Dog Stroke Treatment

Dog stroke occurs when a blocked artery or a hemorrhage disrupts blood flow to the brain. Though this condition is fairly uncommon for dogs, there are two possible types which may cause temporary or permanent brain damage. Dog stroke is almost always a symptom of another disease or condition. Treatment options will depend upon which type of stroke has occurred, and the underlying cause. Dogs will usually survive a stroke, and will almost always recover all their motor functions within weeks of treatment, depending upon the severity of damage done to the brain. There is no way to reverse permanent damage from a stroke, so even when motor skills are recovered, the dog's behavior may be permanently altered.

Two Types of Dog Stroke

Ischemic stroke in dogs happens when blood flow is suddenly stopped and isn't properly reaching the brain. Many diseases or disorders can cause this to happen. Complications from diabetes or thyroid malfunction, or obstructions due to fragments of spinal cartilage, parasites, tumors or fat can inhibit blood flow causing this type of stroke. The other type of stroke, called a hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by actual bleeding in the brain. When a blood vessel bursts due to head trauma, brain tumor, inflammation of the arteries, abnormal blood vessel development or consumption of poisonous toxins, this type of stroke may result. Any disease which can lead to high blood pressure, such as heart, liver, kidney or Cushing's disease may bring about symptoms causing either type of stroke.

Dog Stroke Symptoms

There are several tell-tale symptoms of a dog stroke. A tilt in the head may be the first indication that your dog is suffering from this problem. Often, dogs will seem to circle, or lose their balance and fall over. There may be a significant and abrupt change in behavior, such as eating from only one side of the bowl, turning the opposite direction when called, confusion, seizure, blindness or loss of bladder control. It's recommended to have a physical examination and MRI or CT scan to rule out the possibility of other causes of these symptoms.

Treatment for Dog Stroke

While there is no direct treatment for a stroke itself, the underlying condition can be treated once it has been diagnosed. The best treatment you can give is that of love and encouragement. Keep a close eye on your dog and make sure to help with walking, eating and bathroom breaks, if necessary. Keep in mind that certain functions may never completely recover, so do your best to encourage your dog and work together to adjust to a possible new lifestyle.

Strokes can recur, especially if the cause was an incurable disease or condition. Research special diets, natural remedies, homeopathic treatment and other means of alternative medicine that may help to prevent dog stroke in the future. Many natural remedies and herbal supplements are aimed at the recovery of health for the cardiovascular system and nervous system functionality in dogs.