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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Is It Spoiling Your Dog to Carry Him?

Why dog owners shouldn’t always carry their dogs

There are a lot of ways to spoil your dog. You can give them treats, rub their bellies every night, give them a comfortable bed to sleep in, feed them a good diet and regularly brush them to keep their coats shiny and lustrous, and otherwise show them that you love them.

These are great ways to spoil your dog, but there are some things that you can do that aren’t going to have the positive effects your dog really needs. With news pictures of celebrities carrying their pups becoming a popular trend, the act of carrying your four-legged friend around has grown in popularity, and that’s not just for the smaller toy sizes. Even larger dogs are being lifted off their paws and carried when they don’t really need to be.

Carry to care

First of all, we must start with when it’s a good idea to carry your dog. After all, there was some point in your life when someone else carried you. As a dog owner, you must understand that it will be necessary to pick your dog up and help them in their time of need.

How about when they’re sick? Maybe when they’re injured? Of course these are situations in which you should carry your dog when they need the assistance. They can’t always get into the car or want to eagerly hop up on the veterinarian’s table, so they need a little help. As a loving dog owner, it is your role to ensure they are happy and healthy, just like a parent would for a child.

Then there are the many situations in which dangers lay under-paw. Parking lots can have numerous dangers, as can any sidewalk or walkway. Broken glass, hot cement, or even stickers can all pose a threat to paws. If you wouldn’t walk on it with bare feet, your dog shouldn’t have to put their paws to it. Rather than having to carry your dog, you should work to avoid these types of situations in the first place.

Consider high risk areas, such as public walkways where small dogs could get stepped on or have their paws smashed by sliding doors. It’s better to avoid these locations if your dog is not socially ready, but when you must, it is better to carry them than to chance them getting injured.

Then there are situations in which you need your dog to get out of danger quicker than it might take them to respond, or if they are enticed by the danger such as chasing a moving car or a pursuing a cat into a dangerous area.

Let your dog walk

But do not be mistaken, because it is very possible to spoil your dog by carrying them regularly. Dogs quickly pick up on habits, and if you regularly carry them, it is as though you are training them to rely on you to transport them. It may not be considered spoiling. Rather, it has become a habit that they let you carry them around everywhere. And you can be assured that if you constantly carry your dog around, they will expect you to do the walking for them.

Let your dog carry themselves when they can. If they’re getting into the car, let them get in themselves. If they want to walk, let them (squiggly worms in your arms may be a hint they want down). Don’t hold your dog back from being their own dog, or they’ll always want you to carry them around.

Most importantly, they need the exercise. If you constantly carry your dog, they aren’t exactly getting the exercise they really need. They aren’t as active. They’ll wait for you to come get them or expect you to do things for them that dogs should do on their own (I’ve seen older dogs that wouldn’t eat unless fed by hand).

You may be thinking about situations in which your dog doesn’t want to get into the car because they know where they’re going (groomers?), but you really shouldn’t force them or you’ll always have to force them. Instead, treat or entice them to want to get in and go.

In truth, it is completely possible to spoil your dog by carrying them everywhere. But that’s only if you do it all the time. There will be moments in which you need to pick them up and move them around to keep them safe. After all, it’s your job to make sure they stay safe and happy, and it is nice to spoil them a little bit every now and then.

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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Our Inspirational Star

How dog owners make a difference

For us, when something goes wrong in our lives, we pray and hope for another chance or another opportunity to make a difference. We have friends and family we can run to for advise and then eventually we get the second chance that we need. However, it’s not that easy for our fury friends. But here’s an inspirational story about a dog that went through a lot of abuse until she was given a second chance when she was rescued. At first, they told her owners that she was unadoptable but thanks to the owners’ will to take her in, she had a second chance and went to a happy home. Her name was Starfish and here’s her inspirational story on how she fought for her life until her last breath.

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