How to Tell If A Dog Has A Concussion – What Are the Signs and How to Treat It?

Has your dog suffered from a head injury recently?   A concussion is the symptom of a traumatic head injury. And humans aren’t the only ones that have it. Even dogs can get a concussion after suffering from a head injury. And as a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to know how to tell if a dog has a concussion.

It’s not easier to tell when and how your dog has a concussion than humans. In fact, it’s much more difficult since dogs cannot talk. So with these few tips, you figure out whether your dog has a concussion, depending on the injury.

You also need to know what caused the concussion and how to treat it immediately to prevent brain damage.

How to Tell If A Dog Has A Concussion

Car Accidents

The most common cause for canine concussion is a car accident. Most concussive stray dogs are victims of a hit-and-run case. For domestic dogs, this is also a possibility if you do not take good care.

Walking your dog without a leash near a road, leaving them unsupervised around roadways. No matter how well trained your dog is, always keep a leash on when walking your dog near a major roadway with traffic.

Falling Down Steps

Another cause of dog concussion is falling off the steps like a staircase of a porch or deck. Make sure you have proper steps that are not too steep for your dog to comfortably climb up and down.

Crashing Into Objects

Most dogs are active and playful when they are in an energetic and happy mood. This means that running into furniture is inevitable. However, try to calm your dog if he or she gets too hyper.

Stumbling into wood or metal furniture too hard may cause an unexpected injury. You can add cushioning pads on the edges of such furniture to avoid accidents. So even if your dog crashes into it, it will “soften the blow” tremendously.

Dog Fights/Attacks

If you see a stray with a head injury, chances are that that stray dog has been attacked or beat by another animal in the area. Between wild dogs, throwing each other on the ground is a common threat. This can cause serious head injury and “blunt” injuries which is quite common among stray dogs.

If you have a large and a small dog breed at home, make sure they learn how to play by each other’s strengths. So that the large dog does not overpower the small one.

Other Factors

Getting hit by a baseball bat in the head or colliding with a tree or fence or glass door. These are different ways a dog can get a concussion.

You must also take into account the dog’s breed. Smaller dogs like a toy breed are prone to head injuries because they have open fontanelles. Their skulls are positioned in such a way that certain bones in the skull are not completely fused together which is not the case with other breeds.

Signs of Dog Concussion

The best way to check for a concussion in dogs is vomiting, dilated pupils, and instability. Your dog will not be able to walk straight. It will look like your dog is doped on heavy medication.

Other obvious signs are a dull, sedated appearance, and unresponsive to the usual normal stimuli.

If you notice any of these signs, they could indicate that your dog is suffering from a concussion. For your dog to experience the symptoms of a concussion, figure out how your dog injured his or her head.

Generally, a concussion occurs a few minutes after a head injury. And it can stay until your dog has not received the proper medications for it.

This begs the next most important question…

How to Treat Dog Concussion

You cannot treat a concussion on your own. Once you notice the symptoms of concussion, take your dog to the vet immediately. Do not make loud noises around the dog or panic. Make sure you maintain a cool, calm, and quiet atmosphere around your dog.

If you still don’t know, figure out the cause of the concussion. This will help the vet figure out whether extra tests need to be done to do further investigation.

If you do not take your dog to the professional after a head injury, it may lead to fainting, excessive vomiting, and other mental problems. Proper water, a cozy bed, and nutritious food – that’s all you can do at home to help your dog recover from a head injury and concussion. The rest you must leave to the vet to decide the best course of treatment.

What’s the best way to take your injured dog to the vet? Remove the neck collar so that your dog feels comfortable. If you have a small cushioned pillow, keep your dog’s head on it while you’re driving to the clinic. Do not put pressure on the skull, neck, or anywhere where your dog might be hurting.

In case you are too far away from the doctor or have no means of transport, you can contact the clinic to request an emergency home visit. Some clinics also offer dog ambulance services for emergency purposes. Letting your vet know that you’re arriving beforehand is also a good idea. It makes things easier and helps your dog get the medicines faster.

Conclusion

A vet will give you the right medications to treat your dog’s head injury. A concussion may cause loss of consciousness, vomiting, and other symptoms in a dog. So knowing the causes and signs of a dog concussion is very important.

Once you know what you’re looking at, it’s easier to treat your dog the right way. This can also prevent future injuries and trauma. A concussion in a dog can be brief or long-lasting, depending on the severity of the injury.

This article shows you the best possible way to know whether your dog has a concussion. And some effective ways to deal with dog concussion responsibly and without delay.

Lisa Thompson
 

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