Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2010;40:65-79.
Cerebrovascular disease is defined as any abnormality of the brain resulting from a pathologic process affecting its blood supply. Stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is the most common clinical manifestation of cerebrovascular disease, and can be broadly divided into ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke results from occlusion of a cerebral blood vessel by a thrombus or embolism, depriving the brain of oxygen and glucose, whereas hemorrhagic stroke results from rupture of a blood vessel wall within the brain parenchyma or subarachnoid space. Previously considered uncommon, CVA is being recognized with greater frequency in veterinary medicine since magnetic resonance imaging has become more readily available. Once the diagnosis of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke is confirmed, potential underlying causes should be sought after and treated accordingly.