When a dog shakes his head frantically and repeatedly throughout the day, it is best for his owner to be concerned. Generally, this behavior is a sign of discomfort or an ear problem that needs attention.
To understand why your dog shakes his ears and what to do to relieve it, read our article.
Dogs that shake their ears: the causes
Sometimes a dog may shake his head in a moment of madness when it is having fun or when it shakes after rushing into water or rolling around in the dirt. In such cases, there is nothing to worry about.
But when a dog starts shaking his ears for no apparent reason and repeatedly throughout the day, it can become alarming. This behavior is a sign of discomfort or pain in his ears and the causes of this suffering can be multiple:
The presence of a foreign body in the dog’s ear canal, most often a spikelet, a plant that is reputed to grow in animals’ ears;
Otitis caused by an inflammation of the animal’s ear canal;
Scabies of the ears due to the presence of parasites in the ear canal;
Skin disease such as atopic dermatitis;
An allergy, most often food allergies;
An autoimmune disease;
A problem of hypothyroidism;
It is not uncommon for head movements to be accompanied by several other symptoms such as itching, redness and crusting in the ears, head tilting to one side or the other, excess brown or black earwax, a bad smell…
Note that some dogs may experience ear problems more frequently than others. This includes breeds that have droopy ears, dogs that often bathe in rivers or lakes, as well as dogs whose owners do not ensure ear hygiene.
Dogs that shake their ears: what to do?
As soon as you notice that your dog frequently shakes his head, the first reflex to have is to consult a veterinarian. Only he will be able to examine your dog’s ear canal to determine the origin of this behavior. Before calling your veterinarian or going directly to his office, don’t hesitate to observe your pet’s ears to determine their condition.
Once at the veterinarian’s office, detail everything you’ve observed in your dog, not forgetting to mention the various activities you’ve done with your dog over the past few days. The more details you give, the faster the veterinarian can make a diagnosis.
The dog that shakes his ears: treatments, solutions, and prevention
Once the veterinarian has discovered the cause of your dog’s head shaking and established a diagnosis, he will propose solutions. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis since an ear infection is not treated in the same way as an allergy or other illness. Therefore, it is difficult to establish a standard treatment for this type of problem.
Otitis is the most common ear condition when a dog starts shaking his head. Treatment must be done quickly to prevent the infection from spreading to the dog’s inner ear. The treatment consists of the application of anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, or even antibiotic solutions.
In the case of allergy, the main thing is to determine the cause of the allergy in order to ensure that the allergen is avoided. A parallel treatment may be proposed to relieve the animal. The same applies in the case of atopic dermatitis.
Ear problems are never pleasant for our canine companions. The discomfort is often painful and in some cases, the problem can recur and persist for a long time. While it is impossible to completely prevent your dog from suffering from an ear problem, you can however take care to prevent this from happening too often.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is essential to prevent ear infections, inflammations, and other problems in the ear canal. Many owners neglect their dog’s ear hygiene, yet it is an important part of their dog’s health care and should be done at least once a week.
To take good care of your dog’s ears, you must first choose a suitable product that you can buy in a pet store, pharmacy, or at your veterinarian and use it according to the instructions on the leaflet.