Sometimes, if a dog has a car accident, falls, or gets a hard hit on the head, they might have a concussion. The tricky part is, that signs of this brain injury might not show up right away. That’s why you need to know what to look for and what to do if it happens. So, can dogs get concussed?
Usually, dogs can handle small bumps without any trouble because their heads are well protected. But if a strong hit happens, your dog might get a concussion. The signs of this brain injury can be easy or hard to notice, depending on how bad it is.
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How do dogs get concussions?
A dog’s brain is protected by its skull and a special fluid. This fluid is like a cushion between the brain and the skull.
If a dog has an accident, falls, or gets hit on the head, the brain might bump against the inside of the skull. This can hurt the brain, and in bad cases, it might swell.
Even small dogs or puppies can get a concussion from accidents, like accidental kicks or being around horses. If a horse’s hoof hits a dog’s head, it can cause brain injuries.
In simple terms, how bad a dog’s concussion is depends on how hard the hit to the head was.
Symptoms of concussion in dogs?
If your dog has an accident, falls, or gets hit on the head, keep a close eye on them. Sometimes, the signs of a concussion may not show up right away, or they might seem small at first and then get worse as the brain swells.
Important! If your dog is very out of it or loses consciousness, it’s an emergency. You should go to the vet right away.
If your dog seems okay at first, watch for these signs of a brain injury:
- Your dog spins in circles and looks confused.
- Your dog seems off-balance or not sure where they are.
- The size of your dog’s pupils changes or their eyes move strangely.
- Your dog’s limbs are stiff or limp.
- Your dog has trouble controlling their body.
- Your dog shakes or trembles.
- Your dog breathes faster than usual.
- Your dog has a nosebleed or ear bleed.
- Your dog has seizures or convulsions.
- Your dog throws up.
If you suspect a concussion, provide first aid.
If you’re not sure if your dog is okay, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet, even if they seem fine. When you go to the vet, it’s better to go with someone else or take a taxi so you can focus on your dog.
Stay calm and comfort your dog with a warm blanket. Hold them so that their head is higher than their back legs. This helps reduce pressure in the head and prevents a concussion from getting worse.
Your dog might be scared and unsure, so be gentle. They might act out because they’re scared, even if you’re trying to help.
If your dog faints, open their mouth and pull their tongue forward to help them breathe. But be careful while doing this.
Does your dog have a concussion?
When you take your dog to the vet, they will ask you about what happened and check how your dog is doing. The vet will use a flashlight to look into your dog’s eyes and see how their pupils react to light. They might also do an X-ray to see if there’s any serious head injury, like a broken skull.
The vet will see if your dog is acting normal and responsive. If your dog is still pretty active and reacts to things around them, it might be a mild concussion that will likely get better on its own. If your dog is quieter than usual or less interested in things, it could be more serious. If it takes a lot to get a reaction from your dog or if they’re unconscious, the vet will need to act quickly.
How to treat a concussion in dogs?
If your dog has a concussion, the vet will treat specific problems. They might give medicine to calm your dog if they’re in shock. Other medications can help with seizures, cramps, or pain.
If the brain is swollen, there are medicines to help. In serious cases, your dog might need help breathing and fluids or food if they’re not aware. If there’s a broken skull, surgery might be needed to fix it.
Conclusion: Can dogs get concussed?
Whether it’s a person or a dog, a concussion can be very painful and needs quick medical attention. Depending on how bad it is, it takes a while to get better.
If you think your dog might have a concussion, always talk to the vet. Sometimes, you can avoid your dog getting a concussion, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.