The term 'stroke' when used in relation to dogs generally refers to a vascular accident (sometimes cerebrovascular accident or CVA) that has occurred within the body and has affected the brain.
For many years vets thought that strokes in dogs were rare, but recent advances in veterinary medicine have changed this perspective and we are now beginning to learn how common canine strokes really are.
The word 'stroke' is sometimes misused to apply to conditions that are not CVAs and this can cause confusion for pet owners. Understanding what a stroke is and what it is not, and how it affects dogs, helps us to know how to treat our beloved pets and improve their chances of survival.
Research is still ongoing to understand what causes CVAs and how to best treat them in dogs. There is still a lot to learn about this condition, but the good news is a CVA is not the end of the world for your dog and many recover well from them.