A dog can have a seizure without any official warning. The dog may be doing a normal activity and the only sign will be that the dog’s eyes start rolling around in every direction or closing followed by a fall. The dog will probably start kicking in a running or swimming type motion while lying on the ground. Seizures could indicate that a dog may be epileptic also known as having a seizure disorder. This happens during sudden bursts of uncontrolled electrical activity in the dog’s brain. This can last for as little as a few seconds or even for several minutes at a time.
Possible Causes of a Dog’s Seizures:
-Consumption of Poison
-Disease of the Liver
-Low Blood Sugar
-High Blood Sugar
-Disease of the Kidney
Possible Symptoms of a Dog’s Seizures
Sometimes dogs may uncontrollably have a bowel movement or urinate on themselves during a seizure. The legs will probably do a paddling or running motion while the dog is lying on the ground.
The following are symptoms of seizures:
-Twitching of the Muscles
-Loss of Consciousness
-Chewing on the Tongue
-Foaming at the Mouth
-Having a Dazed Look
After a seizure the dog will be unstable, confused, and may temporarily have loss of their vision. Walking in circles and bumping into things is also common for a dog to do after seizures. The dog may try to hide but it’s important to look at the dog carefully as he may be bleeding from biting himself and or having other possible injuries that may have occurred during the seizure.
Different Types of a Dog’s Seizures:
General Seizure- These seizures are also known as grand mal seizures. Convulsing and loss of consciousness happens during these seizures. This has a lot to do with the electrical brain activity which can last a few seconds or even several minutes.
Focal Seizure- Instead of the entire brain only a part of the brain experiences electrical activity during this seizure. These may only affect part of the body as opposed to the dog’s entire body.
Note: General seizures may form from a focal seizure.
Psychomotor Seizure- This type of seizure may only last a couple of minutes in which strange behaviour occurs. A dog may seem delusional by attacking nothing in thin air or even chasing nothing in thin air. It is hard to determine whether there is a seizure in play or if the dog is just acting with strange behaviour. One indication is the behaviour never changes with each of these seizures.
Idiopathic Epilepsy- These seizures have unknown causes. The dog ages that are affected by these seizures can vary between the ages of 6 months old or 6 years old. Any dog may have these seizures but the more prone breeds are normally; Australian Shepard, Border Collie, Beagle, Labrador Retriever, Collies, German Shepard, and Belgian Tervuren
How to React to a Seizure in a Dog
-Try not to panic. Stay calm. The dog should be moved from any dangerous objects around it.
-Do not go near the dog’s mouth as he can bite you without meaning to.
-Do not put anything in the dog’s mouth the dog’s teeth may chip (choking on the tongue is impossible)
-Try to time it
-After a few minutes put a fan on the dog and wet the paws as the risk of overheating will be high at this point
-Comfort your dog by petting and talking throughout the seizure
-If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or so it is important to take the dog to a veterinarian office. The vet may give the dog Valium through an IV. This will stop the seizure which will lower the risk of a rise in body temperature and the possibility of brain damage.
What May Happen at the Veterinarian’s Office?
To discover the cause for the seizure there will be an exam in which lab work will be conducted. Medicine that may be prescribed could be Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide. Liver damage can be caused by taking too much of the Phenobarbital. If this is prescribed, blood tests should be taking place about every 6 months or so to monitor the health and well-being of the dog. If medicine is a permanent treatment plan for the remainder of the dog’s life Potassium Bromide may be best as it does not go through the liver.