How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19678
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
2361900
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Why did my dog start moving her head back and forth like

Customer Question

Why did my dog start moving her head back and forth like Stevie Wonder or maybe someone watching a tennis in fast forward action?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Abnormal head movement like you indicate can be the result of a few different things including a problem with her eye, a disc in the back or even seizure activity. Sometimes if there is an eye ulceration or the injury, it will appear to the dog like there is something just out of their site, so they try to move their head to see the thing but since it is on the eye itself, they can never actually get to see it head on. Your vet could stain the eye and let you know if this was the cause. Often with an ulceration, a dog's third eyelid will start to come up to help protect the eye while it heals. Read more on eye ulceration here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/corneal-ulceration-in-dogs/page1.aspx

A disk injury can result in abnormal head movement and often it is in the cervical region. Some dogs get idiopathic head tremors which you can read about here:

http://www.drjaymcdonnell.com/news/16/19/Six-Questions-About-Idiopathic-Head-Tremors

Dogs with vestibular disease often have abnormal eye movement. Usually there is a change in their gait, disorientation and even collapse with vestibular disease. Read about this here:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_vestibular_disease.html

http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/vestibular.html

The good news is that if this is the problem and it is due to old age, the condition normally resolves itself over a few weeks. Your vet will most likely prescribe dramamine or bonine to help with the symptoms. You can read about dramamine and bonine usage, precautions and dosage here:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dimenhydrinate-dramamine/page1.aspx

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/meclizine-bonine-antivert/page1.aspx

Seizures can cause repetitive movement so you can't rule out seizure activity as a cause. This would likely be a focal seizure where the dog does not collapse or shake in the manner most associate with seizure movement. Read about focal seizures here:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/partial_focal.htm

You will want to capture this on video either with a smart phone or digital camera with video capability and let the vet see it first hand. Often when in a strange situation like the vet office a dog won't display the same behavior as they did at home so videos are a real plus for your vet to be able to diagnose the problem faster. I would try and have her seen as soon as possible since many disc issues are painful for a dog.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.

Following up to find out how buttercup is doing and if you found my answer helpful.

Related Dog Questions