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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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My 2 year old Boston Terrier has begun to shake her head side

Resolved Question:

My 2 year old Boston Terrier has begun to shake her head side to side as if saying no. She does this and cannot stop as if it is a spell she is under.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 8 years ago.
I'm concerned that maybe your dog's ear infection is getting worse, that she might have a perforated eardrum, or an inner ear infection. I would stop the tri-otic drops for now as they may be irritating her ears. Continue with the Rimadyl for pain and inflammation.

You could try giving her some Benadryl--25 mg orally tonight to see if that might help. It may make her a little drowsy, which would be a good thing, I think. It is fine to give along with the Rimadyl. (but do NOT give aspirin with the Rimadyl).

I would take her to your vet tomorrow for a recheck. If they didn't do a cytology on the ear discharge to determine if she had yeast, cocci, or rod bacteria, make sure that they do. Treatment is different depending on what is growing in there, particularly if there are rod bacteria. Rods (like Pseudomonas) are typically more resistant to antibiotics.

When I have people medicating ears with an ointment, I like them to thoroughly flush the ears every 3 days or so to get rid of the build-up of ointment. If you have ear flush at home, I'd recommend using it tonight. If you don't, you could make a 1:4 dilution of white vinegar and water to use. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture, then put the cotton ball into the entrance to the ear canal. Massage the ear so the liquid goes into the ear canal and massage well at the base of the ear. Allow her to shake her head, then use dry cotton balls to wipe out the excess.

If this doesn't help and she continues to shake her head, I would take her to an emergency vet tonight. Too much shaking can cause capillaries in her ears to burst, causing a hematoma (collection of blood) to form, which is painful and requires surgery.

Good luck--let me know if you have other questions!
Dr. Scarlett
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