6 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Shaking Their Head in Columbus, OH

Have you noticed that your dog keeps shaking their head? Do you find yourself worrying about what might be causing this odd behavior? If so, you’re not alone. Many pet owners notice head shaking and head tilt in their dogs, and this can sometimes be a concerning sign of a severe underlying medical problem.

Find out some reasons why your dog keeps shaking their head by reading our Columbus, OH, animal hospital’s article.

Dog keeps shaking head

Potential Causes for Why Your Dog Keeps Shaking Their Head

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about some of the most common causes of head shaking and head tilt in dogs. You can use this information to determine whether or not you should try over the counter remedies or figure out when it’s time to talk to your veterinarian.

6 common reasons that can cause your dog to keep shaking their head include:

Ear Infection

Ear infection is by far the most common cause of head shaking and head tilt in dogs. Ear infections can occur because of yeast, bacteria, or fungi that may build up inside your dog’s ears. If this happens, infection can lead to swelling, inflammation, pain, and oozing, among other symptoms.

Your vet will be able to quickly diagnose your dog’s ear infection and give you medication to help resolve the problem. Your dog may need ear drops as well as an oral medication to clear up the infection.

Ear Mites

Mites are a common parasitic infestation that occurs inside a dog’s ears. They can also affect cats, so if you have mites in one pet it’s important to check your other pets for signs of the same problem. You may be able to see mites when you look into your dog’s ear canal; they look like brown dots or patches.

Take your dog to the vet if she has ear mites. Your veterinarian will use a swab to clean out most of the mites and will give you a medicated rinse to put in your dog’s ears for a few days to take care of the rest of the problem.

Tick in Ear

Ticks can sometimes find their way into a dog’s ear, which can cause your dog to keep shaking their head. They may bury up just underneath the flap of the dog’s ear, or they might instead bury deep down inside the ear canal. If this happens, you’ll need to take your pet to the vet to have the tick removed. If the tick is on the shell of your dog’s ear, you may be able to remove it yourself.

Always check your dog’s ears thoroughly after she has spent time outdoors, especially in areas that are known for their tick population. Removing ticks is much easier if you catch them before they bury up.

Foreign Objects

Although uncommon, it’s not impossible for dogs to have foreign objects lodged in their ear canals. This can happen when a dog is playing roughly with other dogs and with toys, or it can happen if a dog manages to get a piece of food or other small items into their ear canal instead.

If this occurs, you will need to take your dog to the emergency vet to have the item removed. Do not try to remove the item yourself, as you might end up causing more damage and leading to a much more serious problem for your pet.


Tumors can sometimes grow in your dog’s ear canal or on other, nearby parts of your dog’s body. If this happens, the tumor may cause irritation or pain in the ear, which is why this can be another reason why your dog keeps shaking their head. Tumors in the ear may be cancerous or benign.

If your dog is diagnosed with a tumor in the ear, the best course of action is to have it removed if possible. Your vet will discuss treatment and management options with you, and can also help you determine whether or not there is a risk of cancer.

Certain Diseases

Although possibly the least common cause of head shaking or head tilt on this list, some diseases other than those already mentioned may contribute to this symptom. Dogs who keep shaking their heads or tilt their heads often may have a vestibular disease or condition that causes them to feel dizzy often.

If you think your dog’s head shaking is caused by a disease or condition, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian to find out more. Your vet can help diagnose your dog’s issue and put her on the right track for healing.

Contact Our Columbus, OH, Veterinarians if You Notice Your Dog Keeps Shaking Their Head

As you can see, some of the causes of head shaking in dogs are not too serious, while others can be very dangerous. It’s important to take the time to figure out the underlying cause of your dog’s head shaking so you can help her get back to her usual, healthy self as soon as possible.

By working with a trusted vet, you can determine the cause of your dog’s head shaking and figure out the right treatment plan moving forward, too. Follow the advice of your veterinarian to help your dog recover quickly.

If you have any questions about your dog’s health, or are noticing that your dog keeps shaking their head, don’t hesitate to contact our team at North Kenny Veterinary Hospital. We’ll help get to the root of your dog’s condition and develop the best course of action for making sure your dog gets the treatment they need. You can schedule an appointment with our team by calling us at (614) 451-1204 or scheduling an appointment online.

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About North Kenny Veterinary Hospital

North Kenny Veterinary Hospital has been serving Columbus, OH pet families with exceptional veterinary medicine since the 1950s. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine as well as low-stress handling to help pets have a more pleasant veterinary experience. We use Fear Free techniques for every cat and dog to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves.

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