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Why Do Dogs Have Seizures?

(December 8, 2010)

Why do dogs have seizures

A seizure is a sudden and abnormal neurological activity. Just like in humans, in dogs too, seizures can manifest themselves in many ways. Seizures may last from a few seconds to hours, depending upon the severity. Only in the severest form of epilepsy known as status epilepticus, do seizures last for hours with without intervals. Witnessing a seizure in your dog can be emotionally traumatic and extremely stressful, but it is important that you not panic and try to stay calm.

A seizure lasting more than five minutes is considered an emergency situation. Breeds who commonly suffer seizure disorders include beagles, British Alsatians, collies, golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers.
If your dog has a seizure, you must immediately remove objects that could be dangerous to or hurt the dog and block the stairs so that he doesn’t fall. Also, slide something soft under your pet’s head, keeping your hands and face away from its head so not to risk a possible bite. Get to a quiet, dark room and hold your pet in a comforting reassuring way.

Seizures in dogs can be broadly categorized as:

• Generalized or Grand Mal seizures: This is the most common type of seizure seen in dogs and is characterized by overall stiffness with convulsions and involuntary movements. These include a loss of consciousness and gross body movements.
• Focal or partial seizures: This seizure affects a specific part of the dog’s body and is characterized by facial twitching. This is mild but can occur in any part of the body.
If your dog has more than one seizure in a 24 hour period, they are considered cluster seizures. In such cases, you must immediately visit your veterinarian and delaying may lead to an increasing severity of the seizures, posing a greater threat to your dog's life. There are several anti-convulsive medications that your vet might use to prevent your dog's seizures. Varieties of treatment options include a natural diet, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, herbs, conventional medications and acupuncture. Proper and timely treatment can help your dog to achieve a stable condition. If left untreated, seizures may occur frequently causing permanent brain damage.

Dog seizures causes:

• Seizures occur for a number of reasons or disorders.
• Structural or developmental abnormality
• Reaction to allergen
• Canine epilepsy
• Brain tumors
• Toxicity due to lead, arsenic and insecticides
• Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a disease that results from tick infestation.
• Systemic disorder
• Bacterial or viral infection
• Nutritional causes like thiamine efficiency or parasitism.
• Low blood sugar

Dog seizure symptoms

• Stiffness
• Loss of consciousness
• Involuntary (spontaneous and uncontrolled) urination
• Excessive salivation
• Paddling of leg
• Excessive barking
• Muscle twitching
• Altered vision
• Trembling
• Running in circles
• Whining

Post seizures dog would be tired and extremely hungry. You must refrain from giving your dog a full meal and place a few ice cubes on the water bowl. Too much excitement over food can trigger another attack. There are many natural approaches to treating seizures that should help your beloved dog live a normal and comfortable life. But it is important that you make sure the cause of the seizure is properly diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. A seizure can have fatal results if it is not treated in time.

Submitted by M A on December 8, 2010 at 11:38


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