What do you do if your Dog is having a Seizure?
5 minutes read
So, ever heard of seizures? They sound terrible and for a person that undergoes them, they aren’t a joy either. It might seem like an improbable development but a dog can have seizures as well. You might see that your usually happy and charming four-legged pal appears to be unsteady and confused at times. After that, it drops down on the floor. Now, the dog might not be aware of what is happening to it and an onlooker will feel as if the dog is treading water. But your dog is having a seizure.
Why does this happen and what can be done about it?
If these are the questions that are running through your mind, then worry not. We are here to help you in this regard so go on and keep reading to get all the answers.
What can trigger a Seizure in Dogs?
Several reasons can cause seizures in dogs. The most common form of epilepsy in dogs is called Idiopathic Epilepsy. The latter is a disorder that is usually inherited but the reasons behind its formation and actual transference are shrouded in mystery. Seizures mostly originate at the times when brain activity is changing in dogs. These include instances of high excitement, feeding, drowsiness, awakening, etc. there have been cases where the affected dog appeared normal between seizures.
There are other reasons as well and for your information and convenience, these reasons have been listed as follows:
- A dog can develop seizures if it eats poison or any toxic material
- Dogs with liver disease can also get seizures
- Dogs with high or low blood sugar levels can have seizures
- Electrolyte problems in dogs are also associated with the manifestation
- Anemia in dogs also causes seizures
- If your dog receives an injury to the head then this can also lead to seizures
- Encephalitis is another reason for seizures in dogs
- Strokes and seizures go hand in hand when it comes to dogs
- Seizures can also be a symptom of brain cancer in dogs
What Happens After a Dog has a Seizure?
Seizures don’t usually occur frequently in dogs but if your pup experiences them often then perhaps it has a seizure disorder. You can also call it epilepsy as well. Uncontrolled and extraordinary bursts of electrical activity in the dog’s brain bring about what we call seizures. They affect how the dog behaves or appears. The appearance of a seizure in dogs can range from a simple twitch to violent and involuntary shaking. The latter can last for under to several minutes in dogs. A dog might seem dazed and confused before it starts having a seizure. It might also stare off into space before the onset of a seizure. Seizures in dogs entail different symptoms. These include jerking, stiffening, twitching of muscles, unconsciousness, drooling, chewing of the tongue, foaming at the mouth, collapsing, etc. The dog usually falls onto its side and make paddling movements with their legs. It is also possible for a dog to pee or poop while it’s having a seizure. Your dog might bump into things, drool, or become blind temporarily as well.
Now, don’t be terrified at the ostensibly violent and extreme appearance of the seizure. That is because while it might seem painful, a seizure in dogs is anything but. Your dog is feeling dazed and confused or possibly panicking but it isn’t in any pain. Also, dogs don’t swallow their tongues either so don’t you go and put your finger or an object in its mouth. Chances are that you will end up hurting it or getting your hand bitten this way. The dog will just lie there on the ground and will be fine as long as you soothe it and sit by its side.
Another misconception that some people have is that a single seizure can greatly harm your dog. This isn’t true since a single seizure rarely causes profound harm to a dog. But, if a dog were to have many seizures in a short period, something that experts call cluster seizures, then it can be harmful. Also, if the seizure lasts for more than several minutes, then it can be dangerous since the dog’s body temperature will begin to rise. This can bring about hyperthermia and it will, in turn, cause some other problems in your dog.
What do you do if your Dog is having a Seizure?
The first thing that you need to do under such circumstances is not panic and stay calm. This will ensure that you are in the right state of mind for helping your dog. Now, remove anything like furniture, or anything that might hurt your dog away from it. Also, if it is near the stairs while having a seizure then you best slide it away from them.
Second, keep away from your dog’s mouth and head. That is because it might bite you in its confused state and you should also refrain from putting anything in its mouth. Try to keep a record of the length of the seizure as well.
Your dog might start to overheat if the seizure lasts for more than a few minutes. Under these conditions, turn on the fan or the air-conditioner. This will keep your dog’s temperature lowered and you should also apply cold water to its paws for a more efficient cooling down method.
Next, avoid touching your dog as well as it might bite you. You should try to talk to it softly and encouragingly to reassure it. You should immediately call on your vet once the seizure elapses. But remember, waste no time in taking your dog to the vet if the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes or if it remains unconscious for too long. That is because the longer a seizure persists, the higher the temperature of the dog’s body rises. This can lead to problems in breathing for the dog and this, in turn, can cause damage to the brain. Veterinarians mostly use valium for treating seizures in dogs.