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Dr. Steven Osborne
Dr. Steven Osborne, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of Veterinary Medicine expertise with experience in canine and feline medicine and surgery
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I have a puppy ... Just 3 weeks today has developed shaking

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I have a puppy ... Just 3 weeks today has developed shaking puppy syndrome. She doesn't shake at all when asleep or still but when she tries to walk. It has been suggested to me that there is no hope for her but I refuse to give up. Are there any treatment options I have not yet been told. She is a Great Dane.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

HI, I'm Dr STeve. I am sorry to hear about your puppy's problems. Is the shaking any worse after nursing or eating or is it pretty much the same intensity the whole time she is awake?

Customer: As long as she is still or being cuddled closely she is fine but it is as she tries to walk she shakes as though cold
Dr. Steven Osborne :

There is a condition in puppies called Portosystemic shunt that can cause brain problems that can result in shaking as seen in shaking puppy syndrome . This is usually worse after eating.

Customer: she is fine whilst nursing once laying and attached however her siblings are now able to push her off should they really set to it
Dr. Steven Osborne :

This cause of shaking doesn't sound like what is going on with your puppy.

Customer: I haven't noticed it to be worse after eating it is fairly consistent
Customer: I tried the fish oil as reading in a Ms website suggested the nerves could be buffered by fishoil
Dr. Steven Osborne :

In most cases of shaking puppy syndrome the cerebellum is involved and the exact cause is not known definitively. There are some that think it is a viral infection that affect the cerebellum. Regardless of the cause, once the cerebellum is involved the only hope for improvement is for the body to try to heal itself. The fishoil has antioxidants tha can help reduce inflammation and free radical formation and won't hurt to try .

Customer: Is that best bet for her or is there also something else we can try
Dr. Steven Osborne :

Unfortunately there isn't any one treatment that works consistently, but some puppies may improve as they age , even though they may not come out of it completely , they may improve enough to have a relatively normal life. My opinion on this syndrome is that the owner ( you) need to be informed and understand that the prognosis for complete recovery is not good. After understanding this point, I leave it up to the client to choose to put the dog to sleep or continue to take care of it and give it a chance to see if it will improve.

Customer: I have also started her on the Leerburg formula as it is goats milk, natural yogurt. Corn syrup
Customer: she is attempting to lap that
Customer: I understand this... I'm not ready to give up on her yet
Dr. Steven Osborne :

The fish oil is and high quality nutrition are the best things that can be done to help with this problem. Again, my opinion is that as lng as the dog can nurse or eat, isn't in pain and can lead some sort of relatively normal life ,there is nothing wrong with giving it a chance. If the tremors get worse or if the puppy's quality of life declines, then it may need to be put to sleep at that time, but at least it was given a chance to get better.

Customer: I really don't want another dog and this was not a planned mating.. More just my dog got very good at climbing fences and in to my bitch but allowing her size as a factor am I doing the responsible thing continuing
Dr. Steven Osborne :

There are differing opinions on this subject as you know, but who's to say which one is more right? Some people tend to give up on a "problem" before others and some would rather have the "problem" go away sooner rather than have to make this decision inthe future.

Customer: I appreciate your advice as my vet wanted to euthanise her on the spot but I didn't feel good with that. Should we be taking her back to get antibiotics
Dr. Steven Osborne :

Again , this is totally your decision and I would respect which ever route you choose. There is no "right": answer. There are valid points to both choices and it really comes down to what your "gut " tells you. It sounds to me like you aren't the kind of person to give up without trying and that is commendable. If or when it comes time that the puppy is not doing well from the shaking or if it stops growing, then the situation will have changed and choosing to euthanize may be in the puppy's best interest at that time.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I haven't seen antibiotics as being very helpful in classic shaking puppy syndrome. The only way it would help would be if your puppy happened to be suffering from a bacterial brain infection. IN this situation, I would expect to see a fever and lethargy with a poor appetite. She would basically have a meningitis in order for antibiotics to be effective. Unfortunately there are no quick tests to see if if she has meningitis other than the symptoms I have mentioned. Talking to your vet about giving antibiotics wouldn't hurt and if he is ok with that, trying a week's worth would at least address this remote possibility, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. This would be more of a benefit to you knowing that you tried to address all the possible causes of her condition.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Honestly this is more of a "giving the brain time to heal itself" kind of treatment.

Customer: Thankyou
Dr. Steven Osborne :

You are very welcome. I hope this has helped you know what is best for you and your puppy. If you have more questions, please continue. I will be online throughout the weekend and most evenings if you have further questions. Thanks for using just answer and good luck. Have a nice weekend.

Customer: It has... What antibiotic would you try... Then I will let you go ☺️
Customer: Sorry☺️
Dr. Steven Osborne :

No problem, there are a lot of antibiotics that may kill the bacteria , but only a few would actually get into the brain tissue. Penicillin, amoxicillin and ampicillin would be ones that would help in this situation if there is a brain infection.

Customer: Thankyou soo much!!
Dr. Steven Osborne :

It has been my pleasure

Dr. Steven Osborne and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about Freckles. How is everything going?

Dr. Steven Osborne
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I wish I could say all good.... Sadly I can't. Others tell me they see an improvement but I'm now sure I do. However still not ready to give up either. Freckles is now having formula as well as some mince, pent acute baby drops, vitamin D3 and fish oil. Mum still fees her also and she looks amazing. She is continuing to gain strength but I am not certain of her future but I am still not ready to concede. She seems happy enough so where there still remains a glimmer I have to give her a chance 😄.
Time will tell I guess but thankyou for following up with us!
Thanks for the update. I realize it is hard not knowing what to do or how long to go, but in most cases, as long as she is doing ok, not hurting and eating, there still is hope. As far as how long to go, usually there comes a time when it becomes more clear that it may be time to stop trying. If you are not ready to give up on her, then that time has probably not come. What I am trying to say is most often you will "know" when it is time. Keep up the good work. It was nice hearing from you and have a great day