Identifying Dog Stroke Symptoms For Early Treatment

dog stroke symptoms

Whether you are spending time at higher altitudes or traveling during peak summer, dehydration and increasing temperature of high humidity can cause many problems; one such problem is heatstroke in dogs. If you are not aware of common dog stroke symptoms, then you need to read this post right now.

Traveling to take a break from a normal life routine can make it difficult to monitor your pet’s water intake. This can cause your pet to over-exert themselves. Whether you are romping in a dog park, drinking in a car, hitting a trail, or running around the beach, you need to make sure your pup gets enough water to stay hydrated.

Sometimes your dog may get over-excited and may not want to stop playing around, which can cause dehydration. In this case, you should leash the dog take short breaks, and encourage them to drink water. 

Here in this post, we will talk all about Heat strokes in dogs, how to identify stroke and how you can prevent it.

What Is Heat Stroke in Dogs?

Heatstroke is a dangerous condition for dogs that occur when they can no longer maintain their normal body temperature by panting. 

Humidity and heat increase the dog’s body temperature, and when it goes up to 106 degrees F, the internal organs begin to break down. At this point, you get only a few minutes to cool him down, or his organs can get permanently damage or even die.


Common Dog Stroke Symptoms:

The signs of stroke in dogs are very subtle. Depending on the type of stroke, the factors and their habits can change, which makes it tricky to identify whether the dogs have a stroke or not.

A stroke happens when the dogs experience loss of blood flow in certain portions of their brain. It can occur as blood vessel blockage and internal bleeding. Unseen parasites, tumors, blood clots, clotting disorder, and ruptures can all be the contributor to dog stroke.

The causes may be long-term, but stroke happens quite fast without leaving any warning. You need to be quick with your actions in order to save your dog. Below mentioned dog stroke symptoms would help you in identifying the condition early and start treatment. 

Loss of Balance

This is one of the very first signs of stroke in dogs. Minutes or hours before the stroke, your dog might start feeling ill and sometimes normal. The symptoms come and go suddenly, which makes it confusing for pet owners to identify. 

However, your dog’s walk is like a warning sign. The first dog stroke symptom is that they will start losing balance or find it difficult to stand. They will reach out to your or other things to lean on and find support. 

As the stroke leaves, its effects on the brain, too, can interfere with the dog’s ability to stand upright. You should take this condition very seriously and immediately contact a veterinarian.

Wandering in Circles

At times the dog starts wandering circles with a perfectly normal balance. The movements could be endless, and he goes in the wrong direction when you call him.

These are all symptoms of heatstroke in dogs. The stroke can interfere with the brain and give wrong signals to the dog’s body. He may find it difficult to follow a straight path. This can be an upsetting and confusing experience for both you and your dog.

Strange Eye Movements

Stroke can also impact eye movements. You may notice abnormal eye-rolling or constant moving of the eyeball from side to side. Abnormal eye positioning or Strabismus is also a clue. One eye may keep wandering, and one may stay still or try to focus on different things. All these are serious signs of stroke in dogs.

Lethargy or Fainting

People often tend to neglect this, but it is one of the most common dogs stroke symptoms. Your dog may seem tired and lethargic, more than usual. Extreme lethargy is directly associated with stroke in dogs. 

Fainting can also be one of the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs. If you find your dog falling asleep suddenly, chances are he might have lost consciousness due to a stroke. Wake him up and take him to a veterinarian urgently.

Loss of Body Control

Stroke at times can also cause the pet to lose control of its body. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, gasping, and loss of bladder control. As the condition intensifies, they may have trouble breathing or experience heart arrhythmia.

When the dog’s stroke symptoms initially begin, it may seem like a normal upset stomach. The key is to pay attention to the level of intensity and also duration.

Everything seems fine right before things get worse. So you need to be very careful and monitor every single change in your pet’s body.

Treatment for Heat Stroke in Dogs

If you notice any of these signs of heatstroke in dogs, be patient and follow these steps:

  • If you are outdoors, immediately move the dog to a shady place.
  • If indoors, keep them in an air conditioner or in front of a fan. Airflow will help them in keeping cool.
  • Put them in a water bath or spray with a hose. Avoid ice packs as you can overcook them.
  • Give them some water to drink.
  • Flex his legs and massage gently to allow blood circulation.
  • Monitor body temperature and contact your nearest veterinarian. 
  • When the dog recovers, schedule an appointment with the vet for a full-body examination to rule out any chances of organ damage.

Causes of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Sometimes simple things like a dog’s anger can elevate his body temperature. For instance, when your pet is anxious, frightened, or excited or maybe keeps barking aggressively. They are more prone to experiencing strokes as opposed to calm dogs.

Also, dogs with short noses like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shar Pei face more heat-related problems because of less tongue area to dissipate heat.

Some other common factors responsible for symptoms of heat strokes in dogs are:

  • Direct sunshine
  • Health and weight
  •  Lack of a breeze
  • High humidity
  • Health and weight of the pet
  • The thickness of the dog’s fur
  • Recent feeding 

Preventing Heat Stroke

Of Course, you can take measures to prevent any chances of stroke symptoms by following the below-mentioned points.

  • Never leave the dog alone in the car
  • Limit outdoor activities on humid and hot days
  • Exercise during the early morning or late evenings to keep the body cooler
  • Keep the dog in the part of the house which remains cool, like the basement or in the same room as AC.
  • Give your pet access to clean drinking water
  • Take your dog outside in a shady place or with the optimal breeze

 Final Words:

Having your plans with your dog thwarted because of the weather is disappointing. However, no activity is worth risking your pet’s health. Heatstroke and dehydration are serious conditions that you would not want your pet to face. Play outside only when the weather is cool or breezy. When it’s too hot, enjoy a good nap or play in front of a fan.


What Should I Do If My Dog Has a Stroke?

If you suspect any dog stroke symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care. Proper diagnosis of stroke conditions in pets is essential to ensure your dog receives good treatment. Your vet will perform a full-body physical examination and may also recommend getting some testing done like urinalysis, blood work, or X Rays to rule out any chances of underlying conditions. 

As stroke is related to other heart conditions, teh veterinarian may also suggest you get a full cardiac workup for the pet, which includes tests like cardiac ultrasound, chest X-rays, or electrocardiogram. To diagnose a stroke definitively, an MRI or CAT scan will also help in ruling out any brain diseases.

Will My Dog Recover?

Your dog’s recovery ability depends on various factors like severity of the stroke, type of stroke, or any other underlying health condition, and how soon they get treatment. 

Some dogs start showing improvement in a few weeks, while others require more time. Unfortunately, dogs will never recover fully from stroke, and in some cases, it can leave behind fatal complications. Proper care and treatment are required to make sure your dog stays healthy for a long period of time after experiencing heatstroke.


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