People who have a special animal in their lives will move heaven and earth to protect their babies.
That’s why every single pet parent needs to know about a dangerous symptom called head-pressing.
Animals communicate in all sorts of ways, from trailing you to the bathroom as a way of saying “I love you” to loudly barking when demanding more food.
But if you see your pet pressing his or her head against a wall or another hard surface, you should know that it’s a clear sign something is very very wrong. That’s when you should get medical attention straight away.
The pressing is not the lovable gesture dogs and cats make when they want a snuggle. Rather, it’s a very precise repetitive motion that means it’s time to take them straight to the vet’s office.
Scroll through below to learn more about this scary symptom and how you can protect your pet.
What Is Head Pressing?
According to Pet MD, head pressing is “a condition characterized by the compulsive act of pressing the head against a wall or other object for no apparent reason.”
It’s a repetitive motion that your pet might perform over and over again, reflexively, like scratching an itch or sneezing.
The motion itself isn’t dangerous, but it indicates that a disease or an injury has damaged the nervous system.
Cause #1: Salt Imbalance
Dogs might not sprinkle salt and pepper on their food like we do, but they still need salt in their diets.
With too much of too little sodium, water can’t move effectively through the body. This will means that your dog could become dangerously dehydrated.
Salt imbalances can lead to swelling in the brain and seizures. This can happen as a result of kidney disease, or after a bad bout of diarrhea.
Cause #2: Tumor
Some brain tumors are cancerous and some are benign, but even benign tumors can cause lots of unpleasant symptoms.
That’s because a growing tumor can press against various parts of the brain, affecting how those areas function.
When a tumor expands so that it damages the nervous system, your pet might express the discomfort with head pressing.
Cause #3: Rabies
If you notice head-pressing in your pet, it’s urgent that you look carefully for symptoms of rabies.
These include foaming at the mouth, fear of water, compulsive behavior, and eating foreign objects.
Rabies is almost always fatal in dogs, cats, and humans, and can be passed easily with a bite. This is considered a medical emergency.