If you have a Black Lab you might be wondering why he keeps shaking his head. Head shaking is a normal behavior for dogs if done a few times but if it happens regularly it becomes a problem. So, why does your Black Lab keep shaking his head?
Your Black Lab keeps shaking his head because of allergies, foreign bodies in the ears, water in the ears, yeast infection or bacteria, head injury, and ear mite infestation.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons and what you can do to help your Black Lab.
Why Does My Black Lab Keep Shaking His Head?
Allergies are a common cause of head shaking in Black Labs. Allergies can be triggered by something in the environment such as pollen, weeds, mold, etc. Your Black Lab may also be allergic to some of the ingredients in his food.
Symptoms to look out for include recurrent ear infection, itchy skin, scratching ears, head shaking, and face rubbing.
To diagnose food allergies, you should put your Black Lab on a diet that has a single source of carbohydrates and protein. For carbohydrates, you can use rice, potato, etc. For protein use something that your Black Lab has never eaten before. Let your Black Lab feed on this diet for at least a month or two.
If your Black Lab shows some improvement or the symptoms have disappeared it means the allergy was caused by ingredients in the food.
To diagnose environmental allergies you can take your Black Lab to a vet for a blood test. Another option is to conduct intradermal allergy testing.
Itching caused by allergens can be solved by cleaning your dog’s ears and applying prescribed medication. The most common medication is anti-inflammatory or antihistamine.
Foreign Bodies in the Ears
A foreign body like grass seed in the ear can also cause your Black Lab to keep shaking his head. This is most likely to happen if your dog has been exploring and has picked up something small that has become lodged in his ear.
If a good shaking doesn’t help to remove the foreign object, take your Black Lab to the vet so it can be removed safely.
Water in the Ears
Water can also get into your Black Lab’s ears if he is swimming or after bathing. If this happens, it will feel uncomfortable for your dog, and he may shake his head as a result. Ask your vet to recommend some safe products that you can use to dry your dog’s ears.
To prevent water from getting in your dog’s ears, use cotton balls. When bathing your Black Lab, avoid spraying or pouring water on his head. Use a damp cloth to wash the face and head.
Water lodged in your dog’s ears can cause ear infections because of bacteria or fungi. So, always ensure your Black Lab’s ears are clean and dry.
Yeast or Bacterial Infection
Bacterial and yeast infection in dogs’ ears are common and most head-shaking in dogs is as a result of this. Ear infections in Black Labs are itchy and also produce discharge causing the head shaking.
If you see redness, swelling, or discharge in your Black Lab’s ears it’s a sign of infection. Some infections may not be visible so the best cause of action is to take your Black Lab to the vet.
Head shaking in dogs can also be a symptom of a head injury. If your Black Lab has been hit in the head or has fallen and hit his head, he may shake his head as a result. If you think your Black Lab may have a head injury, take him to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Ear Mite Infestations
Ear mite infestations are rare compared to ear infections but they also cause swelling, redness, and discharge. If you suspect your Black Lab has an ear mite infestation, take him to the vet right away.
If your Black Lab has an ear mite infestation, your vet will flush out his ear and prescribe ear medication that will help with infections.
If your Black Lab keep shaking his head these are the reasons:
- Foreign bodies in the ears
- Water in the ears
- Yeast or bacterial infection
- Head injury
- Ear mite infestation
The best thing you can do is to watch your Black Lab carefully and see if there is one particular reason that seems to be causing him discomfort. If you’re unsure, always err on the side of caution and take him to the vet for a check-up.