Brain Injury in Dogs
Dogs can incur brain injuries from a variety of causes, including severe hyperthermia or hypothermia and prolonged seizures. Primary brain injuries, for example, involve direct trauma to the brain, which once acquired, cannot be altered. Secondary brain injury, meanwhile, is the alteration of brain tissue that occurs after primary injury, but this form of injury can be managed, prevented, and improved with optimal supportive care and treatment.
Symptoms and Types
Being that it is a vital organ, the brain requires constant supply of oxygen and nutrition. Any deficiency of oxygen or direct trauma to the brain, therefore, may result in bleeding and fluid buildup, which can cause excessive pressure on the brain. This in turn can cause complications involving the heart, eye, and several other body systems. Symptoms vary and depend on the cause and severity of the brain injury. Some of the more common symptoms include:
The following are some of the more common causes to brain injuries:
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated the unusual behaviors or complications. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count. Although the findings for these tests depend on the underlying cause of the brain injury, often the biochemistry profile may indicate abnormalities in the blood glucose level. Blood gases are also measured to confirm oxygen deficiency in the blood.
When fractures involving the skull are suspected, X-rays, CT (computed tomography) scans, and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) are extremely useful to evaluate the severity of the brain trauma. These diagnostic tools also help in determining the presence of bleeding, fractures, foreign bodies, tumor, and other abnormalities involving brain. The ECG (electrocardiogram), meanwhile, is used to evaluate heart functions and rhythm.
Your veterinarian may also collect cerebrospinal fluid sample to determine the level of inflammation and to confirm possible infections.
The layer of the eye that is charged with receiving and processing images
Less oxygen than normal in the blood
Fainting; the respiratory and circulatory systems are suspended for a time
The windpipe; it carries air from the bronchi to the mouth
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A body temperature that is too low
The term for a quick heartbeat
High body temperature
Having a hard time breathing; breathing takes great pains
A particularly slow beating heart.
A patch of bleeding beneath the skin; a bruise
A record of the activity of the myocardium
The amount of pressure applied by the blood on the arteries.
Extreme loss of blood
Low amounts of glucose in the blood
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