Border Terrier Shaking Syndrome
Border terrier shaking syndrome is a condition in which dogs experience repeated episodes of muscle stiffness. Seizures usually begin between the ages of two and six years. Episodes last for a few seconds to half an hour. Depending on the severity of the condition, episodes can be recurrent, occurring regularly or once in a lifetime. Some border terriers have only one or two episodes in their life. Others, however, may suffer from recurrent attacks every few days, weeks, or even months. Some studies estimate that between five and fifteen percent of border terriers are affected by the condition.
Border Terriers can also shake as a response to certain stimuli, such as engagement or concentration.
A genetic brain ailment, known as Shaking Puppy Syndrome, is one of the most serious problems affecting the breed. This disorder causes Border Terriers to shake, particularly their back legs. The shaking can lead to instability on their feet, and it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
A case study
A case study published in 2012 by the Ohio State University noted that some Border Terrier pups were euthanized after developing myelin sheath degeneration, resulting in uncontrollable tremors. These pups were between three and four weeks of age when they presented for euthanasia. However, the same disease was seen in Scandinavian dogs, and the symptoms grew worse over time. In the article, the authors noted that there are many similarities and differences between the Border Terrier shaking syndrome and the other diseases that affect this group of dogs. However, they noted that although the two disorders are closely related, they are different and have different pathological basis.
The study also identified an enzyme known as apolipoprotein A that can lead to the symptoms associated with the disease. This enzyme is responsible for the body’s ability to break down harmful toxins and prevent them from reaching the brain. In addition, myelin is essential for nerve transmission, and a serious defect can lead to neurological symptoms. Two types of genes can cause border terrier shaking syndrome, one involving the brain, and the other in the digestive system.
Between the disease and the dog’s diet
In a small study involving a population of Border Terriers, researchers looked for a possible connection between the disease and the dog’s diet. While the cause is unclear, one possible trigger is too much excitement or a stressful situation. An involuntary lateral body sway that resembles titubation is associated with a traumatic event. The dog’s gait progressively stiffens and becomes hypermetric, resulting in a wide stance.
However, the diagnosis is difficult. Aside from DNA testing, Border Terriers can be affected by Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS). In this disease, the dog experiences a series of seizures that range from ataxia to a lack of ability to stand. During the episodes, the dog is aware of their environment but prone to submissive behavior. In some cases, the symptoms will last for minutes or even an hour.
However, the disease is rarely fatal and the dog is completely normal otherwise. The symptoms are reversible, and the condition is often cured with a gluten-free diet. The best way to treat border terrier shaking syndrome is through diet modification. However, it may take several weeks to see improvement, and some dogs may not respond to a gluten-free diet. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from PGSD, it is important to see a veterinarian immediately.
Lower jaw sticks
Some Border Terriers are also susceptible to a condition called an underbite. This is when the lower jaw sticks out further than the upper one. Most cases do not require treatment, but extreme cases can require extractions and orthodontic work. The condition is common in Border Terriers and can lead to chronic pain. It can also lead to the need for surgery. A vet can examine the puppy for this condition during their visit to the vet.
DNA testing of Border terriers can reveal whether a dog is susceptible to SPS.
This test can be used to confirm a diagnosis and can even detect a carrier dog. Until this test is available, owners should ensure that their dogs undergo spaying or neutering before breeding. Prevention is the best cure, so it’s important to avoid breeding dogs with the disease. Aside from SPS, another disease that can cause shaking in a Border Terrier is Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome. In older dogs, these seizures cause them to shake, which is usually accompanied by shaking.
While the disorder is rare, it can lead to neurologic issues.
Affected dogs may also have trouble with their vision and develop nystagmus, a rhythmic eye movement that may cause tremors. Currently, shaker syndrome is considered an “exclusion diagnosis.”