Is Head Shaking In Dogs Serious? Causes and Solutions
Is your dog constantly shaking their head? It may not be a cause of alarm but if it is persistent, then a trip to your vet is necessary.
Head shaking can be due to allergy, ear infection, injury, head trauma, hematomas, otitis, etc.
Notably, some ear infections can cause head shaking in your dog due to itchiness and pain.
Also, if the ear infection is not treated it can lead to damage, eardrum rupture, illness, and deafness. As stated above we have various reasons why your dog may be shaking his/her head and what to do about it.
Causes of Head Shaking in Dogs
Ear infection in dogs may lead to ear blockage or damage if care is not taken. During grooming ensure to clean your dogs’ ears and remove excess wax and debris.
Wax is known to cause discomfort in dogs. Additionally, if it builds up the dog may start becoming agitated and keeps shaking its head.
Clean your dog ears regularly with a damp clean cloth or ear drops to remove excess wax.
Some dogs have a food intolerance and may be allergic to certain ingredients. Allergy may lead to itchiness and the dog may start shaking her head to try to reduce the itchiness feeling.
In case of any food allergies consult your vet and change the dog diet gradually. Diet change should be gradual to avoid stomach upset and constipation.
Besides that, when buying dry or wet food check the ingredients to avoid purchasing food that can lead to allergic reactions.
Allergens if they find their way to the ear canal of your dog it can lead to itchiness.
Dogs love running in long grasses and maybe stung by a bee or collect insects on their fur which could find their way into the ears. This can be flushed out by your vet or use ear drops.
Otitis can be brought about by wax, insects like mites, or allergies.
Without a doubt, otitis can be caused by inflammation of the external ear canal where bacteria and yeast buildup leading to an ear infection.
Signs to look for when your dog is suffering from otitis are redness, swollen ear, bad odor from the ear, and sensitivity to touch.
When grooming your dog you may see him experiencing pain or relief when you massage the ear.
Undoubtedly, go for treatment and take the dog to the vet. He may recommend antibiotics, antiseptic and antifungal treatment for the ear.
Moreover, the vet may give steroids to deal with the swelling after cleaning the ear. Remember if this is not done the ear may suffer from further infection or deafness.
- Ear Vasculitis
Breeds such as dachshunds, German shepherd, Rottweiler are prone to ear vasculitis. If there is an inflammation in the ear vessel on the ear flaps or pinna your dog will suffer from this condition.
They are several factors that can cause this from mites, frostbites, food allergies, tick borne illness, vaccine, or bad drug interactions.
Signs to look for when your dog starts shaking the head are lesions, red dots on the skin, swelling of the legs or small blisters on the skin.
To be sure of the cause it is good to take your dog immediately to the vet when you notice these signs. The vet may recommend antibiotics for treatment and if it is due to food allergy a diet change may be recommended.
Head shaking may start as a fun activity for your dog, but the continuous flapping of the dog’s ears to the skull may rupture blood vessels.
Furthermore, you may notice blood blister formation as head shaking continues. This can be contained but if the shaking continues it can endanger your dog’s life.
Despite this, hematomas heal on their own although your dog will experiences discomfort for weeks.
The vet may also do a small procedure where he drains the hematomas with a needle or opt for surgery. Also, a bandage may be put around your dog’s ears to prevent further flapping and the creation of new hematomas.
- Head Injury
Head shaking can be indication of a head injury, trauma, and chemical interaction, ear infection in your dog’s ear or head.
The shaking may be a way to relieve the pain or try to reduce itchiness.
One needs to take the dog to the vet for several tests to be done and treatment.
A simple head injury may heal on its own while other causes may need medication and treatment.
There is no sure cause of headshaking in dogs as the causes differ. A simple head shaking act is not a cause of concern although if it is persistent check with your vet.
Medication, treatment, change of diet can be some of the solution depending on what is causing the head shaking.
Subsequently, we have dog breeds that are prone to conditions that lead to head shaking, for instance, Otitis.
Lastly, head shaking, is treatable, can be stopped if not serious, but if in doubt consult your vet.