|Often times pet owners will come in to inquire about their pet frequently shaking their head. By far the most common cause of this historical complaint is some sort of underlying ear inflammation and/or allergy. Allergies are most commonly due to inhalant/contact allergens such as:
Many times pets with underlying allergies may lead to secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections of the ears, which often result in excessive wax or discharge and thus secondary head shaking. In younger pets or pets that spend most of their time outside, ear mites may also be an underlying cause of head shaking, and these need to be ruled out by veterinary exam and/or evaluation of discharge under the microscope.
For symptomatic treatment of head shaking, antihistamines such as Benadryl (dose of one mg per pound twice daily), and using cleaning agents like Zymox Otic may often help until a definitive diagnosis can be made and long term treatment plan instituted.