Are you noticing frequent head shakes in your dog? It can be because of the collar tag. The tingling sound of it makes your baby boo get excited. He doesn’t have a collar tag? Oh! Then maybe because of the swimming, he did a few minutes ago. Not that as well? Oh, seems like we have a got problem here.
Before we move ahead, here are a few questions that I would like you to ask yourself. If not anything from the above scenario, is there something from the following:
Has the frequency of your dog shaking head increased (more than usual)?
Does he/she normally shake head every few minutes?
Is your dog shaking head a lot?
If the answer is yes for all or any one of them, you should definitely consider reading this article.
The very first thing you need to know is,
Why do dogs shake head?
Shaking head is a brilliant way discovered by pooches to remove the dirt or treat the itchiness around the ear area. The irregular head shakes are okay. Actually, it’s good. How? It will remove all the irritants in the ears, which in the future, can create a big deal out of it.
You will even see your dog shaking its head after swimming or any water activity. Why does it do so? To clean and remove the water from ears and coat – a process to dry themselves out.
When should you be concerned about the dog’s head shaking?
As said once or twice head shaking is acceptable, but if it crosses the limit, then it’s not. When you see a dog shaking its head a lot and it doesn’t end in a day or two, it’s problematic. This is the condition when you should really be concerned about your lovely four-legged friend.
Common reasons why dogs shake head continuously:
An ear infection is the most caused reason for shaking your head. The infection can be because of bacteria, yeast, or ear mite. Bacterial and yeast infection is common in adult dogs while ear mite is rare in any type. The symptoms of each are the same, however, it is not necessary that you will be able to see the obvious signs of infection.
Ear infection causes itchiness and produces lots of discharge & inflammation, that is why you will see your pup shaking his head in an attempt to get them to go away.
Itchiness due to skin allergies
Skin allergies can occur due to the allergic ingredient in the food resulting in itchiness. How will you figure out whether it is suffering from any skin allergy? Generally, that is possible with skin testing or blood testing.
If there is itchy skin, hair loss, scratching at the ears, head shaking, recurrent skin, chewing on the feet, and rubbing at the face, be sure it is suffering from skin allergies. For treatment, the vet may advise changes or control in the diet.
Injury, Head Trauma, or Chemical Exposure
Have your dog had an accident or went through a tragic or traumatic incident? If yes, then it can also be the reason for your dog shaking head.
An injury caused by the accident can result in discomfort or affect its balance, this is the reason it is shaking head to relieve itself. The same thing can happen if it has recently experienced a stroke, inner ear infection, or vestibular syndrome.
Chemical exposure can be sudden and unintended. The chemicals and toxins can affect their nervous system, which results in unusual behavior. If your dog is suffering from temporary blindness, hearing problems, or smelling issues. Without further ado, call a vet.
Hematomas are caused due to severe shaking of the head only. It is the next level of shaking the head, if not treated at the initial level. How does it happen?
When your dog continuously shakes head, the ear flaps it slaps against the skull rupturing blood vessels in the pinna resulting in the blood blisters formation. Hematomas will keep increasing until you get it treated by the vet.
For the treatment, your vet may advise bandaging the ear, as to avoid ear flapping on the skull. Another option is an Elizabethan collar to prevent scratching and inflicting more damage to the current condition.
Normally, hematomas get cured by itself, without the need for any surgical treatment.
What to do if your dog keeps shaking head vigorously?
As said, if it doesn’t stop shaking head in a day or two, the situation is worrisome. The best thing you can do is book an appointment with your vet. As late in check can cause permanent damage to the dog’s ear.
As a responsible pet parent, you wouldn’t want your lovelies to suffer even a little bit. So book an appointment as soon as you discover the issue.
What is the treatment?
Once you consult the veterinarian, he/she may prescribe one of the following treatments:
- Ear Drops
- Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory tablets
- Ear mite treatment
- Dietary changes
- Ear wash
- Cleaning the ear canal
The last option is very painful to do awake, so a vet may advise giving anesthetic. If the case is too serious, there are chances of surgery as well. For now, all I can say is may your dog gets well ASAP!
So are you seeing any of the above symptoms or conditions in your dog? If yes, don’t wait for it to heal. Get an appointment with the vet. No matter the cause, be it ear infection, injury, or allergy, treat it ASAP! Don’t let it develop into Hematomas. Or you might have to see your lovely go through a surgery.
For more information on breeds or pet care, visit PetsNurturing.