Canine Seizures and How to Deal With Them

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A dog having a seizure will often fall over, chomp teeth, salivate, or drool and whine, paddle with their feet, or even lose control of their bladders and bowels. Even the eyes become dilated and unresponsive.

It's helpful to understand what causes seizures, what you can do about it, and how your vet can help.

What causes seizures?

Epilepsy is one cause of seizures. It's genetic in certain breeds, including Beagles, Shepherds, Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, St. Bernards, and Springer Spaniels. Epilepsy is described as recurring seizures from an electrical "short circuit" in the brain. The cause is unknown.

There is no specific test for epilepsy in dogs. This condition is diagnosed by ruling out other causes of seizures. In general, lab tests and x-rays will be normal. Sometimes a spinal tap and MRI will be performed, and these may also be normal.

Other causes of seizures include liver and kidney disease, tumours, poisoning, and low blood sugar.

What to do while your pet is having a seizure?

  • Stay calm and use a reassuring, quiet voice to comfort your dog. 
  • Move any furniture or other objects on which your pet could hurt himself. 
  • Slide something soft under your pet's head, but be sure to keep your hands and face away from his head so that you don't risk a possible bite.

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