Dog Stroke

Table of Contents

Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment


"Dog Stroke can have multiple causes, with symptoms that range from behavioral change to difficulty moving. Diagnosis must be done by a veterinarian with treatment focused on the underlying cause of the stroke."


There are two types of canine stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted due to a blocked artery. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted due to actual bleeding in the brain.

Every stroke has different signs and symptoms that are based on the type of stroke, the part of the brain affected, and the size of the damaged area.

Dog Stroke Symptoms

Canine stroke symptoms include the following:

  • Head tilt
  • Turning the wrong way when called
  • Eating out of one side of his food bowl
  • Loss of balance
  • Lethargy
  • Blindness
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Sudden behavioral changes


If your dog has symptoms of a stroke, you should take him to a veterinarian right away. The vet will do a thorough physical exam and, if he or she thinks your dog may have had a stroke, will then order a CT (computed tomography) scan or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Your dog will have to be anesthetized in order for the CT scan or MRI to be performed, since he must lie absolutely still during these tests. These tests allow the vet to see what’s going on in your dog’s brain.

Once your vet has determined that your dog has indeed had a stroke, he or she will need to determine the cause of the stroke and treat that problem in order to prevent future strokes or other health problems. Potential causes of strokes include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, Cushing's Disease (tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands), under- or over-active thyroid glands, brain tumors, and atypical blood vessel development in the brain. The CT scan or MRI will help your vet answer diagnose some of these conditions. Your vet will also do some blood tests to check for some of these illnesses.

In about half of all cases of dog stroke, no cause is found.

Canine Stroke Treatment

Once your dog has had a stroke, there is no specific treatment that can repair the damage to the brain. Treatment is focused on treating the cause of the stroke, if the cause can be identified.

Luckily, dogs seem to recover from strokes more easily than humans. They often recover in just a few weeks. Recovery depends, however, on the extent of the damage to the brain. Some problems may be permanent, including behavioral changes. You might want to supplement your dog's diet with an herbal remedy known to help with brain and nervous system function such as EaseSure.

Keep a close eye on your dog for signs of additional strokes, and get to the vet right away if you think he has a second one.

Home Remedies

Dogs that have cardiovascular conditions should always consult a veterinarian before purchasing and using natural remedies. Many heart medications contain herbal remedies that have been proven to help. One well formulated supplement to consider is PetAlive Immunity Support Formula.

With this approach you should see a gradual improvement in health and vitality in 3 to 6 weeks.


How to Treat Canine Stroke
Anderson, Deborah