A seizure is an unexpected and unforeseen occurrence of abnormal brain function that usually involves loss of control. Your dog getting a seizure is the last thing you would want to imagine. It is scary, and you feel incapable of helping the pet. It makes you feel scared about the dog’s safety. Generally, seizures are not life-threatening, but they may indicate that some part of the brain is not functioning at its optimum. You should always get the pet examined to rule out any serious concerns.
Symptoms Of Seizures
- Running in circles
- Anxious or restless
- Eyes appear disoriented
- Fall on the floor suddenly
- Muscles become stiff
- Fainting or loses consciousness
- Sudden Biting
- Uncontrolled Urination
- Continuous staring
The period where these symptoms erupt is called the pre-ictal phase. The seizure may result in small or full-body convulsions that may last up to a few minutes.
Types Of Seizures
- Grand mal seizures: These are generally full-body seizures. The common symptoms will include sudden falling, stiffness in the body, shaking, excess salivation, uncontrolled urination, growling, etc.
- Focal seizures: These seizures are not very serious. They involve just a part of the dog’s body and generally look like a jerk or spasm in the muscles.
- Psychomotor seizures: These seizures involve strange behavior that may carry on for a few minutes. The dog may start staring continuously or just run around in circles for a few minutes.
- Cluster seizures: These seizures are the scary ones. They repeat a lot of times in a day.
Why Do Dogs Have Seizures?
Seizures are not just due to some brain anomaly, and they may have several other causes. Seizures may occur anytime, irrespective of the activity your pet is involved in.
- Seizure due to allergy
If the pet is prone to environmental allergy, then seizures can be a common outcome. An allergy-free environment helps to prevent seizures. You must observe and find the trigger points and consult the vet accordingly.
- Medical Reasons
Bacterial and viral infections are also major trigger points for seizures. Antibiotic or antiviral medicine can relieve the dog to a great extent. Idiopathic epilepsy is a very common cause of seizures. It is the time when brain activity shifts from one activity to another. For example, when the pet wakes up from sleep, it is a shift in brain activity. A brain tumor may also result in seizures.
Treatment And Prevention
There are a lot of ways to calm your pet and help him in mid-seizures. Here is what you can do:
- Stay calm: You need to stay calm and comforting as your pet does not know what he is going through. They will get anxious and agitated, so do not try to get hold of them. It can injure the pet as well as can get harmful for you too.
- Make space: Make the surroundings as safe as possible for the dog. There must be silence and try to keep the pet away from stairs, sharp objects, and other dangerous objects.
- Make a video: If possible, try and film the seizure so that it is convenient for you to explain what exactly happened. It will be easy for your vet to see and decide the further course of action.
- Sit near your pet: Just sit near your pet so that he feels comfortable. Be careful that the pet may suddenly bite in fear or pain, but your presence can be a comforting factor. Avoid petting the dog so that he does not bite you.
- Time the seizure attacks: Ensure to keep an eye on how long the seizure lasted. Also, take a note if it repeats anytime in the day. It will be easy for you to detail it out when you meet the vet. Generally, if the seizure lasts for less than two minutes, it is not a serious issue.
- Comforting environment: You must try and make the environment around the pet comforting. You must not make a lot of noise, play soothing music and allow the dog to become comfortable.
- Check on the body temperature: The body temperature may rise due to seizures. You need to cool the place or place a cool cloth on the feet to lower the temperature.
- Let the pet rest: The seizure may leave the dog tired. Let the pet get some rest and sleep comfortably.
When To Call The Vet?
If your dog has experienced a seizure for the first time or if the seizure duration is long, you must call the vet immediately. You may contact 911 to seek assistance. The vet is the best person to judge the condition and decide on the medications. Speak about the side effects of the medicines before you start giving them to your pet. Do not skip the dose even if the seizures subsides. Seeking the vet’s help will prevent brain damage. The medication may involve some blood tests, CT scans, or an MRI. Never hide any fact from the vet. Clear communication will help in a better treatment.
With proper supervision and attention, your pet will live a happy and healthy life. Do not panic if the pet faces a seizure. Your alertness will help them come out of the situation. Remember; do not hesitate to call your vet.