Seizures In Canines

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Seizures in dogs occur when the electricity in the brain is abnormal. Some dog breeds, such as the Dachshund, have an increased chance of inheriting the condition. However, seizure disorders can also be caused by other problems, including underlying health conditions, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, poison, and toxic substances. Veterinarians categorize seizures in dogs into three types:

1. Partial

A partial seizure is when only a section of the brain is affected. In most cases, this type of seizure only affects part of the body, but it can turn into a grand mal seizure.

2. Grand Mal

Dogs that experience grand mal seizures will often faint and develop stiff legs. Although these seizures don’t usually last more than three minutes, it may take some time for the effects to completely wear off. When the seizure is over, dogs can have trouble with coordination and exhibit strange behavior.

3. Myoclonic Epilepsy

Myoclonic epilepsy causes the muscles in the face, neck, and hip area to move involuntarily.
Symptoms Associated with Seizures in Dogs

  • Fainting
  • Rigidness
  • Trouble with balance
  • Incontinence
  • Salivating
  • Unusual body movement
  • Treatment Options

Seizures in canines are managed with prescription medication, such as potassium bromide, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and valium. If an underlying problem (snake bite, food poisoning, ingestion of rat bait, etc.) causes the seizure, medication can be given temporarily until the issue is resolved.

Dealing with a Seizing Dog

You need to be very cautious when dealing with a seizing canine, as the seizures can trigger unusual behavior, such as aggression. The first thing that you should do if your dog has a seizure is clear the area so that he doesn’t hurt himself. You can also put a blanket on the floor for some cushion. If your dog has had seizures in the past, but it has been longer than 5 minutes, call your veterinarian right away and follow their instructions.

If your dog has never experienced a seizure, safely transport him to the nearest veterinary hospital ASAP. Make sure to leave someone at home so that they can search for possible triggers. Things to look for include poisonous or venomous animals, toxic food (chocolate, gum, avocado, etc.), and toxic substances, such as antifreeze or insecticide. If there is a possibility your dog ate a toxic substance, it’s important to identify the ingredients in the product. This way, your veterinarian can provide the best treatment possible.

Watching your beloved friend experience a seizure can be a terrifying experience. But with the proper care and support, the condition can be managed in most cases and allow your dog to have a long and happy life.