My 5yr old doberman/shepherd mix apparently had a stroke/blood clot late Friday night. She is in stable condition now, but cannot stand on her own, and she can move at least 3 of her 4 legs on her own.
My question revolves around how long can it take for a dog to recover from such event and eventually walk again. I know that if she can walk again, it may not be a normal walk for awhile, but I am curious as to when a normal time frame is for a dog to be able to walk again with physical therapy being done at home. I want to give her every chance to recover before exploring the option of putting her down...but need to know a reasonable time frame to expect a recovery.
Canine Stroke Recovery
Dog's suffer from brain strokes just as we do. However the chances of complete recovery are greater. Find out about canine stroke recovery period and how to look after your dog post attack...
Dogs usually suffer from strokes only after they are over 8 years of age, unless there is something drastically wrong with the dog's health. Strokes never do come with a warning and often just happen without any prior signs. If your dog is twitching on the floor or has fallen unconscious, the probability of a stroke is very high. In this case you must rush your dog to your vet as soon as you possibly can. Often stroke symptoms in dogs cannot be identified, unless it's been a slow and steady process. Some of the signs to keep a check on your pet are losing control over bladder and bowel movement, losing balance, sudden blindness, not responding as usual and seizure of twitching of the body. What would you do if you find that your dog is having a stroke? While it is important that you get your dog treated, it is equally important to be aware of what all can be done to treat (him or her) and what is the average recovery period.
Canine Stroke Aftercare
Canine strokes are extremely rare. There are two types of strokes which affect dogs, first is Ischemic stroke wherein blood does not reach the brain. The second type is Hemorrhagic stroke wherein bleeding occurs in the brain of the dog.
Find out from your vet, as to which of the two strokes affected your dog and reason why it occurred
A CT scan or an MRI will need to be conducted to check the extent of brain damage which has occurred as well as for any presence of any tumor
Get the dog examined for diseases, once again through certain blood tests. Diseases such as diabetes, liver, kidney and Cushing's diseases can all lead to health complications such as brain stroke and heart attacks. The reason why you must follow this procedure is because you will be able to learn more about what causes the stroke and how you can help treat the dog better. In such case you can avoid a second recurrence.
When the dog returns home, you will need to ensure that he gets plenty of rest for a few weeks. You will need to assist your pet during eating, and helping it move for its daily activities.
Do not force the dog to come to you or move unnecessarily. He will come to you as soon as he is strong enough. Stay close by and talk to him. Give him a loving hug when he seems to be doing better with each day.
Strokes are not always as fatal for canines as they are for humans. With immediate treatment being administered at the right time, there have been many successful cases. Dogs usually survive the stroke and get better within the first few months. However it does not usually take so long a time to recover and many dogs have shown drastic signs of improvement within the first 2 months of recovery. The total period of recovery depends entirely on the intensity and extent of damage caused by the stroke and the effects of its aftermath.
There will be certain visible behavioral changes which you as the master will need to accept and be patient with. It can be heartbreaking to watch your long-time companion in such a debilitating state and equally for the dog. Dogs especially tend to feel low after they fall ill and do not like participating in activities they once thoroughly enjoyed. Your pet will also try to stay as close to you as possible so, allow him to be near you as this will help him feel safe. During the initial few days after the stroke, the dog will have his head tilted to the side and there will be nothing that can be done to rectify it. The head tilt may recover in a few weeks or may stay, as this depends on the extent of damage that was caused due to the stroke.
The owner will need to make sure that the dog is encouraged for every improvement shown and for any good job done. During the initial days, your dog will not be able to walk properly or maintain its balance. You will need to keep encouraging him and caring for him, until he is well enough. However you will need to suppress the underlying conditions which may have caused the stroke. Get the dog treated for any thyroid or insulin abnormalities, so as to keep another stroke at bay.
By Rohini Mohan
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