Can dogs get concussions? Cause, symptoms and treatments

Whether you’re a pet parent or just an animal enthusiast, chances are that you’ve asked yourself this same question at one point in time: can dogs get concussions? After all, we know concussion symptoms include headaches and dizzy spells – things that humans experience. But what about our canine friends? Is it possible for concussions to occur in dogs as well? In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of canine concussions – from causes to symptoms and treatment options. By providing your dog with resources on how to manage a potential concussion should it ever happen, you can help ensure their health and safety going forward!

What is a concussion?

Before answering the question “Can dogs get concussions?” we need to know what a concussion is.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that’s caused by a blow to the head or body. This type of injury affects the brain’s functioning, causing temporary impairment and sometimes even long-term damage. TBIs can range from mild to severe depending on the force at which the impact was made, as well as any underlying medical conditions.

What is a concussion?

Can dogs get concussions?

Can dogs get concussions? The short answer is yes – dogs can absolutely receive concussions just like humans. Trauma-induced head injuries can occur in any breed or size of dog due to an accident, fall, or blow to the head.

Unfortunately, concussions are a common injury for both domestic and wild animals, meaning that it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms should your pup ever experience one.

How is concussion similar in dogs and humans?

While there are some differences in the way a concussion presents itself in humans and dogs, the overall effects of this type of head injury remain largely the same. For instance, both species can experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and loss of balance. Additionally, just like people, dogs with concussions may also show signs of irritability, restlessness, aggression, and lethargy.

How is concussion similar in dogs and humans?

What causes concussions in dogs?

  • Falls and accidents: Concussions can occur when a dog falls from a height, is hit by a car, or experiences any other type of accidental trauma to the head.
  • Fighting and roughhousing: Dogs that engage in fights with other animals or participate in too much roughhousing are at risk for concussion injuries as well.
  • Blunt force trauma: Concussions can also be caused by blunt force trauma, such as a high-speed collision or being hit with an object.
What causes concussions in dogs?

Symptoms of a concussion in dogs

  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Loss of balance
  • Staggering or tilting of the head
  • Seizures
  • Headache/pain around the head and neck area
  • Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Displays of aggression or other behavioral changes
  • Loss of consciousness

What dogs are at risk of concussions?

  • Smaller breeds are more prone to concussions due to their size. However, any breed or size of pup can suffer from TBIs.
  • Dogs with underlying medical conditions are also more likely to receive head injuries due to weakened immune systems and decreased balance.
  • Additionally, if your dog is frequently active outdoors – such as playing at the park or chasing after a Frisbee – then they may be at an increased risk for concussions due to the potential for high-impact falls and slips.
What dogs are at risk of concussions?

Are there any long-term effects of concussions in dogs?

  • Behavior changes: Dogs that suffer from concussions may experience personality or behavior changes. These can include aggression, anxiety, and depression.
  • Motor skills impairment: Some dogs may have difficulty with motor functions after experiencing a concussion. This could range from slurred speech to muscle weakness or paralysis in some cases.
  • Cognitive deficits: Memory loss, confusion, and difficulty concentrating are all possible long-term effects of a concussion in dogs.

Can concussions in dogs be fatal?

In some cases, yes. Canine concussions can be fatal if left untreated or if the injury is particularly severe. If your pup receives a TBI, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention in order to ensure their health and safety going forward. Signs of a potentially life-threatening concussion include vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, difficulty breathing, and dilated pupils.

Can concussions in dogs be fatal?

What to do if you suspect your dog has a concussion?

  • Seek veterinary care: If you suspect that your dog has a concussion, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A veterinarian can accurately diagnose the condition and provide your pup with the necessary treatment in order to recover quickly.
  • Monitor closely: By closely monitoring your dog for signs of confusion or aggression, you can help ensure that their concussion is being managed properly.
  • Follow instructions: Once your pet has been diagnosed with a concussion, it’s important to follow all of the instructions given by the veterinarian in order to give your pup the best chance at recovery.

What is the treatment for a concussion in dogs?

  • Rest: The first step in treating a concussion is to provide the dog with plenty of rest. This means keeping their activity levels low, avoiding roughhousing and playtime, and refraining from strenuous exercise until they are fully healed.
  • Medication: Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs in order to reduce swelling and provide your pup with relief.
  • Physical Therapy: Depending on the severity of the concussion, physical therapy may be recommended in order to restore balance, coordination, and strength.
  • Brain Training: Finally, some dogs may benefit from cognitive training such as brain games in order to improve their mental functioning following a traumatic brain injury.
What is the treatment for a concussion in dogs?

How to help your dog recover from a concussion?

