Dog Head Injury Treatment

Any type of dog head injury should be considered a medical emergency. Depending on what type of trauma has occurred to your dog's head, the situation could be very minor or very severe. Because the extent of damage cannot be known until examined medically, you should always seek medical help immediately so that treatment can begin.

Medical Problems with a Head Injury

A head injury is a very serious situation because the trauma is so close to the brain. The skull is the main point of protection for the brain and it provides a thick and strong source of housing. However, the skull is only designed to maintain a certain amount of pressure and can certainly break if the trauma is severe enough.

The reason that head injuries are so dangerous is because they have the ability to affect the brain in extremely detrimental ways. Stemming for swelling, excessive bleeding and destruction of the brain, there is certainly no time to waste when your dog has experienced an injury as traumatic as this.

Cases of extreme swelling of the brain can cause the brain to literally be too big to fit into the shell of the skull. When this happens, the brain cannot function properly and a certain amount of it will be lost; if in fact your dog can survive this at all.

Likewise, in cases of internal bleeding inside the skull, the brain becomes overloaded with blood. This, in turn, damages critical nerves and message centers of the brain. This usually induces a comatose situation and your dog may or may not come out of it and will likely not be the same if he does.

Signs of Head Injury

In most cases, if you have actually seen the injury occur, you can give an accurate account to medical professionals. However, sometimes only the aftermath of the injury can be seen, such as with car accidents or fights with other dogs. In any case, you need to be aware of the signs of a head injury so that you can seek medical help. Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Disorientation and stumbling while walking
  • Unchanging pupil dilation when using direct light
  • Appearing or being unconscious
  • Bleeding from the nose or ears
  • Inability to move

Diagnosis and Treatment of a Head Injury

Because your dog's life depends on it, medical professionals will always do what they can to help sustain a head injury. However, the cause of the head injury will directly impact what methods of treatment can be used.

In all cases of head trauma, x-rays and CT scans will have to be performed to determine the extent of the damage. If the damage is treatable, your dog may be offered some medications to help reduce the swelling of the brain. If the swelling can be brought down, your dog will have a better chance at survival.

Additionally, your dog will be given painkillers to alleviate pain and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. It is also likely that the CT scans will be repeated several times to monitor the condition of the brain.