If Your Pet Is Pressing Its Head Against The Wall, Call Your Vet Immediately

Head pressing is when an animal presses it’s face up against or close to a wall, other hard surface, or in a corner while standing perfectly still. This can happen in both farm animals and household pets like cats and dogs, and if you see your pet doing it, it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Veterinarians say that head pressing is a compulsive behavior that should be considered a medical emergency. If your pet is pressing it’s head against a hard surface often, it could be a sign of damage to their brain or central nervous system. However, only a vet can determine this, which is why you should make an appointment with one immediately as soon as you notice the head pressing occurring.

Illnesses and injuries that can lead to head pressing include:

  • Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy (seen in animals with liver disease)
  • Tumors in the brain
  • Strokes or vascular accidents in the brain
  • Head traumas
  • Inflammatory and infectious types of meningitis and encephalitis

Pet owners likely will not be able to notice any of these conditions themselves, as it takes a vet to carry out the necessary tests to do so.

PetMD states that your pet will likely need an examination of their retina and other structures in the back of their eye to see if there are signs of infections or inflammatory diseases or other brain irregularities. If this is ruled out, the vet will then carry out more tests:

“Other likely tests are blood pressure measurements to test for high blood pressure, and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain. Your veterinarian will also include a urine analysis (which may reveal a problem with the metabolic system), and tests for blood lead concentration (which can indicate toxins in the system). You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, the onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have preceded this condition.”

Treatment of the animal will completely depend on what the diagnosis is. Even if your pet is just staring at a wall and not pressing against it, experts say that you should still give your vet a call.


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