Head injuries in pets, especially dogs, can have severe consequences. While they may not be as obvious as in humans, it’s important to be able to detect and respond to these injuries promptly. In this article, we will explore the steps you should take if your pet experiences a head injury and the common signs and symptoms to look out for.
The First Steps
If your furry friend injures their head, it’s crucial to remain calm. Pets can sense our stress, and it’s important to provide them with a sense of security. Immediately contact a local vet for guidance and assistance. If your pet has external wounds that are bleeding heavily, apply direct pressure with a clean non-fluffy cloth. Keep them warm and transport them carefully to the nearest veterinary surgery. Remember, all pets that have experienced a head injury should be checked by a vet.
Common Causes of Head Injuries in Dogs
Being hit by a car is the most common cause of concussions in dogs. However, any trauma to the head can result in an injury. Head injuries can also occur during interactions with other dogs, contact with trees, being kicked or hit by humans, falls, or even something falling onto them. Concussions are commonly a result of “blunt trauma,” but they can also happen during an attack by another animal or if a dog is shaken or thrown to the ground.
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms
It’s important to be vigilant if your dog is bleeding from their head or has fallen from a height or been under falling debris. Look out for signs of more serious head trauma. Concussion can manifest in various ways, including lethargy or sleepiness, weakness (possibly on one side), confusion or disorientation, coordination problems or difficulty walking, rigid or flaccid limbs, bleeding from the ears or nose, abnormal eye movements, differences in pupil size, pale gums, seizures, and even loss of consciousness. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms or behaves strangely, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible, even if you’re unsure of any head trauma. These symptoms could indicate other potentially serious injuries or illnesses that need to be addressed by a professional.
A head injury can lead to seizures in pets. If your pet experiences a seizure, it’s important to protect them from further danger. Contact your vet immediately, dim the lights, and try to maintain a quiet environment while the seizure continues. Once the seizure subsides, gently place your pet in the recovery position.
What Your Vet May Do
When you bring your pet to the vet, they will likely perform a neurological examination to assess the extent of the head injury and check for any signs of brain damage. They will also address any bleeding and provide guidance on next steps. It’s important to note that recovery from a head injury takes time for pets. During this period, keep a close eye on them and ensure they remain as relaxed as possible. Avoid strenuous activity and long walks.
Remember, this information serves as a general guide and should not replace professional veterinary advice. If you have any concerns or questions, consult with your vet. For more information on pet care, visit Katten TrimSalon, your trusted source for all things related to pet health and well-being.