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Concussion and Contusion

General Information

A blow to the head can cause swelling and/or bleeding in the brain. Since the brain fits snugly within the skull, there is little room for swelling or bleeding. Therefore, damaged brain tissue is compressed or squeezed, impairing brain function. Severe swelling or bleeding may cause permanent brain damage.

A concussion is characterized by brief loss of consciousness, followed by temporary weakness and disorientation. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting may also occur.

A contusion is bruising of brain tissue, characterized by some brain damage.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Treatment of head injuries is aimed at reducing swelling and decreasing pressure on the brain. Severe injuries may require surgery.

2. Hospitalization is often advised. A controlled environment, professional observation and intravenous medication are more easily provided in the hospital.

3. The results of treatment often depend on the severity of injury and duration of signs. The longer signs persist, the less favorable is the outlook. Observation for a certain time is necessary before the doctor can determine whether permanent damage has occurred.

4. Rest: Your pet should have enforced rest for ____ days. Do not allow your pet to enter a deep sleep for the first ____ hours. Arouse with gentle petting to make sure it has not lapsed into a coma.

5. Activity: No strenuous activities, such as running, jumping, rough play and ball chasing, are allowed for ____ days. Limit exercise during this time to on-leash walking.

6. Diet: Follow the instructions checked.

____Feed the normal diet.

____A special diet is required. Feed:

____Provide clean, fresh water at all times.

____Restrict water intake as follows:


Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur:

* Your pet's condition worsens.

* Your pet develops new signs.

* You cannot medicate your pet as directed