There are many diseases & many dog owners are not aware of it. The seizure is one of the most common neurological condition in dogs. This disease is scientifically known as “ictus” which is an interruption of regular brain function. When the seizures happen continuously then is called Epilepsy.
What causes seizures?
People, who are aware of this epilepsy often ask this question that what causes epilepsy? The answer is there are many possible problems (brain trauma, liver disease, brain tumors, kidney failure) that can cause seizures however Idiopathic epilepsy is one of the most common causes of seizures in dogs.
Sometime when the brain activities change the seizure can take action in your dog. Many dog owners reported that their dogs were very excited & suddenly started to show abnormal behavior.
What happens during the seizures?
Normally there are three stages of seizures
The pre-ictal phase: Some dogs who suffer from seizures are normally seen in showing abnormal behavior, such as the dog seems to be very nervous or trying to hide from everybody. This type of problem affects your dog for a few seconds & you may notice salivation in your dog.
The Ictal phase: It can turn out to be very severe & it normally lasts from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. If this affects your dog you may notice that the dog is being completely unconscious & changes in mental awareness. You may notice that your dog is falling over & moving his legs. This is terrible because when a dog goes through the full-blown seizure the dog may seem to be paralyzed & the head may be drawn backward. Normally this type seizure stops after five minutes however if you see that it hasn’t stopped then keep in mind that the dog is having the status epileptics & you must take immediate action to consult with the vet if you want to save your dog.
Postictal phase: It may be confusing but this type of seizure normally affects a dog when the seizure ends. You may notice your dog is having salivation, short time blindness or disorientation.
How dangerous the seizure is?
Most of the dogs become panic when going through the seizure. It’s true that during the time of seizure, the dog will seem to be terrible. Sometimes you may want to put your fingers into your dog’s mouth to help him, but keep in mind that it’s a very dangerous idea because you can get a terrible bite from your dog. When a dog suffers from seizures, he doesn’t see anybody.
Normally seizures are not very threatening but sometimes the cluster seizure (multiple seizures within a short time) can be very dangerous, also if the seizure continues to last more than a couple of minutes then it can turn out to be severed.
What is the status epilepticus?
The worst damage a seizure can cause to a dog is the status epilepticus. If the seizure doesn’t stop after five minutes it’s called status epileptics. In this situation, you must take your dog to the vet before it’s too late. Sometimes dogs can die or suffer from irreversible brain damage if the intravenous anticonvulsants are not used by the vet.
Why it happens
When it comes to finding the cause of the seizure, most of the time, the vet wants to take a complete history of the dog. You vet should take a complete physical test (including urine and the blood test) to determine the cause of the seizure. If it seems important then the vet may also perform an ECG test (electrocardiogram).
Normally most of the vets want to make sure whether the dog is having any type of kidneys. Liver, heart and blood problems or not. If all of these things seem to be okay then the vet may take a lookout for head trauma, or any kind of exposure to poison. If the condition of your dog is very serious then the vet may take further diagnostic tests. Your vet may take a spinal fluid analysis if the seizure affects regularly. In this case, the vet may advise taking an MRI and CT scan for evaluating the entire condition of the brain.
How seizures can be prevented or treated?
Normally seizures can be overcome naturally however if the seizure becomes very serious that affects your dog regularly then it’s a matter of concern. If the seizure affects the dog more than a month or the dog is suffering from the cluster of seizures or if the grand mal seizures affect your dog then the vet may take serious action for treating the dog. Depending on the condition of your dog the vet may suggest you take the help of medication: potassium bromide & phenobarbital. When the dog is having a very serious condition then the vet may use anticonvulsant medication for saving the life of the dog. However there is bad news, this anticonvulsant medication should be continued for the rest of the life because if this medication is not given on a regular basis then the problems may come back again. If you want to discontinue using this medication then keep in mind that you must consult with your vet before doing so.
What causes seizures
What are the symptoms of the seizures
If your dog is having seizure then look out for these symptoms
Loss of consciousness
Normally some dogs are seen to become very confused and unsteady before the seizure affects, so sometimes you can guess it before it happens. Also, there are many dogs who are seen to pee & poop when going through the seizure.
Type of seizures
There are many types & forms of seizures however there are three major types of seizures that usually affects a dog
Generalized seizure or mild clonic seizure
Focal or partial seizure
Focal or partial seizure with secondary generalization
The generalized seizure is one of the most common seizures that affect the dog so you need to be careful. When the generalized seizure affects a dog, the dog may become completely unconscious because the unusual electrical activity goes throughout the brain.
On the other end, if the focal seizure somehow affects a dog then it will affect only a part of the brain, not the full entire brain.
What it looks like when a dog goes through the seizure
First of all, a dog may seem to be terrible when going through the seizure. Also, sometimes dogs may fall on its side or become very stiff. Keep in mind that the seizure normally lasts between 30 to 90 seconds.
Matthew Frank was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a reputed author of Pet Therapy Dogs and Pet Dog Cat.
Matthew is a regular author of this blog who is studying Veterinary medicine at Purdue University.