The most important form of treatment for a dog that has had a stroke is supportive, inpatient nursing care. The dog will be carefully and slowly rehydrated with appropriate intravenous fluids, if necessary. Recumbent patients will be kept warm and dry with soft, absorbent bedding that is changed frequently; their heads should not be placed below body level. They also will need to be turned regularly to prevent pressure sores, pulmonary (lung) congestion and urine scalding. Physical therapy is often recommended as well, and may include therapeutic massage. If the stroke was caused by an underlying systemic disease such as diabetes mellitus or Cushing’s (hyperadrenocorticism), that condition must be treated.
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