It’s tough to communicate with our pets. Although some high-tech collars coming out on the market claim to be able to tell pet owners health statistics, identifying medical conditions in pets is a big guessing game with a wide range of vague symptoms that easily can be misconstrued and sometimes blown out of proportion.
Still, there are some behaviors that are difficult to ignore, and admittedly entertaining to watch. One specific behavior to always look out for is head pressing. Whether it’s against a piece of furniture, a wall or even the floor, if your pet is continually rubbing his or her head against something, that animal needs to see a medical professional.
Why Is My Pet Pressing?
Head rubbing or pressing, although goofy to see, is an extremely serious symptom. It could be the sign of a brain tumor or other potentially fatal medical condition. Let’s take a look at a few:
There are many causes for head pressing, some sound much worse than others, but a veterinarian should evaluate all of the symptoms. According to veterinarians, if you notice your dog or cat pressing it’s head against things at home; it could be due to central nervous system damage or prosencephalon disease that affects the pet’s thalamus (which helps control motor skills) and forebrain functions. You may also notice other strange behaviors, including seizures and vision issues. However, you shouldn’t rule out a skin disorder or fleas, either.
Another disease in pets (more commonly in cats) that can cause head pressing is Toxoplasmosis. This disease is caused by a parasite found in raw, infected meat or feces. This parasite multiplies and lays eggs in the cat’s intestinal tract, eventually making its way further into the feline. In many cases, the cat’s immune system can’t fight off the parasite. In addition to head-pressing, cats that develop toxoplamosis often become blind, suffer seizures and can even cause a change in personality.
Dogs with medical issues are known to head press. In some cases, it can be the result of a brain tumor or multiple tumors, known as multilobular osteochondroma, which is difficult to diagnose without performing an MRI or X-ray.
Southeast Veterinary Neurology reports that if you find you pup not responding to his name, pacing or circling, in addition to head pressing, it is highly recommended that you take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If caught early enough and surgically removed, dogs have been known to recover and live more than two more years after the diagnosis.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy
To help fight off the likelihood of your pet contracting one of these medical conditions, it’s important to always do your best to keep your pet healthy. Good exercise and proper feeding are important, but it might also be a good idea to consider a pet vitamin. Several are available and can help strengthen the body systems that often fall prey to the above conditions.
Check out the Immune Health Daily vitamin from Prudence. With daily use, this vitamin helps strengthen your dogs immune system, which can help pups fight off dangerous parasites and other health threats that could lead to head pressing. Packs include a month’s worth of vitamins. Prudence also produces the same sort of vitamin for cats.
Again, while it’s always a good time watching our animals act goofy, sometimes they’re not trying to entertain. If you ever notice your animal pressing its head against things in the house, it’s not a laughing matter and the animal should be taken to a vet as soon as possible.