Head pressing is something that many pet owners haven’t even heard much about, so it is safe to say they don’t really know the severity of it either. If your pet is taking part in this behavior, it is something that you need to address with your veterinarian right away. Awareness is of the utmost importance when it comes to this behavior.
When your pet is head pressing, you may actually not know what it means or why they are doing it. At first, it may actually look like they are just acting silly and trying to get your attention, or either just being playful. This isn’t the case at all, and that it is why you need to be able to recognize this distinctive behavior. To really have a clear understanding, it is important for you to understand the potential causes of this behavior.
Reasons for Head Pressing
Here are a few of the common conditions that may be indicated by head pressing:
- tumors in the cranial cavity
- toxins, like lead, asbestos, etc.
- metabolic disorders
- head trauma
- prosencephalon disease of the brain
These are all pretty serious illnesses, which is why it is so very important for you to get your dog to the vet if you see them pressing their head. A majority of these ailments cause neurological issues. Head pressing, however, is typically just a symptom. There are other symptoms to look out for as well. These include:
- anxious, aimless pacing
- visual impairments
- irregular reflex
- walking around in circles
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these signs and symptoms. You don’t want to try to give your pet a diagnosis on your own, so you will need a veterinarian to take a look at your pup. Remember to jot down all of the signs and symptoms so that they will be able to do accurate testing to make sure that your dog is okay. They will be able to rule out these serious conditions, and others, with some tests.
Is Head Pressing Itself Dangerous?
One question that we see a lot of pet owners asking is whether or not head pressing is dangerous in and of itself. The truth is, it isn’t the behavior itself that poses a threat. It is actually not something that will cause them physical damage. Instead, it is what the behavior indicates that you need to be wary of. Cat owners, you aren’t out of the woods either. Studies show that cats that suffer from serious ailments such as these also take part in head pressing, but with cats it may be harder to recognize because they often push their head up onto things to mark their territory or show love and affection.