What Is “head Pressing ” And How Can It Be Treated?

What is "head pressing" and how can it be treated?

“Head pressing”, or head pressure, is much discussed in veterinary medicine. Experts say it is important to learn more about this condition in order to take better care of our animals.

Many people think that this is a disease. But in fact,  it is a symptom that something is not right with your animal. Head pressing is when the animal presses its head against a solid surface, such as a wall, a door, a fence or the like.

Animals have many ways to show that something is not right with them. It can be barking, mood swings or strange new behaviors. Head pressing is a clear example of the animal trying to tell you that something is wrong.

Therefore, you should  check if they behave this way involuntarily due to an illness.

Head pressing is when your pet regularly presses or rests its head against a solid surface. This can be a wall or a fence.

does your pet exercise head pressing?

The most accepted explanation for this  is that the animals are trying to relieve an intense headache. On the other hand, it is very unusual for dogs to have headaches. So if they start doing this, it’s best you take them to the vet right away.

It is easy to detect when your dog in addition to head pressing. It tends to spend a long time supporting its head against the wall. This can be harmful to its bones and skull as it presses hard to relieve the pain.

Head pressing can be the first of many symptoms. Your dog may then start to become less obedient, and it is common for it to ignore commands or stop responding when you call it.

As the neurological condition progresses, this behavior  may be accompanied by other strange behaviors. This can include compulsive spinning of the head, mood swings, progressive loss of vision and reflexes as well as convulsions.

Just like in humans, there are many causes of headaches in dogs. It could be a sign of a neurological problem or food poisoning. Specialists have observed the following factors as possible causes of head pressing:

  • Physical trauma
  • Water in the brain. This leads to an increased pressure on the brain due to the accumulation of fluid.
  • Infections that endanger the central nervous system: rabies, toxoplasmosis and puppy disease.
  • Tumors or cerebral edema.
  • Stroke
  • Poisoning of chemicals, toxic substances or drugs.
  • An accumulation of toxins in the body, usually due to liver failure.
  • Too high sodium (salt) intake.

All races can start with head pressing  and suffer from serious neurological problems or poisoning. However, the majority of cases have a tendency to affect specific breeds. These are usually pugs, French bulldogs, yorkshire and boston terriers as well as beagles.

Cats can show symptoms such as head pressing and neurological damage. However, it is much more uncommon than in dogs.

It is very important to take your pet directly to a veterinarian if they show any signs of head pressing. Neurological problems or poisoning are serious conditions and need prompt treatment. 

Early diagnoses give them the greatest chance of being able to cure your animal. If the disease reaches the central nervous system and the brain, the damage can be irreversible and even lead to death. The veterinarian will find the cause of the head pressing  and then suggest the best treatment.

Because it is a symptomatic behavior for various diseases, the  treatment depends on what it is that has attacked your dog.

detect head pressing in time

If the diagnosis is internal parasites, they can be treated with parasite medication. If, on the other hand, it is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are the best choice. If the dog suffers from fluid retention in the brain, that part of the brain must be drained.

It is not possible to give a simple answer. Only your veterinarian can recommend the best treatment

There is no particular way to avoid this behavior. All you can do is take good care of your animal’s health. Therefore, give it a healthy diet and make sure it always has access to fresh water.

Recognizing the early signs of head pressing can save your pet’s life. So always pay attention to your pet’s behavior.

Main image source: John Garghan

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button