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Dog Having Seizure? You Need to Know This!


Decorative Curiosities Staff
Updated: Jun 6, 2024

Sometimes, the cerebral cortex of the dogs’ brain starts functioning abnormally. Dogs have to face seizures this time. You might have seen dogs behaving abnormally. The cerebral cortex or any other dysfunction in their anatomy is responsible for that. Even a few seconds lasting seizure is also damn serious for your dog. Seizing dogs must be taken to a veterinarian for treatment and evaluation. Signs of seizures are not easily noticeable in dogs. Some seizures even do not have any sign like body spasm or rigidity. So you have to be very careful about dog’s seizures.

01.How to Know about It
01.How to Know about It
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Dogs generally get three types of seizures. Those are :

  1. Grand Mal

    • Loss of consciousness.
    • Falling over to a single side.
    • Incontinence or drooling.
    • Padding, limb jerking, chewing motions of the jaws.
  2. Focal or Partial Seizure

    • Tic-like facial movements.
    • Possible loss of consciousness.
    • Limb jerking.
  3. Complex Partial Seizure

    • Standing or sitting still.
    • Staring into space.
    • Aggression.
    • Fly biting or hallucinatory behaviors.

Complex partial seizures are the most hard ones to recognize. They do not show you signs like limb jerking or loss of consciousness. Owners often confuse the signs with neurological problems.

02.Stages of Dog Seizures
02.Stages of Dog Seizures
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Dog seizures have three phases:

  1. Aura phase

Dogs might become nervous, restless, and keep trying to find a hiding place. They might also whine, salivate, or shake. This can last from a few seconds to a couple of hours.

  1. Ictal phase

Dogs have mild shakes in this phase. This can last from a few seconds to 10 minutes. They can stare into space or keep licking their lips, or get unconscious. They might defecate and urinate uncontrollably depending on the severity of the seizure.

  1. Post-ictal phase

The dog will seem confused, disoriented, and restless after the seizing has stopped. A few dogs can continue drooling, pace, and might suffer temporary vision issues. It can last for a few hours. Severity of the seizure does not control the duration of this phase.

03.Causing Blood Factors
03.Causing Blood Factors
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Affected by abnormality, a dog’s bloodstream can directly impact its brain functions. Insufficient or excessive glucose, chloride, and potassium can harm the dog’s brain’s cell activities. A few breeds like Chihuahuas are vulnerable to seizing. They have immature bodies and get trouble to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Lactating female dogs can get seizures too. Often the blood calcium goes too low during nursing the puppies. This happens often during the first month of the puppies.

04.Disorders Causing Seizures
04.Disorders Causing Seizures
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Dog’s seizures happen due to an intracranial problem. They treat the dog according to the structural or functional brain changes causing the seizure. The intracranial disorders are —

  • Rabies, distemper, or other protozoal, fungal, or bacterial infections.
  • Brain trauma
  • Brain tumor
  • Lack of blood flow into the brain
  • Hydrocephalus and a few other congenital diseases

Idiopathic epilepsy is a kind of intracranial disorder too. It produces recurring seizures. Idiopathic stands for a disorder with an unknown cause.

05.Can Heat Stroke Trigger Seizure?
05.Can Heat Stroke Trigger Seizure?
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Yes. severely overheated dogs can have seizures. It happens because their brain stops receiving blood and oxygen. It happens because their body system shuts down due to overheating.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs—

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Intense panting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling or foaming in the mouth
  • Shock, collapse, coma

You have to move your dog to a cooler place and reduce its body heat. But do not put your dog into cold water or toss buckets. This can cause sudden shock and cardiac arrest.

06.Can Dogs Have Epilepsy?
06.Can Dogs Have Epilepsy?
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Even dogs can have epilepsy like humans. But there is good news. Treatments are there for canine epilepsy. It helps in controlling the frequent seizures. Canine epilepsy is a genetic disorder most of the time. Brain tissues and tumors damaged by traumatic injuries can also trigger epilepsy. Poodles, German Shepherds, Cocker spaniels, beagles, and golden retrievers can get genetic canine epilepsy. Drugs decreasing brain cells activity to prevent misfiring among cells and anticonvulsants are the treatment for canine epilepsy.

07.How Can You Diagnose Canine Epilepsy?
07.How Can You Diagnose Canine Epilepsy?
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This could be a genetic or congenital abnormality if your dog is less than 15 months old and having epileptic attacks. You need to go to a veterinarian expert for the diagnosis to be sure. They will tell you whether it is genetic or idiopathic in nature. They will test the blood count, brain imaging scan, and urinalysis. They can test the cerebral spinal fluid too. But if your dog is more than 5 years old, the docs will test for intracranial causes. Tumors, parasitic diseases, liver diseases, low blood sugar, or kidney diseases can trigger epileptic attacks.

08.What You Should Do If Your Dog Starts Getting Seizures?
08.What You Should Do If Your Dog Starts Getting Seizures?
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Do not move your dog in these cases. Only move them if there is a possibility of getting hurt. Hold its hind legs to pull it out from danger. Comfort your dog by gently rubbing its neck or head. Avoid placing your hands near its mouth. It could bite your hand accidentally. When the attack stops, take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Put it in a carrier or pet bed before taking it to the doc. It is precautionary because it can seize again.

09.Does Your Dog Get Its Normal Life Back?
09.Does Your Dog Get Its Normal Life Back?
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It depends on the frequency and severity of the seizures. It depends on the dog’s lifestyle too. Your dog can get the normal life back if the treatment becomes successful. You should visit the veterinarian every six months with your dog if it has a seizure-attack history. They will test its brain for the abnormality and will tell you the necessary things.

10.Do You Have To Give Your Dog Special Food?
10.Do You Have To Give Your Dog Special Food?
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You should take care of your dog’s diet. Canine seizures are mostly the result of either genetic problems or bad food habits. You should feed it with premium ingredients and good protein sources. Do not give it wet or dry food with BHT, BHA, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives. They should get a diet enriched with essential fatty acids. It will help their brain to recover fast.