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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My dog started turning his head to one side and yawning, almost as if to clear his ear las

Resolved Question:

My dog started turning his head to one side and yawning, almost as if to clear his ear last week. He is a large mixed breed-Rotty and terrier.
He was also shaking his head and has a runny nose. He yelped twice, once when a ball was in his mouth. He has recently diagnosed hypothyroidism and has been on meds since the spring. He also has multiple allergies inlcuding past ear infections.
I took him to the vet after noticing the weird yawn/head tipping was going on for a few days. He prescribed Prednisone as he could not find anything physically wrong and his ears were clean. The same day I took him to the vet, the head tipping vanished. Of course he is still on Prednsione though since I had started it.
The last 2 days, he began teeth chattering when anxious. This was noticed when I was eating dinner and he was sitting next to me staring at my plate and also when we had a bad storm last night. In excitable situations.
Could it be the Prednisone?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 5 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear about this concern.
Well, if you asked me how often do I see that symptom with dogs on prednisone? I would tell you essentially never.
So, I can't say 100% no, but it is less likely due to the medication.

Whenever I hear about head tilting, I always immediately am suspicious for vestibular disease.


Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Generally, vestibular disease is caused by either:
1. Central disease which includes anything within the brain
2. Peripheral disease which includes problems outside the brain like inner ear infections, toxin exposure, organ problems
3. Old Dog Vestibular Disease. No known cause found on any tests and possibly attributed to having a stroke

However, the head tilt is often a lot more pronounced and it persists for awhile.

Some dogs can also develop conditions with the muscles of their jaws that can get progressively worse. Fortunately, prednisone is a treatment for that. An example would include:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_masticatory_myositis.html

So, you'll need to closely monitor him, and if the jaw gets worse, get back into the vet.

Good Luck
Dr. Andy




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