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Do Dogs Get Headaches? – Watch Out These Symptoms

Do Dogs Get Headaches
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No, you are not a weirdo. Asking the question, do dogs get headaches? Shows how much you love your pet and how adorable you are. There are a lot of speculations going on the internet about whether or not our pets feel headaches.

When we feel a headache, we can tell someone, get an appointment with a doctor, run some tests and can reach the solution. However, it is not the case with our dogs. As they lack the luxury of taking, in no way we can ask our dog whether his head hurts.

May our dogs know how to express their affection, but when it comes to expressing the pain, they seem very stoic. They do not show signs of pain until it becomes severe and very noticeable. Unfortunately, even our more advanced medical world has no tests that can confirm whether a dog suffers from migraines.

As a rule of thumb, any creature that lives on earth, with a head and pain receptors is more likely to suffer from all sorts of pain.Apparently, dogs can feel headaches, sinus headaches, migraines and all other types of headaches what we human can feel.So tell me now can dogs get headaches.

So how would you identify when your lovable companions suffer from headaches? There is a long list of symptoms which are repeatedly observed by the dog owners and veterinarians at the so-called dog’s headache times. Note all these and Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior so you can treat and relieve the pain of your pet animal on time.

The Case Study On Dog Migraines

Sometimes we tend to underestimate the severity of pain our pets go through, assuming if they are not howling in pain, they are ok. It’s a wrong conception. Our affectionate dogs get headaches and so the pain too. The only thing is, they do not complain, but they show variety of other symptoms like tearing and howling, prefer to stay alone,hyper-reactive to touch, hiding in the dark etc.

Focusing the dog’s pain behavior, two veterinarians who are working at the Royal Veterinary College had published a case study in the “Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine“. Through their study, they showed evidence to the occurrence of migraines in our pet animals too.

Here is a summarization

Cocker Spaniel, a five-year-old neutered female dog, was brought to the hospital with the complaints of vocalizations and fear behavior. These symptoms were reported to last between 2 to 4 hours, and in the worst cases, it continued up to 3 days. Besides to the episodes of vocalizations, dog owner also observed the upnormal behaviors like hiding, sound sensitivity, and hypersalivation.

Physical examinations were performed on the dog.The Doctors treated her with a drug called
“topiramate.” It is a drug, widely used in treating the human headaches.

“After the initiation of this drug, the episodes became shorter. With dosage adjustments, vocalization during the episodes ceased, she was eager to exercise, and showed no light or sound sensitivity”, They say.

Do Dogs Get Headaches? – Watch Out These Symptoms

When a dog suffers from a headache, depending on the severity of its pain, it might show a variety of weird behaviors. Since your best companion does not know to communicate its pain as we do, as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to distinguish between its normal and up normal behaviors. When you suspect, something goes wrong, and it lasts more than few days, fix up an appointment with a vet.

The following symptoms could indicate that your beloved companion suffers from either a mild or a severe headache.

1.Sensitivity To Light And/or Sound

If the headache of a dog makes him sensitive to light or sound, your dog will prefer to hide in a dark and quiet place like a closet.

Seeing the sunlight with half eye closed (squinting) or acting like exposure to the light hurts his eyes badly.

Your dog may prefer to stay away from loud noises like television, home theater and even to the shouting of children. (Dogs are afraid of the high-frequency crackers, and this behavior is completely normal).

2.Tearing And Vocalization

Whining & whimpering without any apparent reason are the signs that tell you something goes wrong with him. This behavior is considered as the closest thing to speaking. However, in this case, finding the reason whether he feels pain from his head or some other part will become a challenging one because dogs will vocalize for almost all sort of pain. If your dog does not let you touch his neck or head, it might be an indicator that he is suffering from head throb.

3.Preferring To Stay Alone

Dogs are playful animals who enjoy the company of people no matter what they do. He will show his interest in playing and other physical activities.

If your loving pet suddenly shows a lack of interest in playing and wants to stay alone, it is a sign that he is going through a headache.

4.Hyper Reactive To Touch

As a pet owner, you must have noticed how much your pet enjoys the sense of your touch.

If he does not want you to touch or stroke his head, it may be a sign that tells you he is going throw a migraine.

He may even show a defensive behavior upon your approach.

5.Hitting Against Some Object Or Furniture

Sometimes your dog may start to rub his head forcefully onto furniture or any other object with the hope of relieving his pain.


Sometimes dogs will show an excessive panting at the time of pain. This symptom is quite a tricky one to spot because panting is completely normal in all dogs. However, watch out, if he is panting at unusual times like the middle of the night, take it seriously and pay attention.

7.Loss of Appetite or Refuses To Eat

Would you eat when something hurts? This same goes with a dog too. When a dog is in pain due to a headache or other illness, he will be less likely to eat. Sometimes he will forget the appetite too.

8.Temperament & Behavior

Just like humans, dog will seem bad tempered when he is in extreme pain or sick. Your affectionate dog may even turn aggressive and try to bite you. On the other hand, some dogs will seem needier and seek attention from its loving people than usual.

9.Other Physical Signs To Consider

  • Continues tearing
  • Fatigue
  • Furrowed brows
  • Nasal congestion or discharge
  • Eye Redness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trembling
  • Worried look for no reason
  • Dull expression
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Frequent blinking

Apart from headaches, most of these symptoms can point the illnesses like dog allergies, high blood pressure, eye problems, possible spinal or neck strain or dehydration.

You may not want to fix an appointment to a vet when your dog shows these signs for just a few hours which will go on its own. However, if these symptoms occur on a regular basis, it may be an indication of some other serious health problems.

Get to know your dog better. Never ignore the signs of your best friend showing his passion on heading to the dark closets or wanting a cover from play or sunshine.

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1 Comment

  1. Marlene September 28, 2015

    My dog Sully has allergy to summer and Falls pollen. At these times he hides under the bed. I believe he suffers from headaches.


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