Canine stroke is also known as Cerebrovascular Accidents (CVAs) or Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs).
Stroke is a medical condition associated with the brain. While it's a far from a common condition in dogs, it cannot be ruled out for sure. When a dog suffers a stroke, it may not show the symptoms of paralysis as in the case of humans. Therefore, whenever you notice abnormal physical changes or certain changes in your dog's behavior, you should immediately consult a veterinarian.
Types and Causes
In canines, stroke can be classified into two types: (i) ischemic stroke and (ii) hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke is caused due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, which, in turn, is caused as a result of blocked artery. This type of stroke is usually associated with kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension, Cushing's disease, and diabetes. Obstruction can be attributed to spinal cartilage, fragment of a tumor, parasites, or even fat. Though the chances are rare, it may also occur as a result of under or overactive thyroid glands.
Hemorrhagic stroke is triggered as a result of bleeding in the brain, which may be caused as a result of some underlying condition, like kidney diseases, heart diseases, or thyroid conditions, or due to arterial inflammation, head trauma, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and abnormal vessel development in brain. Even rodent poison and infestation of certain species of lung worms (angiostrongylosis) can trigger this condition.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Even in dogs stroke can be as serious as in humans. Some of the general symptoms of this condition in dogs are ...
- Head tilt
- Eating out of one side of food dish
- Turning to the wrong way when called
- Loss of balance
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Abrupt change in behavior
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you should immediately consult a veterinarian. Diagnosis of the same is done on the basis of physical examination, analysis of the symptoms, and certain investigations. Blood and urine tests as well as CT scan and MRI scan are performed in order to evaluate brain damage and rule out other conditions that are known to trigger these symptoms.
There is no specific treatment for dog stroke, as there is no treatment to repair or reverse the damage caused to the brain. In most cases, dogs recover their motor functions and movement control over the course of time. Recovery generally depends upon severity of symptoms and damage caused to the brain.