Why does he keep shaking his head?

(17 Posts)
limitedperiodonly Tue 29-Dec-15 18:50:32

He's 13 and does this quite a lot.

At the beginning of the year the vet said he had awful teeth and head-shaking could be a sign of pain.

He had most of his teeth taken out and it stopped. The few that he has left are clean and his breath doesn't smell.

But it's started again.

He eats normally and is happy and lively.

He doesn't go out much - just in the secure back garden and for walks off lead with me. We live in a busy area and he's a rescue, previously exclusively indoor cat, so I can't trust him to wander. He walks alongside and has a mooch.

All that means is that I know he doesn't come into direct contact with other cats. I also know he doesn't catch birds or mice - more's the pity because we are currently sharing the house with a mouse that he's very Zen about grin

I've checked for ear mites and he has flea medication - not that he seems to have fleas either.

Any ideas before I take him to the vet?

Moonax Tue 29-Dec-15 18:56:42

I was going to go with ear mites and checking his teeth. Will he let you explore his mouth just to see if there's any inflamation in his gums?

Fraggled Tue 29-Dec-15 18:58:28

I also thought ear mites as a first reaction.

cozietoesie Tue 29-Dec-15 19:03:36

I'd be guessing ears or teeth. (He didn't have all of his teeth out?) When can you get him into the vet? (A very difficult time of year for that and all.)

limitedperiodonly Tue 29-Dec-15 19:15:05

He won't let me open his jaws to look at his teeth. He's very friendly and doesn't bite or scratch, but it's just like: 'No. Back off!' and he wriggles away. That's not a great deal different to how he was before. He doesn't appear to be in pain. He doesn't cry and he's a siamese so he's very vocal at other times.

I was just trying to count them out of curiosity, because he hasn't got many left, but maybe it is still his teeth and I should persist or take him for a check up.

I can't see ear mites and his ears look clean and healthy and I don't want to delve.

Thanks, btw. I'm a novice cat owner but I've loved him in spite of myself since he was thrust upon me two years ago.

He is the sweetest thing smile.

gamerchick Tue 29-Dec-15 19:20:01

It could be his mouth. Personally I would take him in however I'm a terrible fanny about whisking off to the vet, the husband had to have a stern word blush

If he won't let you look in his mouth I would get him checked just to be sure.

limitedperiodonly Tue 29-Dec-15 19:29:50

cosie he definitely has his top and bottom fangs and they look and smell very healthy when he yawns.

His tongue and gums look pink when I can see them.

I don't think he has many more teeth or even any. The vet said she took out nine but I didn't ask how many he had to start with.

He can eat normally - mostly wet food, which I've started to mash, or pieces of steak, chicken, pork or fish I cut up into small pieces.

He definitely still likes biscuits, especially the treatier kinds. Though I think he might grab them and chuck them down without chewing.

He's happy atm but I think a trip to the vet beckons soon.

Thanks again everyone. I'm here worrying about him and he's draped over the radiator grin

cozietoesie Tue 29-Dec-15 19:33:10

Thinking of human teeth, you can have agonies in teeth that look just fine (under the surface etc) or teeth which can go West very quickly indeed. I'd have him in, in any case. The head shaking is a sign of something wrong and it may be that only the vet will be able to establish exactly what.

Lots of luck to him.

limitedperiodonly Tue 29-Dec-15 19:49:55

I would take him in however I'm a terrible fanny about whisking off to the vet, the husband had to have a stern word

No, you're not a fanny. I'm sure your husband isn't horrible either, but I think you're right and he's not.

It's been going on for a couple of weeks and it doesn't look right.

As I said, it doesn't appear that urgent, so I'll call tomorrow for an appointment next week.

I'll report back.

Thanks again everyone.

gamerchick Tue 29-Dec-15 20:29:56

Well in his defence I haven't regaled the tale of the tuft of hair in her ear I thought was a scab and she was injured because she was a bit off her food in addition. 50 quid that cost and a vet keeping her face straight. Bless her she must have howled when I left.

Good luck I hope it's nothing serious.

thecatneuterer Wed 30-Dec-15 09:39:51

I agree with the others. Probably ear mites, or possibly tooth-related. Either way a vet is called for.

limitedperiodonly Wed 30-Dec-15 10:49:13

Got him in later on today. When he had his teeth out, they found an infection under one which was cleared with antibiotics. Maybe it's returned.

cozietoesie Wed 30-Dec-15 11:11:39

Quite possibly. Poor lad - toothache is the very devil if it has returned.

cozietoesie Wed 30-Dec-15 20:56:58

Any news?

limitedperiodonly Thu 31-Dec-15 09:07:15

She couldn't find anything wrong with him. His mouth and remaining teeth were clean and healthy, his temperature was normal and his ears were clean.

She told me to keep an eye on him. He shook his head once that I noticed yesterday. He doesn't do it all the time, but it's noticeable when he does it because it's a vigorous shake and he has big ears, so they flap - it's that big a shake.

He woke me at 2am begging for food - that's normal behaviour. He's currently asleep on a radiator, but not in a listless way. Just in a normal I've-just-had-breakfast-and-now-I-need-a-snooze kind of way.

Thanks for asking cozie

cozietoesie Thu 31-Dec-15 09:41:26

OK - now I'm really going to stretch here (drawing possible thoughts from human physiology is always very very dangerous) but I've had what seemed to be really rotten toothache but turned out to be bad sinuses. (The nerves on humans are all in the same general area so a nastiness can sometimes present as toothache when it's actually pressure on a co-located function. My dentist suggested it after multiple X-rays got us nowhere and she was quite right. I treated the sinus problem and the 'toothache' went.)

You really need one of the vets who post on this one - but has he shown any recent signs of eg a runny nose/ sneezing/ that sort of thing?

limitedperiodonly Thu 31-Dec-15 09:54:13

He does sneeze sometimes - a tiny little one - and sometimes has gloopy bits in his eyes. Doesn't have a runny nose. I forgot to tell her that.

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