Can Dogs Have Strokes?


Quick Answer

Dogs can have strokes. However, most cases of stroke-like symptoms in dogs are actually caused by vestibular disease or a fibrocartilagenous embolus blocking blood flow to part of the spine. Symptoms of stroke, vestibular disease and fibrocartilagenous emboli include difficulty walking, circling to one side and other odd sudden-onset behaviors.

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Can Dogs Have Strokes?
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Full Answer

A stroke is caused by interruption of the blood circulation to the brain. Strokes can be ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel, and hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures. Both kinds of strokes cause brain damage.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke to afflict dogs. Risk factors for stroke in dogs include Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, kidney disease and high blood pressure.

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