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Primary orthostatic tremor and orthostatic tremor plus in dogs: 60 cases (2003 - 2020)

Liatis, Theofanis; Gutierrez-Quintana, Rodrigo; Mari, Lorenzo; Czopowicz, Micha?; Polidoro, Dakir; Bhatti, Sofie F.M.; Cozzi, Francesca; Tirrito, Federica; Brocal, Josep; José-López, Roberto; Kaczmarska, Adriana; Cappello, Rodolfo; Harris, Georgina; Alves, Lisa; Rusbridge, Clare; Rossmeisl, John H.


Theofanis Liatis

Rodrigo Gutierrez-Quintana

Lorenzo Mari

Micha? Czopowicz

Dakir Polidoro

Sofie F.M. Bhatti

Francesca Cozzi

Federica Tirrito

Josep Brocal

Roberto José-López

Adriana Kaczmarska

Rodolfo Cappello

Georgina Harris

Lisa Alves

Clare Rusbridge

John H. Rossmeisl


Background: Orthostatic tremor (OT) is a rare movement disorder characterized by high- frequency (>12 Hz) involuntary, rhythmic, sinusoidal movements affecting predominantly the limbs while standing.

Objective: To describe the signalment, presenting complaints, phenotype, diagnostic findings, treatment, and outcome of a large sample of dogs with OT.

Animals: Sixty dogs diagnosed with OT based on conscious electromyography.

Methods: Multi-center retrospective case series study. Dogs were included if they had a conscious electromyography consistent with muscle discharge frequency >12 Hz while standing.

Results: Fifty-three cases were diagnosed with primary OT (POT). Giant breed dogs represented most cases (83%; 44/53). Most dogs (79%; 42/53) were younger than 2 years of age at onset of signs, except for Retrievers which were all older than 3.5 years of age. The most common
presenting complaints were pelvic limb tremors while standing (85%; 45/53) and difficulty when rising or sitting down (45%; 24/53). Improvement of clinical signs occurred in most dogs (85%;45/53) treated medically with phenobarbital, primidone, gabapentin, pregabalin or clonazepam, but it was mostly partial rather than complete. OT-Plus was seen in 7 dogs that had concurrent neurological diseases.

Conclusions and clinical importance: POT is a progressive disease of young, purebred, giant/large-breed dogs, which appears to begin later in life in Retrievers. POT apparently responds partially to medications. OT-Plus exists in dogs and can be concomitant or associated with other neurological diseases.


Liatis, T., Gutierrez-Quintana, R., Mari, L., Czopowicz, M., Polidoro, D., Bhatti, S. F., …Rossmeisl, J. H. (in press). Primary orthostatic tremor and orthostatic tremor plus in dogs: 60 cases (2003 - 2020). Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 23, 2021
Print ISSN 0891-6640
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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