Brain Injuries in Dogs: What Should You Do?

Brain Injuries in Dogs: What Should You Do?

There are plenty of things that could go wrong with your dog. However, the ones where you need to provide maximum attention are ones where your dog needs urgent care. An example of such injuries is brain injuries. Now, why do dogs suffer brain trauma?

What are the signs of the same? What can you expect when you take your baby to the vet? Let us try to find the answers in this article.

What are brain injuries to dogs?

Brain injuries are categorized into two sections-primary and secondary. The primary ones refer to those circumstances where a direct injury happens to the affected part.     

A secondary injury refers to conditions that occur as an outcome of any primary injury. Examples of secondary injuries include swelling and hemorrhaging.

A prominent instance of primary brain injury is blunt force head trauma. Some of the common causes of brain injury that emergency veterinarians see are patients hit by a running vehicle.

Hence, such injuries can lead to brain contusions and concussions. In such incidents, the blood vessels around their brains start bleeding too. The soft tissues might begin to swell. The swelling and bleeding would increase the pressure within your brain.

It can lead to severe clinical issues such as seizures. If your dog has experienced any trauma like getting hit by a vehicle, you would have to take them to an emergency vet straight away.

Brain injuries in dogs can even happen because of nutritional deficiencies like the inadequate or insufficient minerals and nutrients in their bodies.

For example, young puppies might face a greater risk of dropping blood glucose levels when they do not eat. Hence, the puppies may lose around half of their energy stores to the brain that eats it up. If there is insufficient glucose in their bodies, their brains can’t function effectively.

Read Also: What You Should Know About Urgent Care for Dogs

It can lead to significant depression, seizures, and death as well! Keep an eye out for another nutrient – sodium. If there is too much sodium in their blood, it can cause their brains to swell. They may experience seizures.

Such brain injury is seen commonly in dogs who have been to a beach and taken in an excessive amount of saltwater. Brain injuries can happen because of any event that may alter blood flow to the brain. Your blood has red blood cells that carry the oxygen to the same.

If the brain does not get sufficient oxygen, it can become damaged and nothing would reverse the condition. If there are blood clots in the brain, it could obstruct the blood flow. If the dog suffers from chronic ailments such as congestive infections, it reduces the blood flow to the brain.

If the dog is suffering from bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, blood would still be flowing, but there would be a greater risk of bleeding into the brain.

Symptoms of brain injury in dogs

If your dog is suffering from a brain injury, there will be changes in its attitude and personality. They may become lethargic, which means they would not want to walk. If they do, they would appear dazed and keep stumbling while they walk. In some cases, they may seem disoriented or keep circling at the location. When the brain injury happens due to trauma, you see signs of bleeding or an external contusion around the head of the dog.

Such signs would be evident in their ears and noses. It is a medical condition that is referred to as anisocoria. If the brain injury is severe, your dog might suffer seizures.

Read Also: 7 Ways To Care For A Blind Dog

Infections that may happen from birds

Diagnosis of brain injuries in dogs 

Based on the clinical signs we have talked about so far, your veterinarian might suspect that your dog has a brain injury. Therefore, it is critical to have an accurate medical history of your baby for the doctor to examine the current condition.

You must report to the doctor immediately if the dog has suffered a traumatic brain injury or if it may have ingested something that it should not have. In the case of toddlers, doctors suspect hypoglycemia. The doctor might suggest checking the blood work to ascertain if something is wrong with their blood glucose levels or not.

This way, the doctors can check if any organ failure has occurred or exposure to poisons that lead to the injury. In case of swelling and internal bleeding, the doctor might send you to a specialty hospital for more advanced imaging like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography).  

Treating brain injury in dogs 

The treatment for brain injury would be dependent on the cause of the problem. Hence, the doctor would diagnose the condition to select the appropriate course of treatment. If your dog has suffered brain trauma, they would have to be hospitalized and provided supportive care.

Diuretics such as mannitol help relieve the swelling of the brain owing to head trauma. They are effective in cases where your dog has an excessive amount of sodium in its bloodstream.

Doctors usually do not administer steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. Other medicines help your dog manage the pain they feel in such situations.

If the dog experiences seizures and tremors, appropriate measures through the intravenous method will be administered.

In severe cases, where seizures occur constantly, the doctors may have to induce a coma till they have identified why the seizures are happening and get the condition treated in the same way.

The thing with brain injuries is that they can be both severe and mild. However, no matter how severe it is, you need to get the baby checked by a doctor straight away. If they are not available, you would have to reach out to an emergency veterinarian closest to you.

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