Dog Head Shaking Symptoms

There are many causes and symptoms involved with a dog head shaking uncontrollably. You will first notice this condition if it looks like your dog is gently shaking its head side to side. Most professionals will state that this is a sure sign of epilepsy. Seizures would also accompany the head shaking if this was the case. There are plenty of other causes that can go along with a dog head shaking, and they don't all have to do with epilepsy. You must have a thorough examination take place to figure out what is causing the dog head shaking. First you should educate yourself on the other possible causes.

Tremors in the Head

The shaking of the head back and forth is a huge sign that your dog is most likely suffering from a neurotic disorder. This disorder can be caused by numerous things, but they all should be taken very seriously. Your dog could have inherited the disorder from its parents. This means that there really is nothing you can do for the dog other than make it as comfortable as possible.

Your dog could be suffering from a side effect of some medication it is currently taking. There are some drugs that are prescribed to dogs that can cause various head problems, which would induce the shaking of the head.

There could be some inflammation of the brain caused by head trauma. You will want to keep track of any injuries that have taken place during your dog's life, so as to refer back to them if head shaking does occur.

Finally, there could be some cerebellar (the part of the brain that handles coordination) abnormalities that appeared while the dog was still developing.


There is a possibility that your dog may have ingested something toxic, which is causing it to uncontrollably shake its head. If you believe this is the case, you need to immediately find the source of the toxin and make sure that dog does not ingest more. There are plenty of liquids and foods that can possibly poison your dog. Take care in making sure that there is nothing within reach for your dog to consume that will be a danger to its health.


You will want to have a complete blood count and urinalysis taken of your dog. Both of these will help pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the dog. Since this condition is dealing with the head and brain area, you want to make sure you are as accurate as possible.

The vet will also have to rule out any kidney disease or metabolic disorders. Both of these can induce head shaking and can easily be negated with a thorough inspection of the dog's blood.

Radiographs of the skull, spine and chest should be taken to see if there is any damage that could be causing inflammation. There have been cases where a spinal tap had to be performed to analyze the spinal fluid. This is often done to negate the chances of encephalitis causing the condition.