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Grey Is Hesitant To Shake His Head


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Guest Alichou

My grey Dante has just gotten over a bad eye infection (Uveitis) and has been doing really well. Recently though, I noticed he is hesitant to shake his head as if his ears are bothering him. I took him to the vet for a recheck on his eyes and while there, asked the Dr to check his ears and explained the symptoms. Of course he wouldn't let the Dr put the probe down in the canal to see if there was an infection (he went crazy when the Dr tried to look in with the probe). I was told just to monitor him and clean his ears three times a week bc they were very dirty. He still shakes his head but he does it reluctantly and every so often will let a yelp out. Any suggestions? Ill be bringing him back to the vet this week to get antibiotic ear drops one way or the other.

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If his ears are chronically dirty, Dante may have allergies. Certain air-borne pollens have had some of my guys shaking their heads. (Apparently, tree pollen is high in Calgary in March. My girls have been more likely to react to grass pollens.) Ask your vet about generic Claritin or Zyrtec or Benadryl.

 

Is there any sign that Dante is reluctant to move his head or has restricted range of motion? He may be having neck pain unrelated to his ears. Stand him someplace where he won't have lots of room to turn around, take a treat, and move it from side to side--from one shoulder, in front of his chest, and back to the other shoulder--and up and down--low to the floor to straight up over his head. Can he follow the treat easily? If not, he may be having trouble with his neck, and if his neck is painful, that would explain the occasional yelp when he shakes his head.

 

P.S. After you test range of motion, Dante gets the treat.

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I was also thinking neck/back pain. Try holding a treat above his head...if he just looks up with his eyes, and doesn't raise his head to reach, then his neck/back probably hurt.



Oops, sounds like I'm just repeating the above...nevermind. :)

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

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Guest Alichou

His range of motion seems fine. He moves his head from one side all the way to the other no problem. He goes up and down just fine too. He's 12 and a half so I've just started treating him with inflammatory drugs for some signs of arthritis in his hips. I am starting him on Adequan shots at the end of the month as I've seen it work miracles on my 20 year old cat. I'm pretty sure it's his ears. All of this started at the same time his eyes got infected. I noticed when I gave him eye drops to treat the Uveitis, that's when the reluctance in shaking started. I'm wondering if there is some connection. My vet didn't think so.

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I would try antibiotics for an ear infection then. Hope he feels better soon!

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest Alichou

He's good getting in and out of bed. He doesn't go up stairs but goes down them fine. I've stopped bring him up the stairs bc of the arthritis in his hips. His hind legs get tired sometimes from walking and they give out every once and a while causing him to trip or loose balance. We start Adequan injections at the end of the month for the arthritis. His arthritis is only at the beginning stage though as he is still quite active. I also have been giving him 1000mg of glucosamine everyday along with a scoop of mila omega 3's.

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Guest Patton

Poor guy Dante! When their ears are so sore that head shaking is even kept at bay my experience is that they are usually QUITE sore and inflamed inside. Yes, many problems with ears, eyes and mouth/throat can affect each other. I can visualize the "non head shake".... it's more like a slow tilt side to side, you can see it in their face that they're uncomfortable and just wish they could get some comfort. I'd get back to the vet asap and get something going to help clear this up. This type of head shake I've seen in only the more sore of ear problems and haven't ever seen them clear up without medical intervention. Good luck Dante!

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I'm amazed that the vet let him go without a proper exam and didn't suggest getting him in sedated for a proper look. It could be anything - I've even seen a dog with a beetle stuck down his ear!

 

I hope you get to the bottom of this. I was going to suggest neck pain, too, because an unwillingness to shake the head is a classic symptom, and it could well mean that there's reluctance to allow ear exams too, because pressure might be put on the neck while it's being done.

 

I'd want him properly examined to find out what it is, I think, before attempting to clean the ears or anything.

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Guest Alichou

Yes I'm no longer cleaning his ears until I figure out what it is exactly. To me, it's stemming from the eye infection. I took him into the vet in Feb with a bad eye infection (Uveitis) and I noticed the hesitance in shaking a week after I started giving him the eye drops. We've had numerous re-checks for his eyes in the past month and each time I bring up the shaking issue with the vet. This last recheck he tried to look into his ears but Dante wouldn't allow him to. I'm just going to ask for antibiotic drops even if he can't look into the ear canal to see if that helps.

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Is there somewhere to get a second opinion? Also, crazy thought that may be totally off base, but they can get yeast infections in their ears--I wonder if the antibiotics for the eye infection might have triggered something?

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Guest Alichou

We are going back to the vet tomorrow. Ill see what the vet says and hopefully we can get it treated right away. We had been so focused on his eyes (Uveitis is pretty dangerous for the eyes and needs aggressive treatment) that I wasn't focusing too much on his ears. I had casually mentioned to our vet a few times that every so often Dante was hesitant to shake, and let out a yelp now and again but I don't think he thought too much was going on at that point. Plus when he tried to put the probe into his ear, he did get a little look in there and didn't think anything was infected. At this point I'm pretty convinced it is his ears bc he yelps if I push on the base of his ear or if I try to look in it.

 

He was on two different kinds of eye drops ( 4 times a day for 1.5 months) to treat the eye infection, so that may have lead to something in his ears. I noticed the eye drops would run out his mouth every once and a while so maybe there is some fluid in his ears too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Alichou

It's taken me a while to provide an update, but I took Dante back to the vet for a recheck and this time the Dr. was able to get the probe down into his ear canal. Turns out, even though they look nice and clean when you look into them, at the base of the canal on each ear is jam packed with wax and crazy infected. He is on antibiotic ear drops for the next 14 days and then has a recheck. I'm so happy we got to the bottom of it.

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