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What are the symptoms of mini strokes in dogs?

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Quick Answer

Stroke symptoms in dogs are different than in humans, so the signs may cause some initial confusion. It is likely that a dog has had a mini-stroke or stroke if it displays any or all of the following symptoms: sudden fatigue, unresponsiveness, inability to move, lack of control of its bladder or bowels, lack of balance, tilted head, impaired vision or complete blindness, or any measure of paralysis.

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What are the symptoms of mini strokes in dogs?
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Full Answer

Facial paralysis along with drooping eyelids is one of the most easily recognizable symptoms of a stroke in human beings, but dogs may experience paralysis of other parts of their bodies. Some dogs who have suffered mini-strokes will walk in circles continuously, not due to paralysis but simply due to disorientation.

Strokes in dogs have two different causes: cerebrovascular accident, otherwise known as a brain aneurysm, and transient ischemic attack, which is caused by a blockage in the brain. Dogs with heart disease are particularly susceptible to the latter. In the absence of either of these issues, a veterinarian may run tests to see if the dog has an underlying condition such as a brain tumor or severe concussion.

Strokes are not necessarily a medical emergency, even in elderly dogs. With proper veterinary care, many dogs recover quickly and return to normal within a few days. If a disease or imbalance of some sort was to blame for the stroke, treatment usually takes care of the problem. Dogs have a much higher stroke recovery rate than humans.

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