Be Prepared to Deal With a Seizure in Your Dog
Watching a dog suffer through a seizure can be extremely worrying and traumatic for a dog owner. The helpless feeling that an owner suffers through in that moment can sometimes cause them to freeze, leaving them terrified, confused, and generally unsure about what they can do to help their pet during this trying situation.
This guide will help you identify the signs and symptoms of a seizure in your dog, and further, exactly what you should do if and when your dog suffers such an event.
What is A Seizure in A Canine?
In the most basic sense, a dog suffers a seizure when the brain experiences a sudden episode of abnormal activity. This causes the dog to lose control of her body until the abnormal activity in the brain ceases. The typical canine seizure produces anywhere from small localized spasms to full body convulsions.
What Causes Seizures in Dogs?
A dog can suffer a seizure for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the severity of the seizure, you should take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible because seizures can be a sign that something more serious might be wrong with your pet. While most seizures are short in duration, any seizure that lasts five minutes or longer is considered an emergency situation. Common causes of seizures in dogs can include:
- Malignant or benign brain tumor
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Thyroid disease or other systemic disorder
- Allergic reaction
- Abnormalities in the brain, either developmental or structural
Identifying Pre-Seizure Warning Signs
Not all dogs will experience warning signs before having a seizure, but many do. These signs occur during what is known as the “pre-ictal phase,” and this phase usually lasts for just a few minutes.
In most cases, a dog that is about to have a seizure will start acting strange. She may seem disoriented, off-balance, anxious, or restless. Noticing these signs will help you move your dog to a softer and more comfortable space before the seizure starts.
What to Do During the Seizure
The most important job you have when your dog has a seizure is to ensure she doesn’t injure herself during the event. For instance, you should block the stairways so she doesn’t accidentally stumble down them and remove any furniture or items away from her so she doesn’t bang into them. You can also help make her more comfortable by surrounding her with pillows. Once she is safe, all you can do is stand by until the seizure passes.
Important tip: Never put your hands near your dog’s face or mouth when she’s having a seizure as you could be bitten.
After-Seizure Care for Your Dog
After the seizure is over during what is known as the “post-ichtal phase,” your dog may appear confused and exhausted. Some dogs even lose their vision for a brief time. This phase can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. The most important thing you can do during this phase is to monitor your dog and give her plenty of love.
You should also schedule an appointment to see your veterinarian after your dog’s initial seizure. Not all seizures are a sign of a life-threatening condition, but they do indicate that there is something going on in the brain that needs to be checked. The veterinarian will perform a series of diagnostic tests to help identify the cause of your dog’s seizures, and depending on the cause, they will prescribe your pet the medication she needs to reduce her risk of future seizures.
If your vet determines that your dog’s seizures are being caused by a treatable medical condition, you can get any medications or supplements the vet prescribes for her for less at Diamondback Drugs. You can even receive a free quote for the medications so you know the cost before you have your scripts filled. Diamondback Drugs can help you save money on all of your dog’s medications.
Author: Giano Panzarella