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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17084
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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2 weeks ago our dog Buster aged 15 started shaking from head

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2 weeks ago our dog Buster aged 15 started shaking from head to tail.
Bloods done all ok apart from slight kidney issue which isnt related to shaking.
Temp ok, heart fine.
Vet suggested mini stroke. He still has shaky rear legs which was put down to muscle wastage.
He now wont eat dry food, tinned food even premium.
He will only eat if hand fed and encouraged sausages, chicken, ham and burgers, all cooked of course. He drinks lots of water and still takes walks although much shorter now.
If we leave food in dish he wont eat it.
Any advice please
Rebecca :


Rebecca :

I am sorry to hear you are worried about Buster.

Rebecca :

My name is***** am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Rebecca :

Can you tell me more about what the slight kidney issue was on the blood tests? If he is drinking more water than usual, I would want to know as much about his kidneys as possible.

Rebecca :

Shaking like this can be pain, weakness, or a neurologic condition ( brain tumor, inflammation, infection of the central nervous system), or an electrolyte imbalance (sodium, potassium, chloride which were probably checked on the blood tests).

Rebecca :

Is the shaking constant? Does it stop when he sleeps? Is it worse when he tries to walk or move?

Rebecca :

Tremors can be an indication of many conditions. If the blood tests are normal ( it would help me to know his BUN, creatinine, phosphorus, red blood cell count, and electrolytes and the results of a urinalysis to know more about his kidney condition), and especially since he is not eating very well, my next step would be an ultrasound of his abdomen and internal organs.

Rebecca :

There are some conditions that cause tremors that are seizures, but then probably the tremors would come and go.

Rebecca :

Stroke is hard to prove, unless you do things like CT or MRI scans. However, most dogs with stroke have high blood pressure, and this is easy to check. If his pressure is high, then medication may help.

Rebecca :

I hope you can see what I am writing!

Rebecca :

I will try to contact you in another format, if I do not hear from you.

Rebecca :

This could be so many things. I am worried about the increased drinking, weight loss, and poor appetite, as well as the tremors. If this were my own dog, I would continue to do tests (urinalysis, ultrasound, blood pressure) until I found the cause.

I hope you can now see what I am writing.
Please let me know what else I can answer, and if you have it, the numbers that indicated a slight kidney issue.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Buster has had the shakes for some time approx 4 years , the yearly checkup suggested it was muscle wastage - Re kidney issue we didnt get futher info other than it was put down to his age and he has lost a kilo over the last 6months - 10.3 kgs down to 9.3 kgs .

Over the last 2 weeks he has gained weight due to type of food (Human Grade) he is now 9.45kgs .

To us he seems to be closing down - 15 is a grand age .

We dont believe in prolonging his life with medication - Steriods were suggested by the vet which we disagreed with.

If it was something viisble eg last year Buster had bad breath , diagnosed 3 bad teeth which we had removed . This didnt affect his abilty to chew dried food .

It is possible that Buster is Milking the situation re hand feeding? -To prove this how long can we leave Buster without encouraging him to eat ? leaving food available in his bowl. He has water available all the time and is drinking approx 400ml a day, which on reflection doesnt sound a lot

Thank you for the additional information.
When an older dog becomes this picky about eating, it usually indicates some internal disease. I am sure he likes being hand fed, but this is exactly what older dogs do when they have an internal illness, such as organ failure, or cancer. They become increasingly selective about what they want to eat, and gradually will eat fewer and fewer foods, and smaller and smaller amounts.
I agree 400 ml a day does not sound like excessive drinking.
He is old, and I can understand not wanting him to go through invasive tests, etc. However, if you want to know what is wrong, and if anything can be done, then doing basic blood tests (how long ago were the tests showing the kidney problem?) and a urinalysis is where I would start, if he were mine.
Rebecca and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi many thanks for your advice , we will ask for further tests . The blood test was 2 weeks ago when he had the shakes from head to foot . Incidently just remembered although the vet suspected a stroke a friend said his dog had the same issue and that was diagnosed as an epileptic fit

I hope he he neither epilepsy or a stroke! Let me know what you find out.
Thank you for the good rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, many thanks for your help. We had a urine test done and have just got the results. Confirmed kidney failure + high protien detected. Buster will be put down tomorrow morning. Currently he is refusing food totally and not drinking.

Many many thanks for your input.


I am so sorry to hear that. My sincere condolences. He had a long life, but that just makes it harder to lose him. Thank you for letting me know.
I'm sorry for your loss. Please let me know if you need anything in the future.