Dog diagnosed with a stroke


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Our question this week was:

I let my dog out early Monday morning. He went to the bathroom and came back in quickly. An hour later he fell on the kitchen floor. His head was cocked and he couldn't walk on his own. I took him to our Vet. who quickly diagnosed a stroke. He has him on steroids and liquids. He walks a little and head is still cocked.

Dan Monteith


Hi – thanks for your email. Your email indicated that your dog fell over, couldn't walk on his own and had his head cocked.

The most common reasons for this is a disease called vestibular syndrome or a stroke. Strokes are not as common as vestibular syndrome but can occur.

Cerebral or brainstem vascular injury can cause swelling (edema) or the bleeding into the brain that is also called a stroke. Clinical symptoms include abnormal behavior, depression, neurological deficits, head tilt, seizures and coma.

An article that might be helpful to you is on our is "Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.