Can Dogs Suffer Strokes?

Dog care to avoid stroke
Dog care to avoid stroke

Human beings can relate to strokes. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain gets disrupted and shuts off the much needed oxygen supply to the tissue. The result can be deadly if not treated properly. Because of its rarity and inclination to happen mostly to humans, many a pet owner have wondered whether the same can happen to their animals.

Just like humans, it is very possible for dogs to have a stroke. There are basically two types of stroke; one where a blood clot travels to the brain and blocks the flow of oxygen-rich blood, and another where vessels in the brain rupture and cause hemorrhaging. Both instances can be fatal if not addressed in time.

What are the symptoms?

It’s essential that every dog owner know what symptoms to look out for when it comes to strokes. Symptoms will appear almost immediately, one of which is disorientation. This may come in many forms, some as subtle as turning the wrong direction when called, to eating out of only one side of their bowl. In more extreme cases, your dog may collapse and become unresponsive.

If the stroke isn’t as apparent or is left untreated because the signs are too subtle to notice at first, they may become lethargic and/or lose bowel control. If your well-trained pup suddenly starts urinating in the house or while they’re walking around, it probably isn’t their fault, so don’t make assumptions that they’ve suddenly decided indoors is their new potty. This may be as a result of the brain not getting enough oxygen to ensure proper motor skills and dexterity. They may feel dizzy and tired all the time and lose the ability to control their body movements.

In all cases where you suspect stroke, an immediate visit to the vet is strongly recommended. [tweet this].

For the most part, medications can be used to thin the blood to help get rid of the clot, if this is the cause. Because of the brain’s intricacy, surgery is not always the best option. Consulting with your veterinarian will narrow down your options and help you choose what is going to be the best solution for your dog’s recovery.

While strokes can prove fatal, if caught early enough and treated properly, it is possible for the dog to make a full recovery and enjoy many more years with you. Don’t assume that just because they’ve suffered a stroke that they aren’t going to be okay. Keep your thoughts positive and focus on helping your pup through it.

Don’t confuse one for the other

Strokes are indeed very dangerous, but there exists one condition that seems to result in almost identical symptoms. Vestibular disease can and is often mistaken for a stroke. It occurs when the brain doesn’t cooperate with the inner ear and basically results in a “super-drunk” state for your dog (minus the dangerous alcohol).

Unfortunately (or fortunately for the dog), treatment for this particular issue is to keep them comfortable, especially during an episode where falling down can prove dangerous. Such episodes can last for long periods, in which case it may be necessary to hand feed them (they might be picky because of the disorientation), but it’s crucial that you keep them nourished.

What to consider

One thing to consider is what types of dogs tend to be prone to having strokes. [tweet this].

Both young puppies and old dogs are naturally inclined to stroke. Injuries, such as broken bones, can also result in blood clots that can travel through the body to the brain, so be cautious with a dog recovering from a broken limb. When it comes to your dog’s characteristics, keep in mind that dogs with thick coats and short snouts (pugs and bull dogs) are at a higher risk due to their smaller respiratory system.

Take precautions

In all cases, be sure that you take care of your dog properly to prevent the chances of stroke occurring. Extreme temperatures, mainly hot weather, can result in over exertion. When your dog is having fun, they probably aren’t going to stop even after they begin to overheat. Proper diet and plenty of exercise are the best steps to prevention and will help keep your dog’s circulatory system functioning properly.

Be sure to keep an eye out for any change in your dog’s behavior. They adore habit and seldom change (unless some visitors arrive). So if you see your pup acting a little strange, take note and act on it to make sure they’re okay. At the end of the day, they trust you to take care of them and make sure they stay happy and healthy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Squeaky Time

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure
Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

While the weather outside is too nippy for my paws, the fire keeps us warm indoors as I’m busy playing with my new toys. Some fluff here, a few leftover pieces piled over there, and that awesome squeaking thingy is still stuck somewhere in here.

I tried bringing it to the old man to see if he could get it out for me, but he just tossed it across the room. Guess he thought it was a ball or something. I tried a couple more times before coming to the conclusion that the old man obviously wasn’t getting the gist of what I wanted him to do with it. So in the meantime, I’ll just keep trying to get this thing out on my own.

Besides, everyone else seems to be busy with something else entirely. My friends are over, Izzy brought his own toy, but Buck and Marty insisted on playing with one of mine. And that’s just the problem- it was one toy. Two dogs playing tug with my stuffed monkey toy. Sure it stretches out, but only so much.

“Hey, guys,” I said as a tuft of fluff spit out from under my tongue, “don’t tear my toys up.”

“But you’re, mhff, doing it,” Marty smarted back, quickly losing ground to Buck’s overwhelming weight advantage.

I stared down at my slowly disintegrating play toy. I guess nothing lasts forever anyway, and let them go about using the toys as they were meant for- amusement. But this operation of mine is a delicate process, so a quiet place will be necessary for optimal success. At least that’s my prognosis. You’re more than welcome to ask for a second opinion, but I’m the best in the field.

