Idiopathic Head Tremors

Head Tremors in Bulldog and French Bulldogs

Head tremors in bulldogs and France bulldogs are also known as

  • Bulldog and French bulldog head shaking
  • “Bulldog and French bulldog head nodding”
  •  “Bulldog head bobbing”
  • “Idiopathic bulldog head tremors

All those bulldog head tremors names are used by the bulldog community interchangeably.

Head tremors in bulldog and France bulldogs

Bulldog Head Shaking 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. The most common origin is unknown and benign. Focal seizures should be r/o.
  2. The idiopathic type is unique to the breed and is usually painless.
  3. An exam is recommended but for the idiopathic type, RX is not required.
  4. Head shaking is usually transitory, short in duration, and can be stopped by distracting the pet.
  5. For nervous system wellness, we offer  Dr. Kraemer’s Affordable nerve & back Bundles 

Members of this bulldog community prefer prevention over RX

Bulldog Head Tremor ULTIMATE

Head Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs CAUSE:

Bulldog Head Tremors IDOPATHIC CAUSE:

The underlying medical origin of bulldog head tremors is mostly unknown and is considered “benign”, the medical term for “unknown” is idiopathic

 Idopathic bulldog and French bulldog head bobbing is the most comon cause of bulldog head tremors.

Bulldog Head Shaking FOCAL SEIZURES CAUSE:

The thinking is that bulldog focal seizures involve a stretch mechanism localized to the head.


Bulldog intention tremors origin is the cerebellum


Associated with REM (rapid eye movement) dreaming phase of bulldog sleeping

Head Tremors in Bulldog and French Bulldogs

Head Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs PRESENTATION:

Bulldog Head Bobbing INTENTION TREMORS 

The presentation of “bulldog intention tremors” head bobbing is very similar to the more common bulldog idiopathic head bobbing the tremors are jerkier and typically observed when your bulldog or French bulldog eats, drinks, or during other voluntary movements.

Bulldog Head Tremors SLEEP DISORDER

Bulldog sleep disorder head bobbing appears while your bulldog sleeps during the dreaming phase and resolves when your bulldog is awakened

Bulldog Head Shaking FOCAL SEIZURES

Could imitate the more common bulldog idiopathic head shaking and might improve with seizure anticonvulsive Rx.

In contrast to bulldog idiopathic head tremors patients who remain alert and responsive, bulldogs suffering from focal seizures exhibit a change in mental status

Bulldog Head Tremors IDOPATHIC

Idiopathic bulldog head tremors remain bright and alert and the bobbing will stop when they are distracted and move their head (food, toy, treat, take a walk, etc.)

Distraction with food, toy, and treat, will usually stop your bulldog or French bulldog head from bobbing. 

Head Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs DURATION:

Most bulldog head-shaking, tremors, nodding, and bobbing are short-lasting but at times could last for a few minutes

Head Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS:

Common diagnostic testing conducted for a bulldog and French bulldog head-shaking are:

MEDICAL EXAM: a full comprehensive exam

CBC, CHEMESTRIESURINE: a general blood test to r/o diabetes and other medical conditions that can lead to seizures.

BILE ACID TEST:  to help rule out portosystemic shunts (liver shunt).


OTHER: spinal fluid analysis, EEG 

Head Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs PREVENTION &TREATMENT:

Seizure medication is controversial, if your bulldog has no seizure history I usually do not prescribe anything.

Bulldog head tremors, are usually intermittent and are usually considered harmless, thus NO treatment is required.

Head Tremors in Bulldog and French Bulldog TIPS & WARNINGS:

Bulldog and French Bulldog Head Tremors

Dr. Kraemer’s Head Tremors TIPS:

Bulldog Head Tremors NO PAIN: 

Bulldogs and French bulldogs exhibiting head tremors and head bobbing are usually fully alert and otherwise acting normally.

Though distressing to the owner, bulldog idopathic head shaking is not painfull nor a distress signal

Bulldog Head Shaking GENETIC LINK:

There may be a genetic link to bulldog head tremors

Bulldog Head Bobbing NEURO DISEASE:

Bulldogs with idiopathic head tremors do NOT develop other neurological signs as a result of this condition.

Bulldog Head Shaking SHAKE DIRECTION

Your bulldog and French bulldog head shaking can present as a side-to-side movement (saying “no”) or an up-and-down movement (saying “yes”).

Bulldog Head Tremors LEG SHAKE:

Many senior bulldogs and French bulldog owners wonder why their aging dog’s hind legs shake and if it’s related to bulldog head shaking.

Shaking of the extremities can happen when standing up or lying down and can be progressive.

Just like “bulldog head shaking”, the origin of the shaking is unknown ( idiopathic.)

Bulldog let tremors might be associated with:

Bulldog Head Tremors Rx Medication:

 Anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication (NSAID) can be tried to help relieve leg tremors associated with bulldog arthritis.

Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog Let Trumor SUPPLEMENTS:

You can add supplements like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B:

Dr. Kraemer’s Head Tremors WARNINGS:

Bulldog Head Tremors DISTEMPER VIRUS:

Your bulldog might be head or leg shaking due to other medical conditions, thus you should always consult your veterinarian.

One example is the canine distemper virus, Those unfortunate bulldogs usually present with jaw shaking and leg muscles shaking in addition to head tremors and can be observed even while your bulldog is sleeping.

Bulldog Distemper Encephalomyelitis is rare because of the introduction of the vaccine and its integration into our canine pet’s wellness core vaccine series.


Other types of tremors can be due to poison and toxins, hormonal abnormalities, and electrolyte imbalance

Tremors in Bulldog and France Bulldogs TRUTH & MYTH

Bulldog Head Tremor SUGAR TREAT MYTH:

Offering ice cream, honey, or sugary liquids is not recommended. Those are often given to treat seizing bulldog puppies and French bulldog puppies suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) events.

For bulldog and French bulldog idiopathic head shake use distraction that moves the head such other food, treats, or a toy . 

Head tremors in bulldogs and France bulldog CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT MYTH:

Offering calcium supplements to a bulldog or French bulldog with a head shake has little to no merit.

Calcium supplements are only given to bulldog females for “postpartum calcium deficiency” (i.e. eclampsia), and are based on empirical low blood calcium (blood test).

“An Ounce Of PREVENTIVES Is Worth A Pound Of CURE”

Head tremors in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs store

*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must-read” manual for bully owner