Dogs are a lot like us. Many of the conditions that affect people can also affect dogs. Your dog can get a headache just like any other family member. In many cases, dog headaches are even caused by the same things that cause headaches in people.
If your pet parent senses tell you that your dog might have a headache, here’s what you should do. Spotting the potential cause of a headache can help you get your dog feeling better and prevent headaches in the future.
What Causes Headaches in Dogs?
Anything that affects the blood vessels in your dog’s head or face can cause a headache. It’s rarely a sign that something is amiss with your dog’s brain. In most cases, headaches have a cause that’s easy to remedy with proper veterinary care or changing your dog’s routine.
Dental Health Issues
When was the last time you brushed your dog’s teeth? Most pet parents don’t know they need to brush regularly. Your dog’s teeth are just as important as your teeth.
Dogs use their mouths for eating, grooming themselves, and playing. They’re constantly introducing all kinds of bacteria into their mouth, where the bacteria can grow, thrive, and replicate if left to do so.
You should be brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day. If you don’t, they will likely develop cavities, oral infections, and dental abscesses. These conditions can be dangerous or even fatal if they aren’t addressed quickly. An infected tooth can cause infection throughout your dog’s entire body.
Headache and mouth pain are usually the first indicators that something’s up with your dog’s dental health. Get to the vet and have your dog’s teeth and gums checked out.
Follow the vet’s instructions if your dog needs dental surgery or antibiotics. Most importantly, start brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.
Sinus infections and nasal congestion cause pressure, inflammation, and swelling within your dog’s sinuses, causing a sinus headache. This type of congestion can sometimes happen when your dog is allergic to something. It can also occur if your dog has an infection, either with a virus or a bacteria.
Since sinus issues often impact your dog’s ability to breathe, it’s essential to see the vet. You shouldn’t wait it out to see if the issues go away on their own.
If it’s an upper respiratory infection, it’s important to act quickly. Upper respiratory infections can be contagious to other dogs in your home. If left untreated, they can progress to pneumonia. Your dog may need antibiotics right away.
Ear infections are common in many dog breeds, with basset hounds, golden retrievers, and beagles among the most susceptible. Many things can cause an ear infection.
Bacteria or yeast can overgrow in your dog’s ear. Tumors, mites, injuries, and objects lodged in your dog’s ear can also cause ear infections.
If you have a breed more likely to develop an ear infection, it’s extremely important to check and groom your dog’s ears regularly. If you think your dog has a headache, look in their ears for redness, swelling, discharge, mites, or excessive ear wax.
You’ll usually be able to tell if something is wrong and go to the vet after taking a quick peek.