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Dog stroke is a rare occurance and does happen when the blood flow in the artery to the brain is blocked or your pet is having hemorrhage causing temporary or permanent brain damage.
When dog has a stroke, they don’t show signs such as paralyzed like human do so you will have to give them help, attention, right care and treatments to get your dog back to normal condition within a short period of time.
Other types of diseases also show similar signs and symptoms which are often mistaken by as dog’s owner as stroke.

Types of canine stroke

There are two types of canine stroke which is ischemic and the other is hemorrhagic.
Ischemic stroke is caused by sudden stop of blood flow feed to the brain. These following conditions are the main causes:

  • Kidney, liver, heart or cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Parasites
  • Tumors
  • Fat
  • Spinal cartilage
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Over or under active of thyroid glands

Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by blood vessel bursting which lead to bleeding in the brain. These following conditions are the main causes:

  • All types of diseases that can lead to high blood pressure such as kidney, heart, cushing’s, blood clotting diseases etc.
  • Head trauma
  • Brain tumor
  • Accidental consumption of rat poison
  • Inflammation of the arteries (vasculitis)
  • Lung worm (angiostrongylosis)
  • Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
  • Abnormal blood vessel development in the brain

Dog stroke symptoms

  • Head tilt
  • Loss of balance, moving in circles and falling over
  • Eating out of one side of food bowl
  • Turning the wrong way when called
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Loss of sight or blindness
  • Lethargy
  • Abrupt or drastic change in behavior
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Seizure

Dog stroke diagnosis

If you suspects that your dog is having a stroke then you should take your dog to your veterinarian for physical examine and diagnosis by analysing from the symptoms present.
Veterinarian will do most of diagnostic, blood and urine tests before moving onto the next step check (MRI and CT) in order to rule out all other possibilities for the same cause of the symptoms.
Dog must be anesthetize first in order to do magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography scan (CT). When performing advance check your dog must be absolutely still so veterinarian can see what is going on inside your pet brain and this is the main reasons why your pet have to be anesthetize.

Dog stroke treatment

Treatment of canine stroke are limited and there is no way to reverse or rapair the brain damage that has already occurred. Stroke for dog is not as debilitating when compare to humans case. Most dogs usually recover their motor functions and movement control within several weeks which depend mainly on the severity and damage being done to the brain. Their behaviour may change so all dog owners must accept the truth about this fact. The good news is canine usually survive a stroke.
The best treatments for dog stroke is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, prevent and control the disease from causing more damage to the brain in the future.

Dog stroke prevention

Kidney disease

Also know as chronic renal failure (CRF) can be prevent and control by diet. Feeding your dog with low phosphorus may slow down and reduce the mineral deposits in the kidneys while there are no proof that low protein diet can slow down chronic renal failure. High level of nitrogenous wastes can cause nausea and vomiting. Low protein diets have less nitrogenous wastes and you will also have to becareful because low protein diets can lead your dog to malnutrition. You must always talk with your veterinarian before making any change to your dog diet.

Heart disease

Obese dogs have high risk of developing heart disease so balanced diet and exercise frequently is very important.


It is a disorder of metabolism due to pancreas produce less insulin or cells doesnot accept insulin normally so your pet will need insulin for the rest of their life. You need to be very strict about your dog diet. Food with high protein and fiber that restricted fats and carbohydrates are the best.

Canine heat stroke or sunstroke (hyperthermia)

Dog regulate their temperature by panting but on hot and humid days they are unable to cool down their bodies effectively causing their body temperature to raise rapidly. Their body temperature can raise to above 105 degree fahrenheit which can be severe if not treated immediately when canine heat stroke strike. Your pet internal organs will start to break down when their body temperature raised above 106 degree fahrenheit so you must cooled them as quick as you can to prevent permanent internal damage and death.

Dog heat stroke symptoms


  • collapse
  • excessive panting
  • bright red tongue and pale gums
  • cofuse and won’t respond to his name when they are call
  • pulse and heart rate increased
  • thick saliva
  • vomiting
  • have difficulty in breathing
  • coma
  • death


Dog heat stroke treatment

Move your dog out of the sun or away from hot place then put them in the area where air circulating well and give him some water but don’t let them drink too much.
Cool your pet by apply cool towels over his body, immerse in a bath or gently hose. You should also becareful not to use very cold water or leave wet towels on your pet body because doing so will prevent your dog from removing heat from their body.
Pay attention to rectal temperature in which you can measure by rectal thermometer. Once your pet body temperature returns to normal (below 103 degree fahrenheit) then stop the cooling process.
Even if you manage to reduce dog temperature all by yourself at home. It is very important that you must call your vet and do the damage check up on your pet internal organs.

Dog with risk and prone to heat stroke

  • young puppies
  • older dogs
  • fat obese dogs
  • recovering from illness or surgery
  • breeds that have short face such as bulldogs have narrow respiratory systems
  • breeds that have thick coat
  • breeds from cold climate country such as siberian husky

Dog heat stroke prevention

Relative temperature outside can be hotter than shown in the thermometer on humid days.
Don’t let your dog do too much activities because they don’t know when they should stop.
Take your pet to exercise only when the temperature is not too hot such as in the early morning or evening.
Always keep your dog inside your house whenever possible where the air is well ventilated.
If your dog is outside during the day time then you should make sure that the area your pet stay is shady and can drink water whenever they wanted.

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