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Signs of a Concussion in Dogs


Has your dog bumped its head? How can you tell if it’s alright? Here’s what to look out for.

Dogs can suffer from head trauma also, just like people might. Human beings might suffer a head injury due to contact sports, a blunt force, loud noise exposure, or a force that causes the brain to move within the skull. Canines can also suffer from a concussion ranging in type and severity as much as it can in people. What exactly are the signs of a concussion in dogs, and how can you understand the condition? Here’s what to know.

Common Signs of a Concussion in Dogs

A dog cannot tell you if it has a headache, but you can look out for certain signs that something is not right. In general, if anything is different from how your dog normally acts, it could signify some sort of illness. Concussions in dogs can range from mild to severe, but some common signs would be the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Delayed or sedated response to you
  • Balance issues
  • Disorientation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid side-to-side eye movement
  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Loss of Consciousness

If your dog loses consciousness after head trauma, take it to the vet at once. If you need an emergency vet in Baltimore, Maryland, Everhart Veterinary Hospital takes in emergency patients. 

Use a board or stretcher to carry your dog to your vehicle if necessary, and keep your dog’s head elevated above its hindquarters. Encourage breathing by opening its mouth and stretching the tongue forward as far as possible. If your dog stops breathing, perform CPR. Most importantly, keep calm and drive safely. 

Treatment for Concussions in Dogs

Treatment will depend on the severity of your pet’s concussion. It could just mean resting and monitoring behavior at home. If needed, the vet could evaluate your pet and immediately treat it with IV, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, oxygen, diuretics, steroids, and possibly surgery. In most cases, rest is the best medicine.

Potential Causes of Canine Concussions

Dogs of any size can receive a concussion due to a blunt force, a fall, rough play, etc. Puppies and small breeds with an open fontanel, a soft spot on the top of the skull, could also suffer a concussion related to this trait. 

Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!

At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 at 11:50 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.