Head Pressing

The compulsive act of a pet pressing the head against objects for no apparent reason, like against a wall. A cat or dog can have the urge to press the head against objects for different reasons, such as a tumor, an infection in the nervous system, or fungal infections. It is advised to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause.

Head Pressing

How to Recognize

Head pressing is the compulsive act of a pet pressing his or her head against objects for no apparent reason; most often against a wall. Head pressing is an indication of some type of problem with the nervous system of your pet.

Causes

A cat or dog can have the urge to press the head against objects for different reasons, such as a tumor, an infection in the nervous system, or fungal infections. For example, head pressing is a sign of a serious disease known as prosencephalon disease. Other symptoms of this disease include seizures, visual problems and pacing.

Diagnosis

Head pressing is most associated with prosencephalon disease which involves the forebrain and thalamus of the brain. Compulsive pacing, visual problems, changes in behavior and seizures are often associated with this disease. These symptoms may also lead to lesions. Cuts or sores due to excessive pacing or injuries to the head are associated with this disease. The veterinarian is likely to closely examine the retina to determine if there are any irregularities with the brain and determine the cause of head pressing in your pet. The veterinarian will also test for high blood pressure and request an MRI and/or CT. A urine analysis will also be conducted in order to look at blood and lead levels.

Treatments

The treatment of head pressing is dependent upon the cause associated with the behavior. If severe, the veterinarian will recommend hospitalization and immediate treatment of the disease or cause. Regardless of the cause, the veterinarian will recommend follow-up visits for neurological examinations.

Head Pressing Affects

  • Dogs
  • Cats

Similar Symptoms

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