There are many reasons why a dog might tilt their head, from a simple signal of concentration to a more serious health concern. Even if you don’t think there is anything to worry about, you should still take your dog to the vet for an exam.
One common theory for why dogs tilt their heads is that they try to hear sounds more clearly because their ears are different from people’s. They have heavier ear flaps that partially block sound transmission, says Erin Askeland, a certified dog behavior consultant and animal health and behavior expert for Camp Bow Wow.
When a dog hears a sound, their ears reposition themselves so they can optimize directional hearing. This makes it easier for them to determine if the sound is coming from in front of or behind them.
If your dog tilts their head a lot, it may be because they are suffering from a condition that affects their ears. This condition is called vestibular disease.
Your veterinarian can diagnose this problem if your dog is showing symptoms such as shaking or head tilting. Your vet will then conduct a series of tests, including x-rays and a blood draw.
The most common cause of head tilt is an ear infection, which can be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Other causes include geriatric vestibular disease, head trauma and tumours. It is important to treat these conditions as soon as possible so that the symptoms can improve and your dog can live a normal life again. With prompt treatment, most dogs will recover within a few days.
It’s a common dog behavior that many people attribute to hearing – dogs tilt their heads when we talk to them – but it could also have something to do with seeing. The length of a dog’s muzzle can block part of their vision, so they need to tilt their head to get a better view of what’s in front of them.
This may be why breeds with longer muzzles, like greyhounds, have more pronounced head tilting behaviors than flat-faced dogs, like Pugs. Interestingly, however, 52 percent of the brachycephalic dogs still exhibited head tilting toward their owners, which suggests that there is more to it than just snout size or face shape.
As a result, it is important for veterinarians to have an extensive history and complete neurological examination when evaluating dogs with head tilt. They will need to know whether the problem is of peripheral or central origin, so they can create a differential diagnosis.
Sense of Hearing
Dogs can hear higher-pitched sounds than humans, but their ability to detect the direction of a sound is much less precise. This is because the outer part of their ears, called the pinnae, is shaped like a cone and can only detect sound from one specific angle.
In addition, dogs’ vision is not as good as it is in humans. It’s difficult for them to see things that are too close up or far away, because their muzzle can obstruct their view.
Some experts believe that head tilting may improve a dog’s ability to see and focus on things in front of them. To test your own vision, try this experiment: Place your fist in front of your nose and then look straight ahead.
Dog head tilt can cause a number of health problems, including dizziness and balance issues. These disorders are typically caused by an ear or brain problem called vestibular disease.
In many cases, vertigo can go away on its own without any treatment. This is because your brain adapts to changes in the inner ear by relying on other mechanisms for balance.
However, if a change in the inner ear doesn’t improve vertigo, then your doctor may want to perform further tests. Some common tests include blood and urine tests, a heart rate test, chest X-rays, ear cultures and cytology, and MRI of the brain to help diagnose your problem.
A veterinary neurologist will work with you to determine the exact cause of your pet’s problem and then treat it accordingly. There are several causes of vertigo, from a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) to Meniere’s disease and labyrinthitis.