Dog Head Tilt: The special thing about dogs is that when they feel some unusual things, they give information about them with gestures. Usually in such situations, by raising the ears and bending the neck, they are indicating these abnormal movements. But you need to be careful while continuing this activity. Keeping your dog’s head down all the time can be a sign of a serious health condition.
Be careful if you feel this kind of movement in your dog, it may indicate disorders of the vestibular system. The vestibular is the sensory system present in the inner part of the dog’s ear that provides information necessary to keep the body balanced and in the correct position.
Dog Head Tilt Symptoms
This problem is more common in older dogs, but if the following symptoms appear in a healthy dog, then you need to be alert. If any of these symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Abnormal head posture
- rolling around on the ground.
- Dizziness, falling
- Constant salivation from the mouth
- abnormal eye movement
- Weakness in body
- tremors in the head
- Loss of appetite
- Paralysis of the face in severe cases
Types Of Dog Head Tilt
If your dog has any of the above symptoms consistently, he may be suffering from vestibular disease. Vestibular diseases are divided into three types based on the area of infection
Peripheral Vestibular Disease
Peripheral vestibular disease is usually caused by inflammation or infection in the inner ear. In this, the dog keeps its head tilted towards the infected ear. Along with this, you will also notice that the dog’s abnormal eye movements will be towards his healthy ear.
Central Vestibular Disease
This disease is mainly caused by a disorder in the dog’s brain, especially the marrow. In this disease, you will see that your dog tilts his head towards the infected area. The dog will have abnormal eye movements towards its healthy ear.
Paradoxical Vestibular Disease
This disease is usually caused by any problem in the small brain cerebellum. This is the part of the brain that determines the position and movement of the body even in the state of unconsciousness. If there is a problem with the cerebellum, your dog will show unusual movements towards the infected area.
Dog Head Tilt Causes
- Autotoxicity (damage to the ear due to certain chemical activities)
- Middle or inner ear infections (such as otitis media and otitis antiallergic)
- Caused by a reaction to certain antibiotics
- Brain injury
- Hypothyroidism (decrease in the level of thyroxine hormone in the body)
- Infection or tumor
- Due to multiple drugs
How To Find Dog Head Tilt?
Veterinarians perform tests such as blood and urine tests to identify the cause of head tilt in a dog. Sometimes doctors also recommend an autoscope test, so that the main cause of the problem can be known.
Tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and MRI can confirm any damage or infection in the brain and ear. A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) test is also performed to detect inflammation or infection within the dog’s brain. CSF is a clear watery fluid present in the body that protects the brain and spinal cord.
Dog Head Tilt Treatment
There is no specific treatment for vestibular diseases in dogs, so body movements and causes are identified and treated at that stage.
Ear infections can usually be cured with the help of antibiotics and antifungal medications. In some cases, steroid injections may be given to treat pain and swelling in a dog’s ear.
If the doctor thinks that a non-cancerous tumor may be present, it has to be surgically removed.
On the other hand, if the tumor is malignant, the dog may be given radiotherapy and chemotherapy after surgery.
Antiemetics may be given to prevent nausea and vomiting.
If the dog is unable to eat or walk on his own, he is given food through a hose.
Dog Head Tilt Diagnosis
Barring fatal problems such as tumors and encephalitis, most dogs recover within seventy-two hours.
Problems like tilting of the head and limping from injury start getting relief in seven to ten days.
Most dogs make a full recovery within two to three weeks.
In many cases, it is seen that despite treatment, some dogs continue to limp mildly,
At the same time, the inclination also remains in them. It should be noted here that if this problem is not increasing then there is no need to worry much.