Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Have your pet seen by a veterinarian for a skin scraping. These areas of hair loss may indicate ringworm or mange but we cannot rule that unless diagnostics are performed.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

If your dog scratches their ears or shakes their head regularly, it could be a sign of an ear or skin problem. Common causes include skin allergies, ear infections and ear mites.
Constant ear scratching is a sign your dog may have ear mites. Learn what other symptoms ear mites cause and how you can work with your vet to get rid of them. Kristi Valentini writes health and lifestyle articles for pets and people, often with her pup Penny by her side.
Head Tilt and Shaking

One of the most common early signs of ear infection in dogs is heat tilt, which often goes along with head shaking. When your dog`s ear pressure builds up from the infection present there, they may try to tilt their head to one side to relieve that pressure.

Itchy ears can be caused by a flea bite, environmental sources, a yeast infection, or a food allergy. An ear infection occurs when your dog`s ears get inflamed with wax and discharge. This happens when naturally occurring yeast and bacteria overwhelms her immune system and she can`t control the infection.
Ear mites live in the ear canal and on the surrounding skin. Signs of ear mites in dogs include scratching around the ears, head and neck, skin irritation, head shaking, the presence of an ear discharge that is dark and waxy (resembling coffee grounds) and an unpleasant odour from the ears.
Oatmeal is an age-old remedy for our dry, itchy skin that happens to be safe for use on our canine friends too! In fact, most doggy hypoallergenic shampoos include oatmeal as an active ingredient to soothe and fight irritation. Start by grinding plain oatmeal into a powder to sprinkle in your dog`s warm bath.
Other health conditions that may cause dogs to shake their heads excessively include inflammatory diseases, foreign objects that get lodged in the ear canal or neurologic disorders that lead to head tremors (sometimes easily confused with head shaking).
In summary, IHTS is a benign condition resulting in focal head tremors in dogs. Affected dogs do not typically respond to treatment nor is treatment indicated. The condition does not progress to include other neurological deficits and often will spontaneously regress over time.
Common Reasons Dogs Shake Their Heads

Itchiness due to skin allergies. Irritant trapped in ear such as grass seeds, water or insects. Bacterial or yeast infection. Inflammation of ear canal.

Ringworm fungus, pests like mange mites, and bacteria can all lead to infections that may ultimately cause bald spots on your dog. Along with hair loss around the ears, eyes, mouth, and elsewhere, signs your dog may have mites include oily skin, thickened skin, itching, and inflammation.
Ear infection

Typical causes include moist ears, yeast and bacteria, ear mites, and allergies. Other signs of an infection you might notice: Your pup is constantly scratching their ears and shaking their head. Inflammation and redness inside their ears.

Symptoms of pets with ear mites

The scratching can become so vigorous that your pet scratches their eyes and the first thing you notice is a tearing, squinting, painful eye.

Yeast infections in dogs` ears typically result in head shaking and rubbing, itching, odor, redness, and brown discharge. Ear mites in dogs have many of the same symptoms, however, there are a few slight differences. Ear mites cause a dark discharge from the ear that can be waxy or crusty.
Your vet can then advise on the best treatment options. Home remedies for mites on dogs may not be safe or effective, so it is best to use a registered product. NexGard® and NexGard SPECTRA® are highly effective options to treat mites on dogs. They treat and control Sarcoptes mites, Demodex mites and ear mites.
What do dog ear mites look like? Ear mites in dogs typically look like tiny, moving dots in the ear canal, but are so tiny that you may not be able to spot them at all. It takes a vet with an otoscope or microscope to properly spot an infestation.
They look like tiny white dots, but can barely be seen with the naked eye. Ear mites live on the skin of the ear canal and feed off ear wax and skin oils. An adult normally lives for around two months, but they can multiply quickly.
Ticks, mites, fleas, lice, ticks and worms are all parasites that can cause dog hair loss. They all cause discomfort for your dog and if not treated, can cause your dog to lose hair. If you think your dog has any of these parasites, consult your vet to find the right treatment.
Common symptoms include scratching/itchy skin, licking (especially the paws), and face rubbing. Affected dogs may also experience red skin, loss of fur, and recurrent skin and/or ear infections. You may see red skin or fur loss on your dog`s paws and lower legs, face, ears, armpits, and belly.
In the meantime, there are some home remedies you can try to ease your pet`s discomfort, such as a warm compress, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide ear flush, and the use of natural anti-inflammatory agents like coconut oil or aloe vera gel.
A dog with ear mites will usually scratch their ears often and intensely, and they may also shake their head.
Ear Infections

A yeast or bacterial infection in the ears is the most commonly diagnosed condition for which persistent head-shaking is a symptom. If your dog has been shaking their head excessively, check inside the ears for redness, discharge, or swelling.

