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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 29808
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My King Charles cavalier has suddenly started to shake his

Customer Question

My King Charles cavalier has suddenly started to shake his head from side to side, his eyes are also moving side to side, he's not in any distress or pain as far as I can tell, he's wagging his tail, have you any advice please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Cody is demonstrating nystagmus - his eyes moving from side to side. This is an indication of vestibular (balance) disorder. There are three main types - idiopathic (unknown cause/most common), peripheral (involving the inner/middle ear), and central (involving the cerebellum and/or brainstem).
His head moving side to side represents a tremor. Owners often describe a characteristic "yes" or no" movement of the head and normal consciousness. Mentation and gait remain normal during episodes.
Cody's vet will need to perform a complete physical and neurologic examination including a complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis to assess for metabolic etiologies. If nothing untoward is found in such testing, MRI is likely to be recommended.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.