It is very common for a dog to shake its head to shake itself, scare away insects, or because it just bites its ears. However, a dog shaking his head a lot can be an indication that something bad is happening to him.
When a dog rolls around in the grass or the ground in general, they usually shake completely when they sit up, thus removing dirt and dirt. Along with shaking his body they also shake his ears, creating a very funny movement accompanied by a sound similar to a small applause.
This behavior is common and should not worry us, but if our dog shakes his head insistently and cries or scratches his ear with force, it is very likely that our dog needs help because of a problem.
We are going to explain the steps that we must follow to evaluate the reason why he is shaking his ears a lot, and how to solve it. In many occasions these steps will help us to solve the problem, thus avoiding having to go to a veterinaryn.
Index of contents
- 1 My dog shakes his head a lot. What should I do?
- 2 My dog shakes his head a lot because he has foreign objects in his ears
- 3 My dog constantly shakes his head for insects or parasites
- 4 My dog shakes his head and scratches his ear a lot
- 5 My dog shakes his head and cries from an infection: Otitis
- 6 My dog shakes his head and wobbles or has tics
- 7 Tips to prevent our dog from having problems in his ears
My dog shakes his head a lot. What should I do?
If our dog has become obsessed with shaking his head it is because there is a problem that causes him pain or discomfort, and as a reflex he shakes his head and scratches his ears to try to solve it. It’s also possible that he just tilted his head, as if he weighed more on one side walk with your head on one side.
The first thing we should do is reassure our dog, we will order him to sit or lie down so that he is still and we can review the problem. Some dogs are unable to stand still, if so we will ask someone to help hold the dog while we examine it.
What we must do once our dog is still and calm is to check his ears, both on the outside and on the inside. For this we must place the dog in a very bright place, to be able to see the inner ear canal easily. We can also use a small flashlight to help illuminate the ear.
My dog shakes his head a lot because he has foreign objects in his ears
It is very common for dogs to run, play or scrub between bushes and herbs, it is something they love. But sometimes a small piece of grass or branch may be left inside their ears, causing them great discomfort.
If there are young children in our family, it is also possible that they have introduced something into the dog’s ear. Let’s not forget that children do not know what they are doing and that they often imitate things they see in the drawings on TV.
We will thoroughly check the inner ear of our dog visually, we should never insert tweezers or sticks. We will simply take a look inside the ear to see if there is any object that is causing discomfort to the dog.
If so, we can try to remove it very carefully as long as it is in the accessible part. If the object has been pushed deep into the dog’s ear cavity, the object should be removed by a veterinaryn.
It is also possible that the dog has simply gone into a river or lake, or we have bathed him at home and some water has been put in his ear. It is normal for him to shake his head to try to eject it. With the help of gauze we can dry the inner part of his hatred to calm him.
My dog constantly shakes his head for insects or parasites
Although we do not believe it, insects such as the known and abundant mosquitoes can become really annoying for our dogs. When they land on your head or try to sting you, they cause tickling, irritation, and discomfort.
Dogs shake their heads to chase away insects such as mosquitoes, to leave them alone and not disturb them. However, not only can mosquitoes destroy our dog’s patience, parasites are even more annoying.
If you have fleas, it will be very normal for our dog to shake his head and scratch insistently, trying to eliminate that annoying itch that they cause. If it has ticks, our dog will feel the discomfort of having something attached to his ear and will try to remove it by shaking his head and scratching his paws.
It will be enough to carefully check the outer part of the ear, between the hair, to find out if it has fleas. Fleas are like little black or brown mosquitoes that scamper and jump through the dog’s hair. If there are no fleas, we should check the inside of the dog’s ear for ticks.
In the event that we find ticks, we can remove them ourselves: How to remove a tick from my dog Or we can put an antiparasitic collar or pipette and wait for it to die on its own and fall, something that will happen about two days after the application of the pipette or collar.
My dog shakes his head and scratches his ear a lot
Although it may seem surreal dogs can cause a kind of internal bruise on the ear from excessive scratching. If a dog gets a bump on the ear, or if it itches and just scratches a lot, an otohematoma may occur.
Otohematoma is an inflammation that occurs in the cartilage of the ear making it very bothersome to the dog. Due to inflammation, the ear will weigh and itch, causing our dog to shake his head and scratch insistently.
We should check our dog’s ears and feel them with the hand, looking for abnormal lumps. Otohematomas start out small but can multiply in just a few hours. You can get detailed information at: Otohematomas in dogs.
If our dog has an otohematoma, we should without fail go to a vet to try to eradicate it with medication. If this is not possible, it will have to be operated. Be that as it may, it will be necessary to put an Elizabethan collar on the dog to prevent it from scratching, since the more it scratches, the bigger the otohematoma will get.
My dog shakes his head and cries from an infection: Otitis
Otitis is an infection that affects the dog’s ear canal
s causing great pain, irritation and itching. It is completely normal for a dog with otitis to shake its head and cry, in addition to trying to scratch since the itching and pain caused by otitis is often unbearable.
To find out if our dog has otitis, we should check its ears on the inside and see if it has an excess of dark-colored earwax, a strong and sometimes unpleasant odor or redness on the inside of the ear.
The Otitis in dogs it can only be cured using the correct medication, there are many types of infections that cause otitis, from fungi and / or bacteria to mites known as scabies. Only a veterinaryn through the corresponding previous tests, can determine what type of otitis suffers and put an adequate treatment.
Some food allergies are capable of weakening or excessively stimulating the dog’s immune system, causing secondary diseases such as Otitis. Do not forget that allergies also play an important role in the ear infection of dogs.
Although there are many urban legends that otitis can be cured with certain home remedies, don’t believe anything. All you can do is make the dog’s infection worse, something that can even lead to death. See a vet if the problem is an Otitis, don’t hesitate.
My dog shakes his head and wobbles or has tics
Unfortunately, not every time a dog shakes his head a lot is due to a simple problem to solve, with or without medication. Sometimes excessive head movement is due to a brain problem.
Some brain diseases produce tics in dogs that are often confused with other pathologies, downplaying the real problem, which can worsen if not diagnosed early.
Damage to the brain or cerebellum, diseases contracted like cerebelitis or generated / inherited like epilepsy, can produce unconscious movements in the dog such as constant tics or shaking of the head.
Specific veterinary tests such as an MRI and / or CT will be necessary, in addition to certain analyzes to determine if the problem is one of those indicated. It is impossible to diagnose these problems without such tests.
Tips to prevent our dog from having problems in his ears
Although they are common sense advice, the truth is that many times due to the stress of life, haste or misdirection … we do not follow them to the letter. With these tips we will avoid that our dog suffers infections and / or a great majority of problems in his ears, avoiding among many things, that he shakes his head a lot.
- With the help of gauze and a specific cleaned liquid (for sale in veterinary clinics), carefully clean your dog’s ears at least once a week: How to Properly Clean a Dog’s Ears.
- Dry your dog’s ears well inside, with the help of gauze, every time you bathe him or every time he bathes in a river, beach or lake. Avoiding that they remain humid, since the humidity can cause fungi and infections.
- Use parasite protectors as antiparasitic collars and / or pipettes, prevention is our best ally to prevent your dog from becoming infested.
- When our dog plays, jumps or runs through vegetation, bushes, cereal fields, etc … check the inside of his ears to make sure that he does not have any strange objects.
- If there are young children in your family, teach them to respect the dog. The dog is not a toy, avoid being treated as such and / or misled. Dogs are living things that feel as much as you or I respect them.