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Possible stroke?

Species: Dog
Breed: Pitbull/Labrador
Age: 2-5 years
Hi,
Back at the end of June my dog was hit by a truck, his brakes locked, and the front left tire of the truck made contact with her. The collision broke her left front paw right above the lowest joint, and also hit her in the left side of the face. I had to have her put in a cast for a month, and take Cephalexin. The cast had to come off a week early from it coming loose and creating an open wound on the effected leg. So, I kept her pretty much cage bound for the next week. I went to have the stitches removed a week or two later, and noticed in the waiting room at the vet she was being very aggressive and barking and trying to get free to get after the other dogs. She has never in the almost 3 years I've had her acted aggressively towards anything. I noticed also her eyes have begun to bulge, and the whites are very blood shot. She won't pay attention to anything, or listen to most commands. It's like she's a completely different dog.
I told you all of that to ask this, is it possible that she may have had some kind of bleeding in her head after getting hit that would cause a hemorrhagic stroke? And also that we might not have noticed until a couple weeks ago due to the medication she was on? Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.

-Joe


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear,

Sorry to hear that Nyssa had this accident.

It is not common to see brain damage leading to aggressive behavior. However, I did have a case years ago of an aggressive doberman that was hit head on and was in a coma for several days. When the dog woke up she was no longer aggressive and was a real sweetheart. So, somehow the injury in her brain did affect her temperment.

We don't often see strokes in dogs...it seems unlikely in your dog's case.

The bloodshot eyes could be because of bruising. This can often take a few days to show up and can take a few weeks to go away. However, the bulging is a little bit of a concern. It would be a great idea to have your vet measure the pressure in her eyes to see if she has an increase there. It may possibly be that there is glaucoma (an increase of pressure in the eyes), or that there still is some swelling in the brain. Unfortunately the only way that we could assess if this was true is to do a CAT scan or MRI and this is quite expensive.

I think the more likely explanation for her behavior changes is that she still has some pain and also some traumatic memories that are associated with the vet hospital. Is she still on anti-inflammatory medication? If not it may be a good idea to talk to your vet about putting her back on some medicine for a while.

I really hope she feels better soon!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.