Dog Stroke Prognosis

A dog stroke is a condition that happens due to an injury or a brain hemorrhage, which may block the access of blood and oxygen to the brain. The prognosis of a dog stroke will depend on the severity and several other factors.

Dog Stroke

A dog stroke is similar to a stroke in humans, and is due to the failure of the body to provide blood and oxygen to the brain. This may happen due to an injury to the head, a brain hemorrhage or other conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular accidents
  • Brain tumors
  • Kidney damage
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease

A stroke is also called a cerebrovasular accident (CVA) or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Signs of a Stroke

A dog having a stroke will display symptoms such as:

  • Lack of balance, sudden collapse
  • Circling
  • Confusion
  • Head tilt
  • General state of weakness
  • Lack of control over limbs and limping

It's important to notice a stroke as early as possible, because the sooner you take the dog to the vet, the better the prognosis. If you respond immediately, the damage may not be permanent. You need to take your dog to the vet as soon as you see these symptoms. Keep your pet calm and make sure he is not moving while you get to the vet.

Dog Stroke Prognosis

The prognosis of a dog that has had a stroke will depend on several factors. The severity of the stroke is very important. While dogs that suffer a mild stroke will recover easily and there may be no other strokes, a dog that has had a severe stroke may need several weeks or even months to recover.

Dogs that have a stroke due to brain hemorrhage may be affected for life, because the pressure can affect the brain. The same is valid if the dog has a tumor; the brain tissue may be damaged and this may result in permanent damage. Some dogs may recover fully, while others may be paralyzed. The paralysis can be temporary or permanent, in which case, the dog will require special care for the rest of his life.

The prognosis will ultimately depend on the condition that has led to the stroke and whether this condition is treatable. If the strokes are recurrent, the prognosis may be poor and the dog may even die.

Other factors that may determine the prognosis of the pet include:

  • The time when the stroke is discovered (the earlier, the better the prognosis)
  • The age of pet; younger dogs tend to recover faster and will have a more positive prognosis
  • The dog's health condition; if the dog has hormonal problems or Cushing's disease, heart disease, kidney damage or brain tumors, complications may arise and the dog may not be able to regain full function
  • The part of the brain that is affected