Dogs don’t have fingers or thumbs, so they will shake their heads when they have an issue or when they want to scratch themselves. The question of why my dog keeps shaking his head all the time is far more complicated. It means that there is a problem and you need to act! Below, we will reveal and explain the most common issues.
Normal Dog Behavior vs. Excessive Head Shaking
Dogs, like humans, have their set of behaviors that are considered ‘normal’ or ‘routine’. Just as we might shake our head to get water out of our ears after a swim, dogs too have a natural tendency to shake their heads occasionally. This can be a way for them to rid their ears of irritants, express discomfort, or even just dry themselves off after being wet. A sporadic head shake here and there, especially after playtime outside or a bath, is typically not a cause for concern.
However, when does this head shaking transition from being a random, harmless act to an indicator of a possible underlying issue? Excessive head shaking is characterized by its frequency and intensity. If your dog starts shaking its head more often than usual, especially if there’s no apparent reason like just having had a bath or played in a dusty area, it’s time to take notice.
Additionally, other signs can accompany excessive head shaking that signifies an issue. These may include scratching at the ears, whining or showing signs of discomfort, redness or swelling in the ear, an unusual odor, or discharge from the ear canal. When these symptoms accompany head shaking, it usually indicates that the behavior is not just a mere quirk, but potentially a sign of discomfort or even pain.
In essence, while a little head shaking is part and parcel of being a dog, constant or intense shaking is not. As responsible pet owners, distinguishing between the two is crucial to ensure the health and well-being of our furry friends.
Reasons Why Does My Dog Shake His Head
Fleas That Bite Him On The Tip Of The Ears
Why does my dog keep shaking his head? Perhaps fleas are biting him at the tip of the ears, and it is annoying. He cannot reach the ears using his legs or mouth, obviously, so the only way he can do something about this is to shake his head. This is the most common reason and the least severe.
You need to do something about the fleas your dog has. You can use all-natural ingredients or something else that will work well. There are all kinds of products out there. Of them all, drops are usually the best and most effective. However, you may want to try different options in order to find the one that suits your dog the best.
Earwax Build Up
Another issue that is known as being simple, not really severe, and common is earwax. It is perfectly normal to see it in the ears of your pets. All dogs and all humans have it. However, if the buildup is massive and there are large amounts of it, the earwax will start to tickle your dog, and he will start shaking his head. Many people have experienced the same issue, and you know the solution.
Remove the earwax from the ears of your dog, and you are done. There is no special guide for this or anything similar, but you want to be careful and make sure you remove as much of it as possible.
Foreign Object In The Ear Canal
Your dog is far more active than you are. Those who live in houses with big yards will sniff all day long and run around. Sadly, this also means that a foreign object can get inside the ear canal. It will get stuck thanks to the small size of the canal and earwax that acts like glue. Your dog is unable to do anything about it, so you need to inspect the ear canal first and see if there is anything inside. If there is, remove it carefully. Make sure you don’t damage the inside of the ear canal.
All kinds of things can get inside the ear canal, and this matter cannot be generalized. An interesting fact is that seeds can get inside easily, and they will tickle the dog all the time. He will shake his head in order to try and remove that object, which is usually unsuccessful.
This is a severe issue that may affect your dog. It is inflammation that targets blood vessels inside the ear canal of your dog. Some of the symptoms include hair loss, pain, and itchiness in the affected area; cysts filled with fluid; and purple or red spots that target the rear. Crusting on the skin is possible as well.
The true cause of this condition is unknown, and there is not a lot of helpful information. However, in certain cases, it can be caused by strange actions of the immune system. You need to consult your vet immediately and start the treatment.
Trauma or Ear Damage
Your dog can injure an ear or any part of the head which will make him shake the head all the time. There are numerous almost countless possibilities and you need to act fast. Many different types of trauma can reflect in this way. In some cases, a severe health issue can be present, and once again, professional veterinarian help is mandatory.
Heamatomas occurs when blood collects between the blood vessels and the cartilage of the ear. This will result in the swollen and red area on the skin that is painful, the main bleed, and also your dog will try to scratch it all the time. Reasons for that are versatile. An injury or excessive scratching can cause it.
But, some diseases and health problems can cause it as well. Ear infection or skin infection can cause this issue as well. Pain is always present! The solution is to drain the haematomas using a needle (something your vet should do) or surgery may be needed.
Otitis externa is caused by inflammation. There are various symptoms, but the most common are odor, discharge from the ears, ear scratching, and swollen, red ears. But your dog will shake his head all the time due to this issue, which is one of the first symptoms to look for.
The condition may be caused by many different issues and problems, such as trapped water inside the ear canal, ear mites, or even floppy ears. It is important to add that this issue won’t go away on its own.
As a matter of fact, it may affect hearing as well, and it may have a huge, negative effect on the ears. A veterinarian will examine your pet and issue a treatment that is very effective. We must add that dogs who develop this issue are at higher risk of developing it again. It is one of those issues that is not very severe but can get complicated and affect the ears and hearing of your pet.
Prevention and Maintenance
Keeping your dog’s head shaking at bay isn’t just about treating the underlying issue. It’s also about setting up preventative measures and a maintenance routine to ensure that the problem doesn’t recur. Here’s how you can create a proactive care approach for your canine companion:
- Regular Ear Checks: Much like how we have dental routines, dogs need their ear health routine. Check their ears at least once a week. Look for signs of inflammation, discharge, or any foreign objects. The earlier you catch a potential issue, the easier it is to address.
- Ear Cleaning: Depending on your dog’s breed and lifestyle, they might need regular ear cleanings. Use a vet-approved ear cleaning solution and ensure that you dry their ears thoroughly afterward, especially after baths or swims.
- Avoid Water Accumulation: If your dog loves swimming or if you live in a rainy environment, make sure to dry your dog’s ears properly. Excess moisture can lead to fungal infections, which can trigger excessive head shaking.
- Healthy Diet: A well-balanced diet helps strengthen your dog’s immune system, making it less prone to infections. If allergies are the cause of the head shaking, discuss with your vet about potential dietary changes that could alleviate symptoms.
- Limit Exposure to Irritants: If you suspect that your dog is sensitive to certain environmental factors such as pollen, dust, or specific household cleaners, try to limit their exposure. A clean living environment, free from excessive dust and potential irritants, can make a big difference.
Why does my dog keep shaking his head every single day and is there something I should do? You got all the answers regarding this matter. In most cases, the issue is simple and can be corrected within minutes or even seconds. But, in certain cases it can be very complicated and severe, even requiring medical attention and treatment. It is important to examine the dog’s head and especially ears in order to try and see the cause. If nothing seems obvious, take him to a vet.
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