Did you know that strokes don’t only affect humans, but dogs too? Your dog could end up needing a dog wheelchair.
Strokes can have a life altering impact and you probably know someone who has had a stroke. Dogs can have strokes but usually only in older dogs.
Did you know that MRI and CT scans are available for pets?
Being able to recognize the symptoms and how to treat them are important. MRI and CT scans can be done in order to recognize if a stroke occurred.
What is a stroke?
It is a loss of blood flow to parts of the brain that leads to neurological issues. One type of stroke is an obstruction (ischemic stroke) due to a blood clot, tumor, clumped platelets, bacteria or parasites. The other is from a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) or clotting disorders.
Motor movement can cause issues with a dogs ability to move its legs, leading to the need of a dog wheelchair. Other signs are an inability to walk, a tilted head, nystagmus which is abnormal eye movement, strabismus which is abnormal eye positioning, loss of consciousness, falling to one side, blindness and other abnormal behaviors.
Diseases that can cause strokes include kidney disease, Cushing’s Disease (hyperadrenocorticism), high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, heart disease, bleeding disorders, hypothyroidism, cancer and sometimes high doses of steroids such as those used for inflammation. Certain breeds that are predisposed to these conditions are more susceptible to the possibility of having a stroke.
Can you prevent strokes in dogs?
You cannot prevent a stroke. However, taking your dog to an annual check-up is the best way to catch underlying issues which could lead to a stroke. During the check-up they should take your dogs blood to be analyzed. Blood work is one way to spot a lot of issues your dog may be having.
If your dog fainted for example, it may be due to a heart condition and not a stroke. However, if this happens to your dog immediately go to a veterinarian since it could be life threatening. Your veterinarian can examine your dog’s heart to see if there are any cardiac issues. If it was a stroke then different types of medication may be given depending on if it was a clot or high blood pressure (hypertension).
Same as with us, we need to monitor our dogs and be aware of the signs that a stroke could have occurred. Also, annual check-ups are necessary to prevent and treat any issues before they become a severe health risk.