A seizure is an abnormal and uncontrolled burst of electrical activity in the brain. It causes a range of physical and behavioral changes, which can vary in severity and duration. Seizures can affect dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes, and they may be caused by various underlying health conditions. Witnessing your beloved furry friend have a seizure is something most of us aren’t quite prepared for. While it can be a terrifying experience, with knowledge and proper care, you can help them through these episodes.
Causes of Dog Seizures
Epilepsy: Epilepsy is one of the most common causes of seizures in dogs. Epilepsy is defined as 2 or more seizures, at least 24 hours apart, resulting from a nontoxic, nonmetabolic cause. It is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures without an identifiable underlying cause. While the exact reason behind epilepsy remains unclear, certain breeds have a higher predisposition to the condition.
Brain tumors: Tumors in the brain can disrupt normal brain function and trigger seizures. The severity and frequency of seizures depend on the size and location of the tumor. If you suspect a brain tumor, immediate veterinary attention is essential.
Infections: Infections such as canine distemper, encephalitis, or meningitis can lead to seizures in dogs. These infections can cause inflammation in the brain, resulting in abnormal electrical activity.
Toxicity: Ingesting certain toxic substances like chocolate, pesticides, or certain medications can cause seizures. It is crucial to keep all potential toxins out of your dog’s reach.
Metabolic disorders: Conditions like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver disease, kidney failure, or an imbalance of electrolytes can trigger seizures. Proper diagnosis and treatment of the underlying metabolic issue are necessary to manage seizures effectively. Most metabolic causes of seizure are not a form of epilepsy because the brain itself is normal and reacting to an external factor, which once eliminated, stops the seizure (todaysveterinarypractice.com).
Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs
Seizure symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include:
It’s important to note that some dogs may exhibit warning signs or a “pre-ictal” phase before a seizure, such as restlessness, pacing, or anxiety. These signs can provide a valuable opportunity to prepare and protect your dog during the seizure.
Caring for a Dog During and After a Seizure
During a seizure, it’s crucial to remain calm and focused. Here are some steps to take:
After the seizure:
Witnessing your dog experience a seizure can be a distressing experience, but remember that you are not alone. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and providing a safe environment during and after a seizure, you can provide the best possible care for your beloved canine friend. Remember, always consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Beds-N-Biscuits has years of experience caring for dogs that require daily seizure medications. For complete peace of mind during your next trip without your pet, contact our reservation specialist at 303-940-9188 so we can learn more about your pet today.