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Can dogs get concussions? And if so, how can you tell if your dog is in concussion?
What’s the difference between a bruise and a concussion? A bruise is simply an injury to the brn or spinal cord, whereas a concussion involves a more serious injury to the brn or spinal cord, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It can cause neurological symptoms, such as drowsiness or dizziness, as well as memory loss, and other signs and symptoms such as headache, vomiting and changes in a dog’s mood. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.
In a severe case, a dog may even lose consciousness. Concussions are much more serious than a bruise because they may lead to permanent brn damage.
What if I see my dog shake his head or act dazed?
Signs that your dog has sustned a concussion may go unnoticed to you, the trner or owner. In some cases, a dog may even seem fine when it has a concussion. Because dogs do not have external ears to alert them of changes in their surroundings, they rely on other cues to know what’s going on around them.
For example, dogs have a highly developed sense of smell and rely on olfactory cues to know whether they are in an enclosed space, such as a basement, garage or even an elevator. Therefore, if you notice your dog shaking his head or having trouble walking or remembering things, it could be because he was in a closed space for a long period of time and needs to get out, even if he seems otherwise fine.
How can I know if my dog has a concussion?
If you notice your dog exhibiting concussion signs, make sure to watch your dog closely.
Look for a dog that is not eating, drinking or grooming properly.
Observe your dog as you would for a child who may be having an illness that requires medical attention, like pneumonia.
Make sure the dog is not displaying any other symptoms of illness.
If you suspect your dog has a concussion, consult your veterinarian immediately.
How do I prevent or treat a dog who has sustned a concussion?
There are two mn reasons why you would want to get your dog checked out for signs of a concussion.
First, because many symptoms of concussion appear to resolve in just a few days, it is very important that your dog receives immediate medical attention. If you do not see signs of concussion within a few days, your veterinarian may recommend an MRI to rule out an intracranial hemorrhage or other abnormalities that could be a sign of more serious injury.
Second, a dog who has sustned a concussion may experience seizures that can last for several weeks after the event. If you are concerned about your dog’s health or behavior after a concussion, make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your vet.
Do you have any tips on how to protect my dog if he sustns a concussion?
Yes, there are some things you can do to help your dog recover after a concussion.
To make sure your dog is comfortable, bring him home in a crate. A crate will keep your dog safe and comfortable if he must spend the night in a closed space.
If your dog is a young puppy, place him in a crate until he is at least nine months old. Puppies should be taken home immediately after an accident and should not be returned to the location where they sustned the concussion. You may want to use a harness or leash to transport your dog if he is not in good physical condition. If your dog is being transported by car, make sure he has adequate space to sit up.
If you own a dog who is at least two years old, you should use a dog crate at all times while your dog is with you. This is particularly important if your dog is around other dogs or people who do not know that he is at risk for a concussion.
Always be aware of your dog’s surroundings when you leave him. Avoid driving or walking a dog while you are intoxicated.
It is also important to follow these steps to make sure your dog recovers properly:
Don’t exercise your dog for a week. Your dog needs to rest and recover from the injury. Do not let him out of your sight and never let him swim.
Keep your dog away from loud noises.
Do not allow your dog to play contact sports.
How can I protect my dog from the dangers of concussion?
If you’re wondering how you can protect your dog from injury, then make sure to follow these tips:
Get involved in a dog sports league. Participating in sports with your dog will ensure that he gets proper exercise and socialization.
Avoid riding your dog in a car. This can be particularly dangerous if your dog has a concussion and is not in good physical condition.
Do not let your dog run around in the yard when he is in pn.
Never push your dog when he is tired or sick.
Teach your dog to fetch. If your dog is getting older and not able to fetch things for himself, he can still learn how to do this. It’s a great way to keep him occupied and exercise his brn and his muscles at the same time.
What other precautions should I take when a dog sustns a concussion?
Some of the things you can do to make sure your dog recovers properly include:
Do not let your dog chew on anything.
Keep your dog off of his normal food until his veterinarian gives the okay.
Take the dog’s temperature frequently. If it is high, your dog may have a fever.
Make sure your dog is eating, drinking and grooming properly.
Be aware of your dog’s surroundings when you’re leaving him.
Always keep a close eye on your dog when you’re around him.
Do not let your dog swim.
If you’re worried that your dog has a concussion, be sure to make an appointment