Canine Stroke

You have just noticed that your dog has a tilted head, only eats out of one side of its food bowl, falls, has no bladder control or bowel movement control, or is blind. Your dog may even have an abrupt change in its behavior. You are very concerned and want to know what has happened to your beloved dog, so you carry it to the veterinarian.

At the veterinarian’s office, the dog is given a physical exam after its history is taken. The veterinarian pays extra attention to all the symptoms you have noticed and even some you did not know your dog had. Then the veterinarian orders a CT, which is a computed tomography and/or a MRI, which is magnetic resonance imaging to aid the veterinarian in making a diagnosis.

The veterinarian diagnosed your dog with having Canine Stroke. A Canine Stroke is a rare occurrence, but does happen when the blood flow to the brain is either stopped or increased. Canine Strokes that occur due to a sudden stop of blood flow to the brain are called Ischaemic strokes. Canine strokes that occur due to bleeding in the brain are called Haemorrhagic strokes. The good news is that strokes in dogs are not as debilitating for dogs as they are for humans.

Treatment for Canine Stroke is to determine the cause of the stroke and treat it. If the dog has been diagnosed with an Ischaemic stroke, the cause could be a disease such as kidney disease, heart disease, Cushing’s disease or diabetes. Other causes of Ischaemic stroke are hypertension, under-active thyroid glands, over-active thyroid glands or any other cause that would stop the blood flow to the brain. Lungworms, rodent poisons being ingested, diseases, head trauma and bleeding brain tumors, among other causes for bleeding in the brain, cause Haemorrhagic strokes. There is no repair for the damage done from a stroke, so treatment for Canine stroke is treatment for the cause of the stroke.

The good news is concerning a dog that has been diagnosed and treated is that dog usually recovers in just a few weeks. Of course, recovery depends on how much damage was done by the stroke and what caused the stroke. Successfully treating the cause of the stroke is necessary to prevent future strokes. Behavioral changes caused by Canine Strokes are rarely reversible and the dog owner will have to learn to live with these changes in their dog.

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