How to Care for My Puppy With Brain Damage

Updated November 21, 2016

A puppy who experiences a head trauma could receive brain damage. Puppies in particular are at risk because they are small and more likely to be stepped on or caught under a recliner. Puppies are also more at risk when around children, as they are not strong or big enough to protect themselves. Often puppies are very energetic and can become excitable and run in the road, which is why owners should keep puppies leashed when outside. If your puppy has brain damage as the result of a head trauma, it will need special care that includes frequent veterinarian visits and medication.

Keep your puppy warm immediately after a head trauma. The puppy's head should be elevated, which will decrease intracranial pressure. Avoid putting pressure on the puppy's head, neck or back. Be careful when handling your puppy to avoid being bitten, since it may not be aware of its actions.

Take your puppy to a veterinarian when suspecting evidence of brain damage. The veterinarian will perform numerous neurological exams, as the severity of a brain injury can change suddenly. Your puppy will likely require a 24-hour observation period, so the veterinarian can observe any effects caused by brain swelling or bleeding.

Follow the treatment plan prescribed by your veterinarian. To control seizures, your puppy will need to receive medication, such as diazepam, which decreases the frequency of seizures. Your puppy may also require analgesics, including butiophanol, to control pain. Eyedrops may also be needed to lubricate your puppy's eyes if the blinking reflex is affected by the brain damage.

Avoid environments that will cause your puppy to sneeze or cough. Coughing and sneezing increase intracranial pressure, and that can lead to increased deterioration of the brain, including coma, dullness or stupor.

Turn your puppy frequently if the animal is immobile to prevent bedsores and congestion in the lungs.

Monitor your puppy's temperature, blood pressure, urine output and electrolyte balance. Record all findings in a notebook. Monitoring your dog's condition is important because your veterinarian may determine that your puppy's drug treatment needs adjusting if its condition worsens or improves.

Things You'll Need

  • Blankets
  • Pillow
  • Thermometer
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Medication
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