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Help! My Dog Keeps Shaking His Head

Help! My Dog Keeps Shaking His Head

Constant head shaking in dogs may indicate a medical issue. Our Poway vets are here to tell you what might be causing this annoying habit.

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
  • Irritants trapped in the ear such as grass seeds, water or insects
  • Bacterial or yeast infection
  • Inflammation of the 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 keeps shaking their head and 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.

If you are worried that your dog's head shaking might be the result of a medical issue that needs urgent care, contact our Poway Emergency vets right away. 

Experienced Emergency Vet Care in Poway

Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego is a family-run after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1985. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

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(858) 748-7387