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head injury in chihuahua

October 4th, 2007, 10:42 AM
We came home last Saturday to find that our little female, Libby was acting very strangely, her head was tilted almost backward and she couldn't stand, I immediately rushed her to the vet where he told me it looked like she had suffered a head injury. He kept her through Monday afternoon, when I took her home he told me that it was the type of injury that will take time to heal from. We don't know what happened to her, she was in a fenced yard the whole time with no other animals, we had been keeping her separated from our male because she was going through her first heat. Wednesday I noticed that she was doing what I can only describe as a crocodile death roll, when I called the vet back about that he said that it was a bad sign and to get her a smaller pet carrier because usually when the hit the side they'll stop rolling. Well, I couldn't just sit there and watch her roll, she was doing it probably every hour off and on for close to 20 min. at a time, so I "swaddled" her in a towel because she can't control her bladder and held her, it seemed to help a little, I would feel her want to roll but I was able to stop her, anywas this morning I got the bright idea of not swaddling her just once but twice, going the opposite direction with towel on the second one so that maybe she couldn't roll herself out of it. It's working, so far this morning I've been able to put her down and take a shower with no rolling from her, she actually seems pretty peaceful. I guess my questions are am I harming her by swaddling her like this and has anyone else gone through this and do you have any advice or stories about how it ended up. He told me it could take at least a month for her to recover, but I worry that maybe I'm doing the wrong thing, is she suffering, will she still have quality of life after this? It's so hard not knowing how this happened and looking around at my neighborhood wondering if someone deliberately did this to her. Being a single mom and having to be strong for my kids is difficult too, I can't let them see how scared for her I am. Anyway, anyone at all please let me know if you've gone through this or know anything about this type of injury...

October 4th, 2007, 11:02 AM
I'm really sorry about your dog. There are so many risks out there, even a well-protected yard has its dangers.
Was the vet unable to answer your questions? Did he have any theories about how it happened? Did they scan her?
I don't see anything wrong with the swaddling, whatever contains her so she remains as quiet as possible. That's the only thing I know about head injuries - no sharp movements, no unnecessary expenditure of energy. And yes, recovery is slow, depending of course on the nature of the injury.
I would think about seeing a specialist. I know they are expensive, but if what you have posted is all you know, it is not much to go on. Maybe there are other things you could be doing.
Is she on medication?

October 4th, 2007, 11:03 AM
What a horrible thing to have happened to Libby!

What exactly did the vet do for her? Any x-rays at all? Is he certain it's a head injury and how did he come to this diagnosis?

October 4th, 2007, 11:14 AM
Thank you for your concern, unfortunately since I have no idea how the injury happened he really doesn't either, she doesn't have any broken bones, her skull isn't fractured, no visible body injuries. He knew that it was a head injury of some sort because both of her eyes have hemorrhaging. I've been through the yard many times since this looking for something, anything, not just to find out what happened to her but because of my male as well. It's been a good morning so far with her being so peaceful, she took an ounce of chicken broth this morning already. She does know us, which is good too, when I talk to her, her little tail wags. Thanks for the support, it helps alot, I've been all over the internet looking for anything related to this kind of injury and am amazed at how little information there is about it. Thanks again

October 4th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Hang in there. :fingerscr that Libby recovers asap.

October 4th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Really good news that nothing is fractured!
Please stay in touch and let us know how she is doing.

October 4th, 2007, 12:21 PM
gosh i know how you must feel.
all the very best and i do hope she gets better soon.

October 4th, 2007, 12:34 PM
It sounds like she was grabbed by the neck and shook. You say she was in a fenced yard which should keep other critters out but is it possible she was grabbed by an eagle or hawk and managed to struggle free? Do you have many in your area? A neighbour of ours once seen an eagle scoop up a cat and they'd heard of someone see an eagle pick up a small dog bet dropped it. Just a suggestion. :shrug:

I am so sorry to hear about your little girl. :grouphug: I hope she recovers with no complications. Good luck and keep us posted. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

October 4th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Thanks Rainbow, I never thought about the possiblity of a large bird, we do live kind of in the country and I had originally been concerned about a raccoon or possum, but with no visible external injuries kind of ruled those out. I haven't really noticed any hawks in our general area, but lots of large crows. We're having a good day so far, very minimal jerks of any kind and she's lifted her head on her own a few times... so definitely keeping my fingers crossed.

October 4th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Is there anything in your yard that she could've climbed on top of, then fallen from?

There's a lot of things you need to take into consideration.
- Dogs are silly, and most, if not all of them, have very short attention spans. They can be standing by the fence focused on one thing, then hear something completely on the other side, turn their head really quick, and bang it off of something.

A head injury with a pet is a really hard thing to deal with. Especially if they start doing the "rolling".

