Our furry friends have a lot of ways of communicating with us when they need something. When dogs need more water, they might paw at their empty water dish or pick it up in their mouths and bring it to you. When your cat knows it’s time for dinner, they might stand near their food bowl and being meowing constantly. When your dog wants to go for a walk, he might show up with his leash in his mouth.
But how do we know when our pets are sick? They can’t explain that something feels wrong or tell us that they don’t feel well. They rely on us to notice changes in their behavior to get help, and one of the most important signs for “something is wrong,” is often misinterpreted as “cute.”
This behavior is called “head pressing” and it is a lot more serious than we might think. It is a sign that there is damage to their nervous system and can lead to much more serious conditions if left untreated. It can also indicate that they have somehow become poisoned.
After a while, you may notice other behaviors that are out of the ordinary as well. Pacing, circling, forgetting commands, seizures, damaged reflexes, and visual problems (they may be bumping into walls more often).
Head pressing isn’t limited to cats and dogs, horses can also exhibit these symptoms when there has been damage to their nervous system, too.
So, what can your vet do? It depends on the situation and what is causing this strange symptom in the first place! Stay away from any drugs or medications until your vet has reached a solid diagnosis for your furry friend, but be sure to follow up on all appointments to monitor your pet’s recovery.
The next time you catch your pet doing something out of character, be sure that it isn’t actually a cry for help!
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