Dog Head Shaking

by Dede

Male Lab with Dog Head Shaking Problem

Male Lab with Dog Head Shaking Problem

Hi, I have a 7 year old male lab, and for the past week he is constantly shaking his head as if his ears on the problem. I have checked both dog ears, they are clean but hot, and it seems that when I bring him in at night this is when he is at his worst and he wants to go back outside.

I leave him out and the head is going from side to side erratically. Is this dog mites? Or something worse?

He is healthy, and we live in the country, and his walks are always up mountains. We also have a Westie new arrival. It this something he caught from him?

Thanks, in advance.


Editor Suggestion - Dog Head Shaking

Dear Dede,

Thank you for your question regarding dog head shaking.

Dog ears are sensitive and an anatomically complicated part of the body. Canine ears have a tubular and curved ear canal, including an outer, middle and inner ear. Remember, looking at the ears alone, one can only observe the outer ear, so dog ear problems can remain hidden in the middle and inner ear. To look inside the ear, a veterinarian needs a specific piece of equipment called an otoscope.

On the other hand, there are several pathological (diseases) and non pathological factors which can cause similar types of symptoms, which you have mentioned here. It can be allergy, infection (bacterial or fungal), or parasitic infestation (mite, ticks, fleas).

Though, we cannot confirm the exact condition, according to the symptoms you mention, it seems that the dog head shaking problems are likely an initial stage of allergy.

As you have mentioned, your dog's outer ear seems clean, which means that there are no signs of
any foreign objects, discharge, any blackish granules (fleas), ticks or signs of mites.

Remember, bacteria, fungus and some parasites that inhabit an inner ear, such as normal flora, can only cause health problems if the immune system is depressed, which in turn allows the population to exceed normal limits. This allows secondary infections and/or infestations to take hold because the body is unable to fight it off.

You should remember that symptoms such as dog hot ears and dog head shaking represents an inflammatory response, i.e. the immune system is depressed. But, as mentioned, this problem is probably in its initial stages.

Your dog might need a detailed clinical examination and possibly laboratory tests for ear content and scrapings. This way a veterinarian can confirm the exact cause of the dog ears problem and can prescribe a specific treatment.

For the time being, you can try to reduce the severity of any symptoms. A natural shampoo and a separate ear remedy should help improve the ear condition. In terms of a shampoo, consider a quality product such as Mange Mites Shampoo for bathing your dog. You should of course regularly clean the ears. Use a herbal remedy to control the population of microbes in the ear and to maintain ear health. One product to consider for this purpose is Ear Dr..

Additionally, try to avoid ingredients such as corn, wheat gluten, soy and dairy products in food. These can be possibly causing allergic reactions in the dog's body.

In case, the condition gets worse, or if you notice additional unusual symptoms in the coming days, it preferable to consult a veterinarian for a detailed and confirmed diagnosis.

Please keep us up to date on the dog ear and dog head shaking problems.

Comments for Dog Head Shaking

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Jun 29, 2013
Needs Attention
by: Anonymous

Sounds like the dogs ears have not been cleaned in along time or at all. When my dogs ears smell with black stuff it is usually just wax build up and you can clean them with something from the pet store and a cotton ball never a Qtips never put anything in the dogs ears and make sure you dry them good. Of you can just take your loving new friend to the Vet for a complete once over, trust me it will be well worth it a Lab will be your best friend.
Good Luck

Dec 09, 2010
black discharge and head shakeing
by: teresa

hi.... i have a neighbor who has a dog i want to adopt/( take over) save/ who is very sweet,not sure how old, maybe 5 or 6, and shes caged up outside in a kennel,dirt and not much room to walk around. i want to see if she has some serious health problems in her head as it looks as if it is oosing with blackish smelly gook,and it stinks and constant head shaking.bless her herat, i wanted to steal away that day. :( what should i do if they let me take her? she is medium size like a lab, shes white / with black trim around her eyes.

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