injury 
  • Excessive drugs
  • Extreme pain
  • Renal (kidney) disorders 
  • Low Blood sugar level.
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Toxicology caused by chemicals or plants
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) disease
  • Swelling of the brain

Any head bobbing should be thoroughly evaluated to rule out more serious causes, such as tumors or head injuries.

Normally, blood tests, an MRI, and/or a cerebrospinal fluid examination will suffice. However, seeing a veterinarian would be beneficial.

Although it’s inconvenient, most idiopathic head bobbing cases improve when they’re left alone.

Supplements may be recommended by veterinarians in some instances, but most dogs cope well with the illness and adjust accordingly, resulting in an excellent quality of life.

Diagnosis of Idiopathic Head Tremor In Dogs

Idiopathic head tremors in dogs are diagnosed based on symptoms and medical history.

Idiopathic head tremors are a diagnostic of exclusion, so other probable reasons must be researched and eliminated before idiopathic head tremors may be diagnosed.

Primary neurologic diseases such as cerebellar abnormalities, steroid-responsive tremor syndrome (“little white shaker syndrome”), and toxicity exposure are among the differential diagnoses. 

Infectious disorders like rabies and canine distemper must also be eliminated, as well as endocrine/metabolic diseases like hepatic encephalopathy. 

A thorough physical examination is an initial stage, which includes taking vital signs, listening to the heart, and palpating the head, neck, and limbs.

A bile acid test, eye exam, brain MRI, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis are among the additional tests available.

These tests will allow the veterinarian to eliminate an eye or progressive central nervous system condition as the source of the problem.

There are no additional neurological abnormalities in dogs with idiopathic head tremors, and MRI and cerebrospinal fluid studies come back to normal.

Head tremors can be difficult to diagnose, especially if they are idiopathic.

The veterinarian will do so by eliminating alternative possibilities and narrowing down the diagnosis.

The first step is to conduct a full physical examination, including auscultation, vital signs, and palpation.

Your dog’s complete medical history and immunization records will also be required by the veterinarian. Make a list of any drugs you’ve given him.

Following that, laboratory tests such as a complete blood count, blood urea nitrogen, blood sugar, urinalysis, fecal examination, and electrolyte analysis will most likely be performed.

Finally, your veterinarian may recommend x-rays of the head and spine, as well as a CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound.

Treatment Of Idiopathic Head Tremor In Dogs

Idiopathic head tremors have no known cause or treatment. Anticonvulsants have not been found to reduce the frequency of head tremors.

However, distraction can work for dogs that are currently experiencing an episode. Distract the dog by talking to him or by giving him food and treats.

Although there is no cure, the prognosis is favorable because idiopathic head tremors are harmless and do not cause long-term illness or disease.

Head tremors caused by a sickness or problem are treated by addressing the underlying illness or condition discovered by your veterinarian.

Depending on the cause, this could be medical or surgical.

Medical

If your dog has a curable cerebellar disorder, your veterinarian may prescribe an anticonvulsant medicine like potassium bromide, diazepam, or phenobarbital, as well as an immunosuppressive dose of corticosteroids.

If your dog has ingested a toxin or medicine, an emetic will be given to induce vomiting, and an antidote will be given if one is available.

To flush the system and prevent dehydration, intravenous fluids are given. Mannitol may be used to treat issues with the Central Nervous System.

Medications or surgery may treat kidney diseases, depending on the situation.

Surgical

Surgical treatment may be the best option if your dog has a CNS issue or cerebellar damage. It’s possible that taking a different strategy is the best option.

In some circumstances, the pressure on the brain must be eased, and the veterinarian may need to use a shunt to reroute the fluid.

Hospitalization

The veterinarian may admit your dog to the hospital until he is stable if he is having difficulties breathing or has to be stabilized.

The length of your dog’s stay is determined by his or her condition and the reason for the head tremors.

Will Medications Help?

Unfortunately, veterinarians frequently treat seizures by administering phenobarbital or potassium bromide.

Such drugs are ineffective in cases of idiopathic head tremors, as the illness is unrelated to seizure activity.

As a result, affected dogs will not benefit from such drugs and may experience undesirable side effects.

Despite the odd appearance of the illness, it is often not hazardous, and most dogs live happy, co-happily lives despite the occasional tremor.

The human observer is usually more bothered by the dog’s head bobbing than the dog is by it.

If your dog loses consciousness or develops any other indicators of neurological impairment, he should still consult a veterinarian.

It could indicate an uncontrollable seizure if he appears unconscious and does not raise his head when you call his name.

While head tremors may appear to be a serious condition, they are most often an idiopathic tremor that is not harmful and likely annoys you more than your dog.

He could not even be aware that it’s happening.

However, if your dog is suffering from a serious illness or requires surgery, his prognosis will vary depending on the circumstances, therefore seeking veterinarian help is critical.

The prognosis for idiopathic head tremors is favorable.

References

Blue Pearl Vet: Dog Vomiting: When Should You Be Concerned?

Pet helpful: Why Is My Dog’s Head Bobbing? The Causes of Head Tremors in Dogs

Wikipedia: Idiopathic Head Tremors In Dogs

Wag walking: Idiopathic Head Tremors in Dogs