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Old 06-07-2006, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cat keeps shaking his head

My guy keeps shaking his head. He was scratching at his ear, but now he is only shaking his head periodically during the day. I took him to the vet, she looked in his ears and also swabbed and tested for who knows what in his ear and said everything looked fine. No ear mites or infection. My hubby even notices it, and if he notices ANYTHING, there must be something that is not normal! Has anyone had this happen? No change in diet to cause this.
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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maybe he's buildig up to one mother of an infection? A cat i knew used to shake his head alot, when he shook it , it rattled!!! he was named 'brainless butch'....
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It would be best to go back for another test to look again because something must be causing the head shaking and scratching.
(Normally vets test for ear mites, bacteria and yeast.) If once again your vet says she can't find anything, ask her whether doing a culture might help. Also ask her about the possibility of allergy.

Itchy ears and allergy

Q: Dr. Mike, I recently moved to Missouri from Nevada with my three cats. Since living here, they have had several bouts with allergies during the spring. Last year, they began shaking their heads much like how you would see a cat react to ear mites. However, there was no sign of mites and my local vet said it was a symptom of allergies. It this common for cats to shake their ears when suffering allergies? What causes this reaction? Spring is here and the shaking has started. Thanks much! Kelly

A: Kelly - Allergies cause skin itching in dogs and cats. Since the ears are just specialized skin, they itch too when allergies are present. It is also possible for allergies to interfere with equalization of the pressure in the middle ear due to inflammation of the eustachian tube. This can cause irritation or even pain and may be the source of the head shaking behavior in some cats.

We have some luck treating cats with this sort of problem with antihistamines. We usually use chlorpheniramine (Chlortrimeton Rx). You might want to ask your vet if he has had any luck with this and for a dosage recommendation for your cat, if so.

Michael Richards, DVM
Just one question: what are you feeding?

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Old 06-07-2006, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It does make sense, allergy, if I can remember, it did start when the weather got better and we started taking him outside on his harness.
I feed Innova, Wellness and Nutro dry and Merrik wet, though it is hard to get enough wet into him. The vet said he was a little overweight, so I have been cutting back on the dry and trying to get him to eat the wet. He is almost 15 pounds, but you can see his waist, hip bones and feel his ribs. I just think he is big. One vet said he was solid, go figure. He doesn't even eat 3/4 cup of dry a day or a whole can of wet a day. He exercises a lot outside with me and indoors. Actually, the vet called to check up on him, I will tell her he is still shaking his head.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default allergies

It's probably an allergy. My cat does that and used to do it a lot more until we put her on a hypoallergenic diet. I was worried about her then I saw three cats upstairs also shaking their heads.

Since she's been eating rabbit and pea allergy cat food, Gizmo's headshaking has diminished, though she still does it.
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