Most pet owners probably don’t know this, but dogs can have seizures just like humans. Few things are worse than seeing your usually happy-go-lucky pooch suddenly flop to the ground and tread water that isn’t even there, but for some dogs, this is their reality. If your dog has them often, he may have a epilepsy or seizure disorder. Abnormal, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in your dog’s brain cause seizures, affecting how he looks and how he behaves. Seizures can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking and can last from less than a minute to several minutes. Some causes of seizures in dogs are preventable, but others are genetic or related to illness
What are the Causes of Epileptic Seizures in Dogs?
One of the most common preventable reasons for seizures in dogs is ingesting something poisonous. Obviously, the way to stop this from happening is to keep your dog away from harmful substances. Head injuries can also cause seizures in dogs, which is just another reason to try to avoid accidents of this nature.
Certain breeds and family lines of dogs are more likely to develop epileptic seizures than others. It is true for Belgian Tervuren, Shetland sheepdog, beagle, Labrador retriever, golden retriever, keeshond, or vizsla. Other breeds more prone to seizures include the Finnish spitz, Bernese mountain dog, Irish wolfhound, and English springer spaniel. Genetic epilepsy most often appears between 10 months and 3 years of age, but has been known to show up when dogs are as young as six months, or as old as five years. Male dogs are more likely to experience seizures than females.
Liver disease, kidney disease, anemia, encephalitis, strokes, brain cancer, blood pressure that’s too high (or too low), and electrolyte problems can all lead to dogs suffering seizures.
What Should I Do if My Dog Has a Seizure?
Try to stay calm. If your dog is near something that could hurt him, like a piece of furniture or the stairs, gently slide him away. If you can, time it. During a seizure the dog can could bite you, so stay away from the head or mouth. Don’t put anything in his mouth. Dogs cannot choke on their tongues. If the seizure lasts for more than a couple of minutes, your dog is at risk of overheating. Turn a fan on your dog and put cold water on his paws to cool him down. It’s also not uncommon for dogs to urinate or defecate during a seizure. Talk to your dog softly and gently touch him to assure him. Call your vet when the seizure ends.
McGrupps makes an all natural Seizure Support product to help reduce or stop the number of Seizures.