Today, I'd like to start by telling you a little story about a British Bulldog named Frank. He's a puppy, only around six months old, but he is, to put it frankly, a tank. He's indestructible, destructive, and built like an actual military tank. After about the fifth or sixth head-on collision with the living room wall, I figured it was time to find out the truth. Can dogs get concussions like humans can? What's the truth, and what's the fiction?

Why don't we ask the professionals?

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet


  1. Can Dogs Get Concussions
  2. What are the Symptoms of a Concussion in Dogs
  3. How Do Vets Treat Dog Concussions
  4. How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment
  5. Conclusion

Can Dogs Get Concussions

Yes, dogs can get concussions. The difference between human concussions and doggy concussions is that humans can tell you what happened and how they're feeling. Dogs can't do that, so in some ways, you'll need to guess.

If you've spotted your dog banging their head on a large piece of furniture when you playback the footage from your interactive pet camera, you'll know to check for signs of concussion. But what if you have no way of knowing? What if you don't have a pet camera to look back on?

It's important to recognize the earlier signs of dog and puppy concussions.

What are the Symptoms of a Concussion in Dogs

Dog concussion symptoms are quite similar to human concussions. The brain has been impacted in the same way, and the symptoms of a brain injury between the two species overlap. These include:

Pupil Changes

If you believe that your dog (or a human) might have a concussion, take a look at the eyes. The pupil of one eye might be bigger than the pupil in the other, which is a big concussion and head trauma giveaway.

Strange and Rapid Eye Movement

Eyes are not only the windows to the soul; they're also a great way of figuring out if there's something not quite right with your four-legged friends. Uncontrolled, rapid, and nonsensible eye movements are a sign that there is a disconnection between the brain and the eyes.

Movement Difficulties

Concussion often causes difficulty with moving around for both humans and dogs, especially when it comes to balance. You might notice that your dog is wobbly, excessively shaking, falling, or staggering around.

At the same time, head injuries cause disorientation and confusion. Your dog might lose their bed or forget where they were going halfway through going there. In essence, your pet will move around the house in ways that don't make sense and catch your eye.

Excessive Tiredness

Feeling lethargic and super sleepy is one of those vague symptoms that could point towards cancer as much as a head injury. As a pet parent, you'll know how much your pet usually sleeps, when, and how. My Bulldog puppy, Frank, has regular nap times throughout the day: 1 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., etc., but if he were to sleep more than that, I'd notice.

Lethargy isn't just sleeping, though. The tiredness will make your pet not want to play fetch, dig up the garden, or gnaw on their favorite bone. It can also make them eat or drink less and go to the bathroom less, which you might notice on your pet camera.


Just as with lethargy, vomiting is quite a vague symptom that could point to a wide array of medical conditions. Head injuries and vomiting go hand-in-hand in many cases, so it's not unusual for dogs to vomit up water and food, and then bile, when suffering from a canine concussion. VCA Animal Hospitals study show that your pup may also have a challenging time regulating their temperature, so feeling very hot or cold to the touch is a sign of concussion in dogs.


The brain acts in strange and sometimes violent ways when it experiences an injury, and dogs can experience seizures just as humans can. Rapid eye movement and head injury-induced seizures often come together and are a sign that the brain is not functioning properly. Your pet has, quite literally, lost control of their entire body, and it is a serious, life-threatening medical emergency.

How Do Vets Treat Dog Concussions

Following an examination and triage of your pooch, a vet will treat the most pressing problems first. If your pet is struggling to breathe, they will fix the problem and stabilize their breathing before moving on. Before anything else, your pet must be urgently stabilized to prevent further, potentially long-term brain damage.

Diagnostic testing to get to the root cause often includes:

  • Blood tests;
  • Head (and other) X-rays;
  • Blood pressure;
  • ECG;
  • Radiograph;
  • Ultrasound;
  • CT scan;
  • MR scan.

If diagnostic testing reveals a skull fracture, this will be dealt with appropriately, such as surgery to relieve swelling. Dehydration, which often comes with a lack of eating or drinking and lethargy, is treated with IV-administered fluids; oxygen is provided for canine patients with breathing difficulties; and medications such as steroids are often a viable choice for minor to moderate issues and brain or head injuries.

How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment

There's no need for Googling, panicking, or questioning yourself when you have Petcube's Emergency Fund on your side. For less than a dollar a day, you'll get access to fully qualified and licensed vets around the clock for all questions, concerns, and queries.

You'll also gain access to up to $3,000 of emergency vet care per year, which you can use for up to six of your pampered pets. Seizures, breathing issues, dog concussions, and brain injuries can all be life-threatening and expensive. You don't need to worry about the cost of the Emergency Fund. A few taps, a quick chat, and you and your pet will be on your way to getting the absolute best medical care.

To sweeten the deal (and say thank you for stopping by today), I'd like to offer you an exclusive discount! Use this link to get 27% off your Emergency Fund subscription and gain access to luxury pet care at a fraction of the price!


It doesn't matter how careful a pet parent you are; accidents are going to happen. It's inevitable, for humans and pets alike. You can't control accidents, but you can control how you manage them. If anything is out of the ordinary with your pet, don't sweep it under the carpet. Speak to a professional about it. The only way to get peace of mind is to find out, and both you and your pet will be a lot happier afterward!

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