Hypoadrenocorticism is an uncommon disease in dogs, and it is caused by a deficiency of essential hormones that are made by the adrenal glands. Also known as Addison`s disease, the clinical signs may appear as vague signs of illness that come and go.
Currently, there is no medication that is recommended, as none have been shown to improve or prevent the tremors. Anticonvulsants are not known to improve Idiopathic Head Tremors. Typically, distracting the patient to get it out of an episode is the best treatment.
Surprisingly, a dog with demodectic mange may not itch severely, even though it loses hair in patches. The hair loss usually begins on the face, especially around the eyes. When there are only a few patches of hair loss, the condition is referred to as localized demodectic mange.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.

If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.

For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.

Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.

Q. My dog is having ear problems. I have had her at two vets and they can not seem to find the cause. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. For a pet with chronic ear issues I would recommend checking her thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism can be a cause of chronic ear infections.

Then I would recommend having a bacterial culture of the ear debris to ensure the appropriate antibiotic is chosen to completely rid the bacteria in there. If there is resistant bacteria, the ear will appear to get better at first but then once ear meds are stopped they will thrive again and cause a re-emergency of the ear infection. Also longer treatment may be needed, for example instead of 7-10 days, perhaps 14 days continuously.

If all else fails, I would recommend a skull radiographs to look for signs of a narrow ear canal and/or an inner ear infection which will require not only topical antibiotic ointments put into the ear, but also oral antibiotics.
Most ear infections are caused by moisture in the ears, narrow ear canals, hypothyroidism or skin allergies. Each one has to be gone through systematically.

Q. Weak, discharge from eyes, swelling on right eye, does not want to open eyes. What is wrong?
ANSWER : A. If the discharge from the eye is green or yellow in color, it can indicate a secondary infection. Swollen eyes can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies to infections, to injury to the eye itself or surrounding areas.

It is best to have your pet’s eye examined by your local vet. They will most likely wish to place a stain in the eye that can check for damage such as cuts or scratches. An ointment can then be given to help reduce inflammation, pain and take care of infection.

Until you can get to the vet, be sure to not let your pet scratch or paw at their eye as this can make things worse. You can also use a warm wet washcloth to gently remove any debris and allow the eye to open some, providing relief. However, if symptoms worsen, or the swelling travels to the face, head or neck, it may indicate a serious allergic reaction which should be treated immediately.

Q. I have two problems with my 16 yrs old dog: he’s constipated and has a ear ache. What can I use to relieve these?
ANSWER : A. Constipation is a common problem in dogs that can be due to a number of things. However it is a good idea to make sure the constipation is not actually diarrhea, as some dogs can strain after a bowel movement, making it look like such. If constipation is present, adding a little pumpkin puree or plain yogurt to the diet can help make digestion easier and make stools easier to pass. However if symptoms do not resolve after a few days, it is best to speak with your vet.

For ear aches, it is best to have your vet examine the ear as many things including allergies, ear infections, mites and more can cause ear problems. If the ear is just dirty, then cleaning the ear gently with cotton balls or a clean washcloth and a dog ear cleaning solution can help. Do not use Q-tips as a dog’s ear has a 90-degree turn in it and placing Q-tips in the ear can cause damage to the canal or inner ear. However if the problem persists or cleaning does not help, it is best to seek care.

Q. Dog has dry ears and it itches him. Any recommended soothing lotions??
ANSWER : A. I will answer this question as if you are speaking of the inside of the ears (not the external). Most dogs ears aren’t dry unless they have other skin issues such as skin allergies, which can be seasonal or year around and caused by many different things, such as foods, environment, dust, grass, pollen, and products (shampoos, perfumes, etc). Check in the ears for waxy build up. The ears should be clean of any wax and dry. If they have build up, I would take a cotton ball, and soak half of it in a dog ear cleaning solution. This solution should be made specifically for dogs, and your local vet would most likely sell the appropriate brand.

I would address any possible skin allergies, if they do not have any other skin issues, then looking inside the ears and cleaning with a good ear cleaner (should be alcohol free—because alcohol is very drying) If the ear scratching continues regularly then bring him/her into the vet to have a proper ear exam.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

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Q. My dog got into a fight with a cat. I think the cat scratch her eye. I clean it out with water. I have gentak can I put that in there?
ANSWER : A. It is best NOT to place anything in the eye unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet as it can cause more damage to the eye. As cat scratches and bites can easily become infected and the eye is a very sensitive area, it is best to schedule a veterinary appointment as soon as possible to have the eye examined. Your vet can place a fluorescent stain in the eye to check the extent of the damage and can then give you a pet-safe medication to place in it as needed to help it heal. Until you can get to the vet, it is best to keep the eye clean of debris and discharge with a warm wet washcloth, and to prevent your dog from scratching or clawing at the eye with the use of an Elizabethan (cone) collar.

Q. My dog has crusty ears which occurred after the flap of the ear became swollen with fluid. It started when he started shaking his head.
ANSWER : A. Ear hematoma is often a complication of ear infection. Ear infection come first and hematoma is the result of scratching and shaking head. Ear canal infection should be treated with ear drops which you can get from your local vet.

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