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No one likes to see an injured pet, but it happens. Dog owners know how important it is to know what to do in an emergency. Sometimes pets are injured and need immediate help, but how do you know what the emergency is? The most common head injury for dogs is a concussion.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head that can affect how the brain works. Most effects don’t last long. How do concussions happen, and what should you do if you think your puppy has one?
In this article, we’ll cover what you should know about concussions in dogs. This will help you prepare and calm down, know the steps to take and learn more about the dog’s outlook. Let’s take a look at this common type of head trauma and puppies.
Why are concussions serious?
Even though dogs have thicker skulls than ours, they can still injure the head or brain. Dogs can suffer many of the same head injuries as people. Most dog head injuries result from car accidents or falls. Both car accidents and falls from heights have the potential to cause serious injury.
The most typical type of brain injury in dogs is a concussion. Most dogs recover fully from a concussion, but permanent brain damage can result if the injury is not treated right away or is too severe. Their brains can also bleed and swell in dogs, which is serious and requires immediate medical attention.
With a brain hemorrhage, the pressure inside the skull increases, further damaging the brain’s neurons and information centers. When the brain swells, it can become too large for the skull. This shuts down the brain. Bleeding and swelling in the brain can lead to permanent brain damage and death.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
Due to their passion for animals, dog owners may think that any slight bump is important. While a small bump on the head is unlikely to cause any lasting damage, other conditions may require immediate medical attention.
You may need to know how to recognize a concussion in a dog. Be aware that concussions in dogs may not become apparent until some time after the accident. It takes quite a while for concussion symptoms to appear. In some cases, symptoms may appear immediately or within minutes, while in others, it may take days. In most cases, symptoms begin within a few hours.
Therefore, knowing what to do in these situations is crucial. Some accidents you may not even see; therefore, you should know how TBI in dogs manifests itself. These are the concussion symptoms you should be aware of:
- appear drowsy
- lose consciousness
- balance problems or difficulty walking
- bleeding from the nose or ears
- Inconsistent eye movements
- looseness or stiffness in the extremities
- changes in pupil size
- epileptic seizure
what to do for your dog
Although most breeds have thick skulls, some breeds (such as toy breeds and small-headed breeds) have very fragile skulls, especially those with open fontanelles, the spaces between the bones. Instead of waiting for symptoms, these dogs should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as a head injury is known or suspected.
If you notice any worrisome signs of them, take your puppy to the vet right away. Let the clinic know you are coming, preferably by calling them on the way. This will help keep your dog comfortable and relaxed while traveling to prevent shock.
Drowsiness, weakness, and a racing heart are all signs of shock. Some dogs may have a traumatic head injury. To stop bleeding, apply direct pressure to the bleeding wound with a clean washcloth. In case your dog’s condition worsens, it’s best to take your help to the hospital.
You probably don’t want to put your dog to sleep for the first few hours after a known or suspected head injury so you can evaluate them for lethargy and watch for other symptoms. However, if you are concerned about your puppy after this time and are unsure whether to put them to sleep, you should seek guidance from their veterinarian. They cannot stay awake as long as symptoms are present, and the stress of forcing them to stay up late is not good for their health and is an inaccurate indicator.
what to expect at the vet
When you arrive at the animal hospital, the doctor will evaluate your dog’s health. To determine your dog’s stability, you can immediately bring them back to the treatment location. An IV catheter may be inserted to administer pain relievers and other emergency medications.
Additionally, a veterinarian may perform a neurological exam to check for signs of brain damage. Brain damage can lead to cognitive and motor problems. Even when these symptoms are severe, many dogs improve with proper care and recovery time.
If there is ongoing neurological disease, the veterinarian will be able to adequately explain the problem and any special care your dog may require in the future. Ask your veterinarian any questions you may have about pet care while you are there. You will receive printed notes to make sure you follow your veterinarian’s instructions.
recovering from a concussion
While your dog is recovering from a head injury, you should only let them do what they need to do, like eat and go out for short bathroom breaks. You can crate your dog or place them in a pen to restrict their movements. It is recommended that you keep your dog in the area where you spend the most time, as it is more comfortable there and allows for better supervision of your dog.
You must monitor any secondary injuries, if any, to ensure they heal properly. To keep track of the healing process, your veterinarian may recommend that you visit him frequently. In some cases, recovery may take several days. Some dogs may take several months to recover. Your veterinarian can address your pet’s condition.
A concussion in a dog must be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible, and the dog must be given the best care and supervision possible. If your dog is unfortunate enough to suffer a long-term injury, remember that there are ways to support them in living a happy life that doesn’t stray too far from their typical life.
Wheelchairs can help dogs with limited mobility or instability to exercise and play, special soft meals can help dogs with lip injuries, medications may help with seizures, and you may even end up repairing nerve damage.
Now that you know which symptoms to look out for and how a concussion is caused, you can be better prepared to deal with the situation. Be sure to send this article to other dog owners so they too can learn about concussions in dogs.
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