Dogs have been used for hunting since ancient times. They are intelligent animals with keen senses. Some breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) or Border Collie (BC), are known to display some degree of epilepsy in their behavior. However, it is not uncommon for other breeds like the Pomeranian (Pug) or Shih Tzu (Shi) to exhibit seizures too!
What Is A Mini Stroke?
A mini stroke is a type of seizure which occurs in small dogs. These seizures usually occur during sleep and they may cause little or no response from the owner. Sometimes these seizures are so mild that the owners don’t even realize there was anything wrong with their pet.
Symptoms Of A Mini Stroke:
The dog will not respond to commands. He/she may only make a few whimpering sounds. The owner may notice that the dog’s eyes are glazed over and its mouth is slightly open but otherwise the dog appears normal. If the owner does wake up, he/she might see drool coming out of the dog’s mouth or hear a faint noise in its throat. The dog will not respond to these stimuli either.
What To Do?
1. Immediately turn the dog on its side so that it doesn’t choke on its own drool, especially if it’s a smaller breed that can’t control the amount of drool that it produces.
This is especially important during the first few days when the pet is most likely to have a mini stroke.
2. If the dog is having a seizure for more than five minutes, call your veterinarian to see if an emergency visit is needed.
3. Check if the dog is limping or injured in any way after the mini-seizure has passed.
A Word Of Caution: No two dogs are alike so it is important to understand that while some larger breeds of dogs may suffer mini-strokes, others may not display any outward signs of them at all.
What Is A Dog Mini-Stroke?
In order to understand mini-strokes in dogs, it is important to understand what a stroke is and how it manifests in humans. Having a stroke is serious since it stops blood from flowing to the brain or to a specific part of the brain. Blood carries oxygen which keeps the brain alive so when the brain doesn’t have enough of it, a person will suffer massive organ failure and ultimately perish without immediate medical attention.
A mini-stroke in dogs is a seizure which affects only a small part of the brain or sometimes even a single nerve. Since the brain is extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation, even a single nerve being deprived of blood flow can result in a seizure. Mini-strokes can be caused by many things and they are generally divided into two groups: hypertensive and hypotensive.
Hypertensive mini-strokes happen when there is a sudden spike in blood pressure. This can be caused by a variety of things such as dehydration, high altitude, stress or even eating something your dog is allergic to. In some dogs, it can also be genetic.
Hypotensive mini-strokes happen when the blood pressure suddenly drops. This can be caused by a loss of blood, low amount of water in the body or even a drop in temperature.
What Are The Different Types Of Mini-Strokes In Dogs?
There are a few different types of mini-strokes. It is important to understand the different types so that you can recognize the symptoms and know what to do in order to get medical help for your pet as quickly as possible.
Facial Paralysis: This is the most common type of mini-stroke and can affect one or both sides of your dog’s face. Typically, a dog with facial paralysis will have trouble controlling one side of its face. The dog may be unable to close its eye, turn its ear or even control its tongue on the affected side.
Ataxia: This is another very common type of mini-stroke in dogs and can be a result of either high or low blood pressure. When a dog has ataxia, it loses coordination in all four of its legs. This makes it difficult for the dog to walk in a straight line and it often seems as if the dog is staggering.
Apathy: Apathy is a very strange type of mini-stroke in dogs. It typically only affects older dogs and causes them to completely lose interest in everything around them. The dog just seems to forget how to play or displays no interest in food. It seems as if the dog has simply given up on life. This is similar to a human suffering from depression.
Seizures: Mini-strokes aren’t the only medical emergencies that can cause seizures in dogs. Any severe change in the brain’s chemistry can cause a seizure so if your dog has a mini-stroke that results in a seizure, take it to the vet immediately.
How Can I Prevent Mini-Strokes In My Dog?
There are some things you can do in order to minimize the risk of your dog suffering from mini-strokes.
1. Keep your dog’s diet in good balance.
Many dogs suffer from high blood pressure and having a proper diet can help to minimize this problem.
2. Keep your dog hydrated.
Like humans, dogs can suffer from dehydration and it is important to give your pet lots of fresh, clean water. If you’re going on a long trip or outdoor activity, be sure to take extra water for your dog as well.
3. Keep your dog at a healthy weight.
Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure so make sure your pet doesn’t get any extra treats and makes sure it gets plenty of exercise.
4. Reduce stress in your dog’s life as much as possible.
Lots of emotional stress can cause a spike in blood pressure so try to keep your dog’s life as low-key as possible. Avoid taking it to busy parks or loud, crowded streets.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from mini-strokes, it is important to seek emergency veterinary treatment right away. If it’s a real emergency, call 9-1-1 and tell the operator that you need help bringing your pet to the veterinary hospital immediately, they’ll be able to send out a rescue unit to help you as soon as possible.
