Dog Grooming

Dog Shaking Head After Grooming


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If you have a dog shaking head after grooming, you’re not the only one to experience this because we have too. There’s a reason your pup is shaking his/her head and it’s good to know what it is so you can do something about it.

The Reason for Dog Shaking Head After Grooming

The reason for dog shaking head after grooming is likely due to water getting in your dog’s ears. Your dog is either trying to get the water out of the ear canal or your dog has an ear infection.

Dog Ear Infection After Grooming

Dogs may develop ear infections after grooming due to a variety of reasons.

  • Water can get into the dog’s inner ear during grooming, which can cause irritation or infection (source: Pet Regard).
  • Dogs may be allergic to shampoos used during grooming, which can cause a reaction and infection in the ears (source: Allergy Free Dogs).
  • Plucking hair from the ears can cause microtrauma in the membranes of the ears, which can lead to infection (source: Allergy Free Dogs).

It is important to note that grooming itself does not cause ear infections in dogs, but if a dog is already prone to ear infections, certain grooming practices may irritate a pre-existing condition (source: AKC).

It is recommended to take preventative measures to avoid ear infections by regularly cleaning your dog’s ears and avoiding over-cleaning or over-plucking. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort or infection after grooming, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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dog has water in ear

If you’ve ever wiped your dog’s ears with antibacterial wipes, you should read: Can You Use Antibacterial Wipes on Dogs?

What to Do About Your Dog Shaking Its Head After Grooming

Now that you know that your dog’s ears probably have water in them or your pup has an ear infection, it’s time to do something about it.

If your dog just came back from a grooming session, wait until tomorrow to do anything about it. The water that is in your dog’s ears may come out with the head shaking.

If your dog is shaking his/her head two days after a grooming session, call your vet to ask what to do about it. Your vet will likely want you to come into the office to have it checked for an ear infection – it may be an inner ear infection or an outer ear canal infection. If there is an ear infection, your vet will likely prescribe antibiotics.

How Water Gets Into Your Pup’s Ears

Ear hair often keeps water out of a dog’s ears, but not all dogs have enough of it to keep the water out.

The ear flap should also keep water out, but unfortunately, depending on how your dog was bathed, water can still get into it.

Consider changing to another groomer if you continuously see your dog shaking its head after grooming. A professional groomer knows how to avoid getting water in the ears.

Other Common Reasons for Dog Shaking Head After Grooming

The following are additional reasons your dog’s head is shaking after grooming.

Injured Ear

One of the tasks of grooming is to clean ears. Sometimes, groomers can get too rough with the cleaning and it results in an injured ear. It can be as mild as skin irritation or as severe as a ruptured eardrum.

Most groomers tell their clients when they notice something during cleaning the ears. For example, if there was an abundance of ear wax, blood blister, ear hematomas, etc. These are possible causes of suffering from an injured ear.

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If you just brought your dog home from the groomer, consider calling the groomer to ask if anything out of the ordinary happened during the session. That way you know if you should contact your vet sooner rather than later.

Ear Mites

Ear mites can be itchy. While this doesn’t have anything to do with the grooming appointment, it may be an underlying cause for your dog shaking his/her head.

Look in your dog’s ears. If you see dirty ears even though your groom just cleaned your dog’s ears, they are likely ear mites and you should call the veterinarian.

Excess Hair in the Ears

If your dog had a haircut, there may be some hair in your dog’s ear. You can try to GENTLY blow into your dog’s ear to see if it helps.

Long hair may be another reason for hair in the ear. After getting brushed, there may be hair that flows into the ear opening. Simply brushing the hair around the ear opening may stop your dog shaking head after grooming.

If after 24 hours from the time of the grooming appointment your dog hasn’t stopped shaking his/her hair, it’s a good idea to check in with the vet.

Dogs that have regular issues with hair inside of the ear may need dog ear plucking. This involves plucking the hair out of the ears so that it doesn’t cause a tickling sensation or skin irritation.

Head Tremors

Head tremors is a much more serious cause for dog shaking head after grooming. This condition isn’t because of the groomer, but it can present at any time and requires medical attention.

vet for dog shaking head after grooming

How to Soothe Dog’s Ears After Grooming

After grooming, it is important to soothe your dog’s ears to prevent any discomfort or irritation. Here are some tips on how to soothe your dog’s ears after grooming:

  1. Use a gentle ear cleaning solution: A gentle ear cleaning solution can help remove any excess dirt or debris from your dog’s ears and soothe any irritation. You can purchase ear cleaning solutions from your local pet store or make your own at home using natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Apply a natural oil: Applying a natural oil like coconut oil or olive oil to your dog’s ears can help soothe any irritation and moisturize the skin. Simply apply a small amount of oil to a cotton ball and gently rub it on the inside of your dog’s ears.
  3. Use a warm compress: A warm compress can help soothe any discomfort or pain your dog may be experiencing. Simply soak a clean towel in warm water, wring out the excess water, and hold it against your dog’s ears for a few minutes.
  4. Offer pain relief medication: If your dog is experiencing significant discomfort or pain, you may want to consider offering pain relief medication. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication.
  5. Keep your dog’s ears clean: Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears can help prevent any irritation or infection. Be sure to use a gentle ear cleaning solution and avoid over-cleaning or over-plucking.
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By following these tips, you can help soothe your dog’s ears after grooming and prevent any discomfort or irritation. If your dog continues to show signs of discomfort or pain, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

See also: Why Does My Dog Shake After Eating?

How to Prevent Dog Shaking Head After Grooming

There are a few things you can do to prevent this situation from happening again.

  • Always use a professional groomer for grooming your dog.
  • Stay in touch with your vet and keep regular veterinarian appointments.
  • During bath time, avoid pouring water near your dog’s ears.
  • Remove excess water from the outer ear with a cotton ball.

Now you know some of the reasons for dog shaking head after grooming and what to do about it now and in the future. We hope your dog’s ears heal quickly and remain healthy from this point forward.

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