How do I know if my puppy has a head injury? Expert Advice

First steps if your dog injures their head

  • Remain calm – your dog will pick up on your stress
  • Phone a local vet immediately
  • If your dog has external wounds that are bleeding profusely. Apply direct pressure with a clean non-fluffy cloth.
  • Keep the animal warm and carefully transport them to the Veterinary Surgery.
  • All pets that have experienced a head injury should be checked by a vet.

    What are the risk factors for brain injury in a dog?

    Risk factors for brain injury in a dog include unsupervised roaming that may result in trauma or exposure to toxins, heart disease, lung disease, a blood-clotting disease, or diabetes mellitus.

    Treatment of a brain injury in a dog will depend on what led to the brain injury. The initial goal of treatment is to maximize oxygen levels in the brain tissue. If the blood pressure is too low, then supporting blood pressure improves brain blood flow. If the blood pressure is too high, or if there is high pressure inside the skull for some other reason, then decreasing pressure in the skull is the priority.

    Any necessary intravenous fluid therapy must be administered carefully to avoid any fluid build-up in the brain, even if there is bleeding that requires fluid replacement. Your veterinarian balances your dog’s blood pressure in order to prevent it from going either too low or too high. The head should never be lower than the body in order to prevent increased pressure inside the skull. Some dogs with a brain injury do not blink their eyes normally, so lubricating the eyes may be a part of the treatment. It will also be important to prevent any urine or stool soiling if the dog is unable to position properly for elimination.

    What is a brain injury?

    Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. There are both primary brain injuries that are the result of a direct insult to the brain, and secondary brain injuries that occur following the primary brain injury. Secondary brain injuries may include bleeding from a brain blood vessel or swelling of brain tissue.

    Dog Head Injuries – How to Help

    Dogs are our best friends. They are there for us when we are upset, stressed, or sad. They are there to make us smile, laugh, and remember how much fun life can be.

    As silly as they can be, we forget they can be hurt, and they will do their best to hide it from us, their caretakers. It is critical to watch out for our furry friends and make sure they stay healthy and carefree throughout their lives.

    Like humans, dogs can get concussions, which are the most common form of head trauma for canines. Car accidents, falls from heights, an overly enthusiastic head butt, rough play, running into something hard, or getting hit by something falling are all causes of concussions for dogs.

    Knowing how active our canine pals can be and that sometimes these things happen when we are not around, pet parents need to know what to look for so our friends can make a full recovery. Below are the most common symptoms of a concussion in your dog.

    Dogs that are active, playful, and excited who have an incident like the above may become lethargic. They may suddenly want to sleep all the time, doze off or not be able to wake up properly. If this is a new behavior in your dog and they just had a form of head trauma, head to the vet.

    Head pressing is a clear sign that you need to take your dog to the vet immediately. This is not the same as pressing against you for a pet or a treat. Head pressing is a sign of a disease or nervous system injury. It could be caused by a salt imbalance, a tumor, rabies, parasites, lead poisoning, a stroke, or a head injury.

    Because you may not have seen any signs of these causes, you need to take your furry friend to the vet to find out why they are head pressing so you can resolve the issue quickly and get your dog back to a comfortable state.

    Like humans, when a dog has a concussion, they can lose balance or be disoriented. If your pet is normally sure-footed but suddenly seems to fall over for no reason, head trauma may have occurred. If your dog friend is unsure of where they are and seems to lose track of the water or food bowl, make sure to go to your vet. Not only could these be signs of head trauma, it could also be signs of a stroke. The quicker you get your dog to the vet, the quicker you can get help.

    Convulsions and muscular contractions are another sign of head trauma. If your dog has these, however, it could also be a sign of epilepsy, liver disease, brain tumors, toxins, or kidney failure.

    Unlike the motions our dogs make when dreaming, these convulsions will look like seizures and your dog will not be in control of their movements. If this happens, call your vet and get an appointment immediately.

    Your dog’s eyes are not just windows into the soul, they are a dead giveaway to a potential concussion. If you look at your dog’s pupils and one is more dilated than the other, your pup might have anisocoria, which is a symptom of head trauma, exposure to chemicals, or degeneration of the eye. While this may resolve on its own, each of these symptoms can be deadly for your furry friend if not resolved by a vet.

    If your dog hits their head, and a lump appears, or if they get nosebleeds or have blood in their ears, it has a serious problem and needs to be seen by your trusted vet.

    While your dog may have asthma, if a head injury occurs and they cannot breathe normally, this is a sign of a concussion. A dog whose heartbeat slows or quickens after a head injury is also at risk of a concussion and needs to be taken to the vet right away.

    Just as you would take someone to the doctor who hit their head and fainted, you need to take your furry friend to the vet if your dog hits their head and faints. This is a clear sign that a concussion has occurred and the best way to help your dog is to get professional help immediately.