Persistent vigorous head shaking may be an indication that your dog needs to see a vet. Here, our Memphis vet explains when you should become concerned about your dog's head shaking.
Why do dogs shake their heads?
Head shaking can be perfectly normal behavior for dogs, if it only happens on occasion.
Dogs use head shaking as an effective way to force irritants out of their ears.
When should I be concerned about my dog's head shaking?
If your dog shakes their head once or twice but then stops, there's probably nothing to be concerned about. However, if your dog keeps shaking his head persistently and vigorously, it's time for a trip to the vet.
Common Reasons Dogs Shake Their Heads
Many of the most common reasons for head shaking are easily treated by your veterinarian once diagnosed, however, if left untreated ear conditions can quickly become more serious. Common reasons include:
- Itchiness due to skin allergies
- Irritant trapped in ear such as grass seeds, water or insects
- Bacterial or yeast infection
- Inflammation of ear canal
- Ear mites or other parasites in the ear
- Aural Haematoma (blood blister inside an earflap)
- Ear polyps (growths inside of the ear canal)
- Secondary infection in the ear
What to Do if Your Dog is Head Shaking
If your dog is keeps shaking her head, scratching at her ears, or if your dog's ears look red and irritated it's time to visit the vet. Head shaking can lead to aural haematoms which often require surgery to repair.
Diagnosing the cause of your dog's head shaking early will allow your vet to treat the issue before it becomes more serious.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.