What Are the Signs of Canine Stroke?

Updated February 21, 2017

A stroke is a medical emergency where the brain is deprived of blood. Like humans, dogs have the potential to suffer strokes, which produce noticeable symptoms.

Types of Symptoms

Symptoms of a stroke in a dog include tilting the head to one side, walking in circles, eating out of one side of the bowl, loss of balance, lethargy, blindness and loss of urinary and bowel control. A dog who has suffered a stroke may also turn the wrong direction when its name is called.

Time Frame

The symptoms of canine stroke usually develop suddenly, such as over the course of several minutes to an hour, reports the Dog Health Guide.


Veterinarians use diagnostic imaging such as MRIs or CT scans as well as an analysis of spinal fluid to look for signs of canine stroke, which are necessary for diagnosis.


Dogs that receive prompt treatment for a stroke have a better prognosis than those who do not receive immediate veterinary attention. If you notice any symptoms of a stroke in your dog, call your veterinarian or take your pet to an emergency animal hospital.


Some of the symptoms and signs of canine stroke are common elements of other brain conditions in dogs, such as tumours or bleeding in the brain, according to Davies Veterinary Specialists.

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About the Author

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.