If she begins to do that, you need to keep her still, calm, and comfortable. You don't want her working herself up and getting into a worse condition.

You're just going to have to baby her until she improves. Keep her hydrated, fed, and just hope for the best.

Good luck with her though. I hope she improves.:fingerscr

October 5th, 2007, 08:09 AM
I don't know if this is even possible, but do you have deer ticks in your area? Can a deer tick make a dog react like that when bitten.

I am asking this because my human friend was bitten by a deer tick and it caused him to be paralyzed for a few months until they realised what it was. It was inbedded in his head. No One saw it until It was his wife, who finally found it and had the doctors remove it. Poor guy suffered for months.

October 5th, 2007, 06:52 PM
I've never heard anything about deer ticks in our area, but I guess it's always a possiblity. She's doing alot better today, is able to open both eyes completely, the stitch in the right eye has dissolved completely, almost all of the hemorrhaging is gone, just looks like her eyes are a bloodshot today. When I came home from work she was in her kennel almost sitting up. There have been no more rolls for the last couple of days, I'm definitely feeling more hopeful, I'm thinking that if she continues to improve then maybe next week we'll try a little bit of pureed meat along with her chicken broth.

October 6th, 2007, 09:53 PM
This brought back a memory, happened about 30 yrs + ago.
Lived on a large kennel, Lots of doggy yards,
Neighbors directly across the rd from us, use to catch any cat, dog, animal they could, tie it up in a bag and beat it with a baseball bat, then release it,
I saw this with my own eyes, Was horrible their parents didn't seem to care.

Problem for us arose when a number of our dogs started having different troubles,
some similar to what your speaking off.
We set up a watch, Because we had our suspicions, sure enough it was the neighbors 2nd boy, going into the yards, We caught him shaking the daylights outta one small dog,

Just wondering if maybe this is a possibility in your case

October 8th, 2007, 04:46 AM
I have been thinking of you and your little girl and hoping that everything is going to be alright. Please keep updating us of her progress, which I pray will be good. When I first read your thread, all I could think of was that she had fallen off something, as my little Papillon puppy attempts to jump up onto stuff that is far too high, bounces off it and falls. When I read some of the replies to you though I realised that there is a lot more dangers to small dogs where you live than for us here in England and although I have always kept all my dogs inside the house when I am out, they can happily play in our garden without me having to worry about eagles and hawks attacking the little ones or deer ticks burrowing into the big ones, even so my little puppy had three seizures following a wasp sting about a month ago and so I know how frightening something like this must be for you. My thoughts are with

October 15th, 2007, 08:53 AM
Thank you for all of your replies and concerns, although we still have no idea what caused her issues, I'm happy to report that she's doing 1000 times better than the last time I posted. She still loses her balance every now and then and sometimes walks sideways, she still has a slight head tilt as well, but the difference between now and just 2 weeks ago is night and day. She's alot more cautious about jumping down from anything but still attempts to jump onto the couch, chair, etc... The dogs are no longer outside unless we're home and we're making sure to padlock the gate even then. You just never know I guess and because of that we're being much more cautious. Thanks for all your concern and I'll continue to keep everyone updated.

October 15th, 2007, 09:13 AM
I'm so glad little Libby continues to improve! :grouphug: What a terrible ordeal for you all!

October 15th, 2007, 09:38 AM
I am so happy she is getting better.

October 16th, 2007, 03:02 AM
So happy to hear your little doggy is improving so much and fingers crossed this continues, give her a cuddle and kiss from me.

March 14th, 2009, 08:16 PM
I too have a Chihuahua who's suffered a head injury. This only happened yesterday, apparently he fell head first from the sofa onto the hard tiles. When my daughter screamed I came running to find him dragging his back legs looking half dead, like he'd been hit by a car! I immediately took him to the emergency vets who immediately did full body Xrays and response tests, only to discover he has severe concussion. The blow went to the right side of his head, causing him to bring his head as far right as he can and unable to walk - apparently temporary paralyzing. He gave him an anti inflammatory jab and some pain relief. I was able to take him home as long as I kept him refined in a small cage, warm, etc. Last night was so hard, to see my little baby go from the happiest little chappy, to absolutely miserable, looking like he's on the verge of passing away! Today he's takin his first sips of water and when a friend came to visit he did a quiet excited little bark and sat up wagging his tail (still looking extremely fragile). I'm hoping that he is going to recover from all this. This site is the only site I could find on Chihuahua head trauma. I know the forum is a couple of years old, but it was lovely seeing everyone's response - And it's given me hope that he's going to come out of this to his happy little self again. Am interested to know if your Libby is 100% back to her normal self again.

Thank you :)
Nacho's Mummy.