Once I moved to the adjacent room, I continued nibbling on the stuffed remnant’s ear, and that’s when Izzy hopped over me and stole my toy. I stared down at my empty paws in surprise. My ear twitched a little (the left one) and I slowly turned to view the interposing canine. He stared back; the only movement coming from his wagging tail.

“You!” I barked and gave chase. That was exactly what he wanted, of course. Izzy loved to prove his speed and ability. My short coat may be the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever laid eyes on, but his fluffy coat gave him a tactical advantage in the game of keep-away. Izzy would turn left, but his fur would make it seem like he was still moving right. We always make fun of him when he gets wet though. All that fur makes him look big, but once he’s soaked, he turns into a skinny little rascal and all us pups have a good laugh.

But he’s not wet today, and his fluff is just a blur of misdirection around the sofa and down the hall. But he made the mistake of rushing into the kitchen without being fully briefed on the present situation. The old man and his associates were planning something for this evening. I was aware of the food involved (obviously), and there were some strange decorations around the house (plus the lights from last week’s gift-giving occasion).

Due to the high number of individuals within the tiny room (I halted at the doorway), it didn’t surprise me that Izzy was snagged up within a matter of seconds. He might be quick, but you must be smart as well, especially during a game of chase. Debbie brought Izzy right to me, toy and all, of which I relieved him with a triumphant smile.

After the successful game of chase, I was able to focus on the immediate task of removing this squeaker from the remaining (and very slobbery) ball of fluff. Up on the couch in my secure spot, I stuck my snout in, digging for the treasure, but it wasn’t even a minute before I was interrupted again. Everyone was here now, plopping down on the couch all around me.

“Hey!” I yelped, “Delicate operation in progress here!”

But everyone ignored me and continued to make themselves comfy on the couch while I was relocated to the old man’s lap. Then the picture box came on, revealing a bunch of people standing and yelling, and a ball dangling in the air. It wasn’t just any ball; it was all lit up so it’s easy to see in the dark. I told the old man we should get one so we can play with at night, then returned my focus to the squeaker at hand.

I nudged further in, catching the edge with my teeth.

“Ten!”

It slid away as I pulled.

“Seven!”

The edge presented itself, and I tugged.

“Four!”

Almost there, but it’s caught on a thread.

One!”

I nipped the string and tugged the squeaker free at last!

“Happy New Year!”

Squeak, squeak, squeak!!

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

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We Love Being Dog Owners

Why we are dog lovers

Dogs are naturally inclined to support their companion. They care about you, even if they can’t say it. They always have time for you, though it has to be said that they may not want to take a bath when you want them to. But, for the most part, having a pet dog is possibly one of the best things that ever happened to its owner.

What is it about a dog that impacts our lives so splendidly? Sure, we love having a friend around that wants to do whatever we’re doing, but there are a few particular aspects that affect our lives in a healthy way.

Top 3 Reasons Why It’s Great to be a Dog Owner

1. Dogs make socialization easy

Who can resist patting a happy friendly dog? Dogs are an instant icebreaker. What kind of dog is that? What’s her name? We all have questions that spring to mind when we meet a dog owner walking their loveable dog. Any dog owner can testify to the fact that once you have a dog, it’s an instant conversation starter.

Some of the best places to meet other dog owners are at the park, through training classes, and even through online forums and discussions, posting a picture and your own story is a great way to start some conversation and talk about how great your pup is.

Not only is this good for you, but it is also great for your dog. Socializing and familiarizing with other people and pets helps your puppy to develop a friendly attitude that will likely turn them into an irresistibly loveable dog that wants to get out there and attract some attention for the both of you.

2. Dogs help you stay in shape

While dogs are a great way to socialize, they also have a positive effect on the body. Owners tend to maintain their health better than the average person. When we have a dog, we tend to go out for walks and enjoy a more active lifestyle. When we have a dog, we are naturally more inclined to live a healthy lifestyle.

They keep us motivated when we don’t feel like doing anything but watching a game or chatting with fellow dog owners online. While the average individual can stay at home today instead of going to the gym, we understand that it’s necessary to take our pup for a walk. Plus, it helps to reinforce this “encouragement to exercise” when they show up at the foot of the couch and drop the leash at your feet. It seems like it’s impossible to stay still when there’s a dog around because their main priority seems to include playing with you. Your dog just gives you the look that says, “Nope, it’s not time to sit down; we’ve got some walking to do and I’ve got to see what’s going on down the street.”

Additionally, studies have shown that young children exposed to pets tend to less likely develop allergies later in life. It seems a little strange, especially since most would regard dog fur and dander as instant allergy instigators. But during childhood, the introduction of pets can reduce the likelihood of developing allergies by one third and strengthen immune systems.

3. Dogs bring out positive feelings in people

While the body is important, it’s often that the inside matters even more. At times, we can feel a little depressed, perhaps because you caught the flu. Dogs instinctively seem to know that something isn’t right, and their special talents are needed.

Dogs are perfect for our heart and soul. They’re always there when we need them, and are loyal no matter what. When we’re feeling down, we can always depend on our dogs. They are always there to offer a few licks and hugs to make us feel better.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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