Dog Stroke Prevention

The first step towards canine stroke prevention is to understand what a stroke is and the reasons why a dog suffers from one. Canine strokes are also called CerebroVascular Accidents or Transient Ischemic Attacks. Since the symptoms are similar to those seen in other types of brain injury, it’s essential that a veterinarian be consulted in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Canine Stroke

There are 2 types of canine strokes. One is the Ischemic stroke that is caused when blood flow to the brain is stopped suddenly. A dog suffering from diabetes, Cushing’s disease, hypertension, tumors or diseases r elated to the heart, kidneys or liver is prone to this type of a stroke. The second type of canine stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke that is caused due to internal bleeding in the brain as a result of a rupture of a blood vessel. Brain tumor, lung worm, a head injury and abnormal blood clotting can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Canine Stroke Symptoms

  • Loss of Balance
  • Tilting of the head to one side
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Blindness
  • Walking in circles
  • Seizures
  • Confusion

Severity of Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on which part of the brain is damaged and how extensive the damage is. In general, dogs recover fairly quickly from strokes but it’s possible that some dogs may become paralyzed or blind.

Prevention of Canine Strokes

If your pet exhibits any abnormal behavior such as loss of balance or tilting of the head, you must consult the veterinarian immediately. A CAT scan or an MRI scan may be required to identify the cause. If another disease is the underlying cause for the stroke, that disease should be controlled and managed in order to prevent recurrence of strokes. If your pet is suffering from a renal disease, it’s important to feed him a diet of moderate to high amounts of proteins. You should also avoid feeding him processed meat. In addition, make sure that he ingests only cooked vegetables for proper digestion.

A dog suffering from a heart condition should be fed a low sodium diet such as eggs, unsalted meats and vegetables. Conversely, a diabetic dog’s high sugar should be controlled with a high fiber diet. The most efficacious way to treat a dog that has suffered a stroke is to prevent future strokes. It’s essential to control any pre-existing diseases that are likely to cause strokes. The best care you can give your pet is love and support, if he has suffered any irreversible damage due to a stroke. If there is minimal or no damage, you should ensure that recurrence is prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a nutritionally balanced diet, regular exercise, and regular visits to the veterinarian.

Administration of anticoagulants can reduce the risk of blood clots but this should be done under veterinarian supervision. Your pet’s weight should also be kept in check as an obese dog is more prone to strokes.

You should always be alert to any symptoms exhibited by your pet so that you can get your dog treated at the earliest should he suffer from a stroke. It’s essential to take good care of your pet as it’s likely that the next stroke will prove fatal.