There are a number of reasons a dog may have a head tilt. Dogs with a head tilt may also experience a loss of balance, or walk in a circle. In general, head tilt is caused by an abnormality of the vestibular system
, which includes portions of the inner ear, nerves, and brain which help the body maintain balance. The most common cause of head tilt is a middle or inner ear infection, or an infection or inflammation
of the brain. Other causes include, hypothyroidism
, injury to nerves, cancer, toxic side effects of certain antibiotics, and congenital
defects. Some older dogs develop a temporary head tilt from an unknown cause. This is sometimes called 'old dog vestibular disease.' Until your veterinarian determines otherwise, head tilt should be considered a sign of a serious disease, and veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible.