Some symptoms of canine stroke include walking in circles, head tilted to one side, difficulty in balance and extreme lethargy, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Other signs include a dog losing control of bladder and bowel movements, or vomiting. More serious symptoms include a dog losing eyesight, a heart arrhythmia or the dog collapsing. Dark-red inner gums and dark-red inner eyelids can be indicators of decreased oxygen flow.
There are three types of strokes that occur in dogs: cerebrovascular accidents, transient ischemic attacks and fibrocartilaginous embolism. The first two occur as a result of the brain becoming blocked; the later occurs when a small piece of material in the back breaks off and moves into the spinal cord, as stated by the American Animal Hospital Association.
Strokes are most commonly seen in older dogs or dogs that have pre-existing health issues such as head injury, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease, says the American Animal Hospital Association. Other conditions that can cause strokes include Cushing's disease, brain tumors, poison, parasites and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
If a canine shows symptoms of a stroke, he should be looked at by a veterinarian who can administer a CT scan or MRI, to best diagnose if a stroke has occurred, according to the American Animal Hospital Association.