  • Follow the vet’s instructions: Make sure to follow all of the instructions given by your veterinarian in order to give your pup the best chance at recovery.
  • Provide a safe environment: Keeping your dog in a calm, stress-free environment is important while they are recovering from a concussion. Avoid roughhousing or excessive noise and make sure your pup is getting plenty of rest.
  • Monitor their behavior: Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior so that you can observe any changes or unusual activity that may indicate the need for further medical care.
  • Encourage brain stimulation: To help improve cognitive functioning after a concussion, try engaging in activities with your pup that help to stimulate their brain, such as puzzles or games.
How to help your dog recover from a concussion?

How do you prevent concussions in dogs?

  • Avoid roughhousing: While playful behavior is natural in dogs, it’s important to make sure that playtime doesn’t get too rowdy. It’s best to avoid overly rambunctious activity such as tug-of-war and wrestling, as this can increase the risk of head injuries.
  • Provide supervised walks: Always make sure that your dog is properly supervised when outside, as they are more likely to experience accidents or falls if left unattended.
  • Use a protective collar: If your pup frequently experiences head trauma from running into hard objects, consider investing in a protective collar that will help cushion any blows.
  • Visit the vet regularly: Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are key to ensuring that your pup is healthy and less likely to suffer from any injuries.

Can dogs get concussions? The answer is yes. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with concussions in dogs, as well as how to prevent them and provide the necessary care should one occur. By taking the necessary precautions and being mindful of their health, you can ensure that your pup stays safe and happy.

How do you prevent concussions in dogs?

Conclusion: can dogs get concussions?

It is clear that whether can dogs get concussions or not is still debated among veterinarians. While it is difficult to diagnose, precautionary measures should be taken when a canine sustains any kind of head injury. Lastly, familiarize yourself with common recommendations on concussion management for dogs in case your pet ever suffers from such an affliction. Taking cautious steps toward recognizing and preventing a concussion goes a long way in keeping your pup as healthy as possible.

Read on to learn more: how to tell if your dog has a fever

FAQs for dogs get concussions

Can a small dog get a concussion?

The short answer is yes small dogs can get concussions. They may be harder to diagnose than in their human companion, but they do experience the negative effects of a concussion. There are various culprits behind a dog’s concussion, but the top three offenders are collisions with vehicles, tumbles from high places, and haphazard playtime with other pups.

How long does a dog concussion last?

Caring for your pup after a concussion is crucial, and time is the most essential ingredient. For the next couple of weeks, your furry friend’s mission is to chill out and relax in a cozy, calm, and serene environment. But be patient – recovery could take up to six months! Make sure your doggo stays safe from any disruptions or distractions during this time to ensure a swift and successful healing process.

Can dogs sleep after a concussion?

Dogs are more than capable of sleeping after a concussion, and it is actually highly beneficial for their healing process. By giving their body the rest, it needs, you are allowing them the best possible chance of making a swift and full recovery.

Can dog concussion heal on its own?

When it comes to dog concussions, the healing process is pretty similar to human concussions. Thankfully, your dog’s brain knows how to take care of itself. Of course, you and your vet will do your part by creating a comfy environment for recovery. Your main job is to be a watchful protector over your pup, making sure that the injury and any additional complications are taken care of promptly.

How does a dog act after a concussion?

When dogs suffer from concussions, it’s not uncommon for them to experience confusion. This can lead to some pretty strange behaviors – like forgetting where they are or getting “lost” in their own home. Even worse, their memory loss can extend to forgetting family members! The scariest part is that the dog’s temperament may change as well, resulting in unexpected aggression, defensiveness, or fear.

How long does it take to tell if a dog has a concussion?

Concussions are unpredictable – they can make themselves known right away or take much longer. Even dogs can be subject to the erratic nature of concussions, they may seem fine at first but suddenly show signs of distress hours or days later. However, the one symptom that can’t be missed is the loss of consciousness.

What makes a concussion in dogs worse?

Delayed medical attention could have dire consequences such as permanent brain damage or worse. So, if you notice any worrisome symptoms in your pup, get them to the vet pronto.

What medicine helps with a concussion in dogs?

To help your dog companion rebound from a concussion, the top prescription is tranquil and comfortable surroundings. Ensuring your dog is secure and relaxed is the key to a quick and effective recovery. Although your vet might suggest medications to curtail inflammation or discomfort, it’s essential to stick to their advice and administer the proper dosage with care.

Can a concussion in dogs heal without treatment?

Dog concussions can typically heal up all by themselves. But that being said, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take your pooch to the vet if you suspect any head trauma. Your trusted veterinarian will be able to evaluate the situation and suggest a course of action tailored to the severity of the injury. They may prescribe medication, adjust diet or daily habits, and advise rest – all key components to ensuring a swift and smooth recovery.

What not to do immediately after a dog’s concussion?

After a dog suffers a concussion, it’s crucial to keep them calm and avoid anything that could cause further harm. Loud noises and sudden movements are a definite no-no, as they could worsen the injury. You’ll also want to keep them away from other pets or objects that could pose a threat to their recovery. Even though concussions vary in severity, following these simple guidelines will increase the chances of a full and speedy recovery for your furry friend.

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