Epileptic seizure in dogs is a common condition. This condition may lead to loss of consciousness and other symptoms. It may even lead to death. It is essential to detect the early signs of epilepsy because it may lead to status epilepticus, a dangerous condition where the seizure attacks happen one after the other, without recovery of consciousness in between.
Epileptic Seizure In Dogs | Everything You Need To Know
What Is Epileptic Seizure In Dogs?
Epileptic seizure in dogs can happen anytime. Your happy and playful pooch might suddenly become confused, dazed, and unsteady. Sometimes, they may collapse, and though they are unconscious, they are having a seizure.
What is epilepsy? It is a condition that causes recurrent seizures, or in layman’s term funny turns or fits. It is one of the most common neurological disorders in dogs. In most cases, this is a long-term condition.
Various underlying factors can cause seizures or epilepsy. Idiopathic seizures are those which occur in dogs between the ages of 6 months old and 6 years old. There is no underlying cause for this type of seizure. However, doctors suspect that a combination of environmental and genetic factors may lead to an epileptic seizure in dogs.
Another probable cause is anatomical problems in the brain, dubbed as structural causes. These include problems with the blood supply to the brain. Obstruction may be caused by inflammation, bleeding, trauma, developmental problems, infection, degenerative brain diseases, and even brain tumors.
Lastly, a reactive seizure is caused when the body responds to a temporary problem in brain function, such as poisoning or metabolic changes.
Types Of Epileptic Seizure In Dogs
There are two types of epileptic seizures – grand mal seizures and partial seizures.
- Grand Mal Seizures – The grand mal epileptic seizure in dogs can look like they twitch in all limbs. Sometimes, the dog may lose consciousness.
- Partial Seizures – On the other hand, in partial seizures, they only affect a part of the brain. As a result, the dog may manifest the symptoms in various ways. However, these may still progress to grand mal seizures.
Other types of epileptic seizures:
- Idiopathic epilepsy – This is a type of epilepsy where there is no identifiable underlying cause.
- Symptomatic epilepsy – This type of epilepsy is caused by structural lesions or problems in the brain’s structures.
- Cluster seizures – This type of seizure happens when a dog has more than one seizure within 24 hours.
- Status epilepticus – This type of seizure means that dog has constant seizures. This is life-threatening.
Symptoms Of Epileptic Seizure In Dogs
Dog owners might not notice an acute seizure attack. However, it is essential to detect the symptoms early, to prevent further problems and complications. The most common symptoms of epilepsy in dogs include:
- Muscle twitching
- Loss of consciousness
- Chewing on the tongue
- Foaming at the mouth
Treatment Of Epileptic Seizure In Dogs
Most of the treatment for epileptic seizure in dogs is preventing severe harm to the animal whenever an attack ensues. In most cases, epilepsy can’t be cured, unless the underlying cause is cured. For idiopathic seizures, promoting the safety of the dog is essential.
Drugs can also help prevent epileptic attacks such as potassium bromide, phenobarbital, and diazepam. A veterinarian is responsible for prescribing the medicines.
There are known alternative treatments for epileptic seizure in dogs. However, it is better to consult with the vet doctor before administering any of these.
One of the most common alternative treatments is giving the dog vitamins. Aside from that, preventing the cause and diet change are helpful in managing seizures.
There is no definite way to prevent epilepsy, but it’s better to avoid the fits from happening. There are ways to do these:
- Strengthen the brain.
- Avoid toxins and poisons.
- Give the dog their medicine regularly and on time.
- Provide a stress-free and stable environment.
- Reduce possible stimuli – whether these are changes in the climate, a type of food or an activity
An epileptic seizure in dogs can be frightening to watch, especially for owners. Hence, understanding the disease itself and how to act during an acute attack is essential. Moreover, visiting the veterinarian for your dog’s regular consultation is essential.
Did you learn more about the epileptic seizure in dogs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!