Why Does My Dog Keep Shaking His Head?

Shaking of the head is not an unusual behavior among dogs. The canine doesn’t have thumbs or fingers as we humans do. That’s why they instinctively shake their head to relieve itchiness, discomfort, or irritation. Also, they are naturally programmed to shake head to clear the ear canal of dirt, water, or insects. Hence, occasional shaking shouldn’t be a cause of concern for you.

However, if your dog keeps shaking his head all the time, this is abnormal behavior. Persistent shaking of the head could sign an underlying medical condition, generally related to the ear. Here are the top three medical issues that cause your dog to shake heads regularly.

Ear Vasculitis

It refers to the inflammation of the blood vessel walls present in the ear flaps. What causes this condition is yet unknown, but typically it is a result of the abnormal immune system response. Ear vasculitis causes a range of skin-related conditions on your dog’s ear flap. These include:

  • Purple or red-colored spots on the ears
  • Skin crusting
  • Cysts with fluid
  • Red or purple spots on the ears
  • Hair loss
  • Pain and itchiness around the affected area

Ear Hematomas

It occurs due to the collection of blood between the dog’s ear flap cartilage and the skin. Ear hematomas usually cause skin discoloration, pain, and bleeding. It usually is caused by self-inflicted trauma like excessive scratching or shaking due to some conditions like a skin infection. It is essential to treat it immediately; otherwise, it may aggravate infection and cause severe damage.

Otitis Externa In Dogs

Canine otitis externa causes inflammation in your dog’s outer ear canal. Otitis externa is one of the leading causes of head shaking in dogs. It is followed by a range of symptoms, including:

  • Swollen ears
  • Redness around the ears
  • Discharge
  • Odor
  • Itchiness

Allergies, floppy ears, trapped water, and ear mites are common causes of otitis externa. In most cases, medical treatment is the only option because the condition won’t heal on its own.

Final Thoughts

It is imperative to understand the cause behind your dog’s continuous shaking of the head. If it is infrequent, there’s nothing to be worried about. If it is regular and you should look for signs that may indicate a medical condition like smelly or swollen ears. The best way out is to consult your vet right away.

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