If your dog is persistently and vigorously shaking their head about, it could be an indication of an underlying health issue. Here, our Blountville vets explain some common reasons why dogs shake their heads and when you should be concerned.
Why do dogs shake their heads?
Head shaking is a typically normal behavior in dogs, so it can be difficult to tell if your dog is doing it because of another issue.
Generally, dogs shake their heads if their ear itches or to force out any debris or irritants in the ear canal. However, it is not normal for a dog to consistently shake their head repeatedly throughout the day. Below, our Blountville veterinarians have laid out common causes of excessive head shaking in dogs and how owners can tell if they should take their pup to the veterinarian for it.
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 Hematoma (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 hematomas 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.