You May Also Like These Articles:
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First Aid For A Choking Dog
How to Bandage a Dog’s Wound
How To Clean A Dog’s Wound
How to Treat a Dog for Shock
How To Keep A Dog With A Broken Bone From Moving
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Are Dogs color Blind?
Dogs are able to perceive colors but they are most likely not able to distinguish between them the same way that humans can. For example, it has been observed that dogs are only able to identify yellow, blue, and gray but they are not able to tell the difference between say blue and green.
The reason for this is because dogs only have vision high in two of the six colors that humans can see. This means that dogs are able to perceive brightness in shades of yellow and blue but they are not able to tell the difference between a green object and a red object. However, they should still be able to differentiate between different shades of gray.
It is believed that the reason why dogs can’t see as many colors as humans is because their eyes only have two color receptors while human eyes have three. This has a direct correlation to the fact that dogs only have scent glands on their noses while humans have them in their mouths and throats as well.
Because of this, the genes that control a dog’s sense of smell is also involved with sensing color, which takes preference over seeing color. A dog’s ability to see has to be directly related to its ability to smell. This also explains why dogs are able to perceive motion better than they are able to see color. The motion radar is controlled by a separate set of genes.
Most likely, a dog’s ability to see in color evolved after they became domesticated. For the purposes of reading human social cues and intensions, it is advantageous for a dog to be able to see the different expressions on a human face.
If a dog could see the difference between a smile and a frown, it would make life a lot easier for dogs everywhere. The fact that this didn’t develop until after domestication has led many to believe that dogs developed the need to see facial expressions in order to better communicate with humans.
In a way, you can say that dogs have developed a sense of beauty just like humans have, with the exception that it’s geared towards different things. For example, while a human may view the color blue as a more beautiful color than the color yellow, a dog may find a scent to be more beautiful than the color red.
How The Nose Knows
About 99% of what your dog perceives is through his nose. This is why it’s generally a good idea to never take your dog off of his leash during walks unless you know there aren’t any dangerous animals or chemicals in the area.
Dogs have an extremely powerful sense of smell. They are able to detect chemicals in extremely small quantities and even be able to detect things that are not necessarily chemicals but nevertheless produce traces that are carried through the air.
There are dogs trained to detect everything from gas leaks to diabetic alert dogs that can tell when their owner is about to have a seizure. It is even said that there are dogs trained to detect the early signs of cancer.
A dog’s nose is also self cleansing. The inside of a dog’s nose has a special coating that protects it from whatever it touches. This is why dogs can sniff so much without getting sick.
While humans have about 5 million scent receptors, a dog has up to 300 million! This allows them to distinguish between smells in much more detail than we ever could. A human could never hope to compete with a dog when it comes to smell.
How To See What Your Dog Sees
If you want to try and see the world from your dog’s point of view, there are few easy experiments you can do at home without the help of any fancy scientific instruments.
The first thing you should do is get yourself a latex glove.
Now place the latex glove over your face with the opening positioned over your mouth and nostrils, but your eyes exposed. Make sure it’s on snug, so there are no gaps for air to get in.
Now start walking around your house.
What does it feel like? Is it difficult to walk? How is your vision?
Most likely, you couldn’t get around your house in this state. The reason being that you are experiencing what it’s like for a dog to walk around with its nose plugged up.
Dogs must keep their noses open in order to breath. They need to pant in order to cool themselves off on a hot day, and if they try to walk around with their nose clogged up they end up overheating.
It’s also difficult for them to smell anything, because the air that’s inside their nose is blocking out the scent of whatever they would otherwise be smelling.
Dogs need to keep their noses clear and be able to move the air freely in and out in order to experience smells the way they are supposed to. You may have noticed that your dog has his nose open all the time. This is because nature has designed it so that his needs are kept in balance.
Leave your dog’s nose open for as long as you can to give it a break. Don’t forget to also leave it open when you go outside! Your dog will be much happier for it.
A Nose By Any Other Name . . .
Would your dog recognize it if he had another nose?
Dogs identify each other by their nose. If you were to give your dog the nose of another dog, he would probably still recognize that dog by his body and the rest of his features, but he wouldn’t be able to smell what he’s smelling, which is how he knows it’s a dog in the first place.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Canine cerebrovascular disease: Do dogs have strokes? (SR Platt, L Garosi – Journal of the American Animal …, 2003 – meridian.allenpress.com)
- Neurological signs in 23 dogs with suspected rostral cerebellar ischaemic stroke (B Thomsen, L Garosi, G Skerritt… – Acta Veterinaria …, 2015 – actavetscand.biomedcentral.com)
- Cerebrovascular disease in dogs and cats (BT Kang, JH Lee, DI Jung, C Park, SH Gu, HW Jeon… – Journal of veterinary …, 2007)