Head Pressing in Dogs and What is it? Indian Trail Pet Sitter Tells You
Don’t miss the signs! What looks like a cute or even silly habit could be an indication of major problems in our pets. Head pressing is a condition described as the compulsive act of an animal pressing its head against a wall or other object for what appears to be no reason.
Head pressing tends to be a sign of damage to the nervous system known as Prosencephalon disease and brain damage. Prosencephalon disease is when the frontal region of the brain and thalamus parts, or the parts that transmit sensory impulses, are damaged.
Other signs and symptoms accompany head pressing with this disease. There are often other signs that dogs will begin to demonstrate right along with head pressing to help deepen the understanding of what the initial cause may be.
· dogs may begin to circle and pace in place
· their trained behaviors can change
· the animal may have seizures,
· decreased coordination
· damaged reflexes
· visual problems could arise
It is important to be sure that these secondary effects do not continue long enough to cause a separate set of issues such as blisters on the pads of their feet, or head/facial injuries from constant pressing of the head to objects.
Head pressing by dogs could be the result of several different conditions. The amount of sodium in the body’s blood plasma could cause a metabolic disorder. There could be too much sodium (hypernatremia) or too little (hyponatremia). A tumor may also be an underlying issue of head pressing. These could be found in the brain or other areas in the body. Having an infection in the dog’s nervous system could be another cause of this sign. Most often these include rabies or a fungal infection. Keep in mind that brain injury could be the main factor in head pressing and that car accident or toxic exposure could be the initial cause.
It is imperative to seek out medical attention by a veterinarian if these behaviors are developed. These conditions could require MRI/CT scans, blood tests, a urinalysis or retina examination. The earlier any of these diseases are detected, the easier it will be to treat the dog and prognosis and the road to recovery will be brighter.