What To Do After A Dog Has A Seizure?

How to Help if Your Dog is Having a Seizure

  1. Keep Yourself Calm.
  2. Sit Near Your Dog.
  3. Time Your Dog’s Seizures.
  4. Carefully Move Your Dog to a Safer Location.
  5. Speak in Comforting Tones.
  6. Lower Your Dog’s Body Temperature.
  7. Wrap and Comfort Your Dog.
  8. Let Your Dog Sleep.


What can I give my dog after a seizure?

After dogs come out of a seizure, a little all-natural vanilla ice cream, honey, or natural maple syrup will help to raise their sugar levels back up. Follow with a protein such as little kibble, cheese stick, a spoonful of cottage cheese, chicken, etc. to help stabilize those sugar levels.

How long does it take a dog to recover from a seizure?

Seizures typically last approximately one to two minutes, although prolonged seizures can occur and require treatment. Once the seizure has ended, dogs will have a prolonged post-ictal recovery period. This period may last up to 24 hours, depending on the individual dog.

Should I take my dog to the vet after a seizure?

If a seizure lasts more than three to five minutes, this is an emergency and you should bring your dog to a veterinarian. Their body temperature can rise quickly and can be a problem. Especially as pets age, seizures that last that long can cause problems with their brain and cause brain damage.

What can trigger a seizure in a dog?

Dog seizures are caused by many differing reasons. Other common causes of seizures include issues with your dog’s health such as eating poison, liver disease, low or high blood sugar, kidney disease, electrolyte problems, Anemia, head injury, Encephalitis, strokes and brain cancer.

How can I treat my dogs seizure at home?

To prevent your dog from hurting himself during a seizure, keep him away from stairs, cushion his head, and gently hold and comfort him until he begins to regain consciousness. Some dogs may urinate or defecate. This does not make the seizure better or worse.

Should you hold your dog during a seizure?

Please do not try to hold or pet your animal during a seizure. Even the mildest of pets can seriously injure you even as you try to comfort them.

Can a dog go back to normal after a seizure?

Recovery times vary, but most dogs will begin to behave more normally within an hour after the seizure. However, when the dog doesn’t recover quickly, there can be a variety of reasons and treatments. There are several potential causes for seizures in dogs as well as potential treatments.

Is it normal for a dog to shake after a seizure?

Muscle weakness in the hind limbs is not uncommon in dogs, especially as they get older. This can result in trembling of the hind limbs, particularly as they get up from rest.

Can a dog live with seizures?

It can be hard to hear that your dog has epilepsy, but with a treatment plan in place, it is possible for your dog to live a completely normal life. However, you need to know how to handle the seizures. If your dog has a seizure, you should be sure that they are away from any objects that could hurt them.

What natural remedy can I give my dog for seizures?

Many natural over-the-counter Western herbs, in both capsule and tincture form — including chamomile, milk thistle, skullcap, valerian, oat straw and ginkgo biloba — are used to treat seizures. As with nutraceuticals, always discuss appropriate herbs and dosages with your veterinarian(s) before giving them to your dog.

What dog breeds are more likely to have seizures?

Your dog is most likely to suffer from seizures if he or she is a 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.

How do I know if my dog has brain damage after a seizure?

What are the signs of a brain injury? The typical signs of brain injury in a dog include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself.

What happens after a dog has a seizure?

Postictal phase: After the seizure, many dogs exhibit a postictal phase characterized by disorientation. This may last minutes to hours. The most commonly reported signs are behavior changes, prolonged sleepiness, confusion, transient blindness, and eating voraciously.

What foods should dogs with seizures avoid?

Things to Avoid Chemical preservatives, such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin may increase seizure activity, as well. At least initially, organ meats such as livers and kidneys should be avoided. An article in Whole Dog Journal suggests that the diet of a dog with seizures should be free of gluten.

Can dehydration cause seizures in dogs?

The brain swells, causing seizures, lack of blood supply to the GI tract causes ulcers. Dehydration leads to irreversible kidney damage. All these catastrophic events take place within a matter of minutes. Especially susceptible are brachycephalic breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs or Pekingese.

Here’s What to do After Your Dog Has a Seizure

Seizures in dogs can be frightening to witness since they seem to linger for an extended period of time. As a result of the abrupt and excessive firing of neurons in the brain, seizures produce involuntary contractions of the muscles in the body. The appearance of a seizure in a dog might differ from one canine to the next. Signs might include anything from falling over to one side to padding all of the limbs, chattering teeth, foaming at the mouth, barking or vocalizations, peeing, and/or defecating on the floor.

Clients frequently contact veterinarian clinics with questions regarding dog seizures and what to do in the aftermath.

This will assist you in understanding what to expect and what to do if you have a seizure after reading this.

There are three phases of a dog seizure:

  1. Aura Phase is a phase in which the aura is visible. The Aura phase of a seizure is the initial phase of the seizure. This is something that some canines have and others have not. Certain indicators of an approaching seizure may be visible, such as restlessness, whimpering, shaking, salivation, roaming, hiding, or the need to be petted by the owner. These signals can last anywhere from a few seconds to many days, and they may or may not be noticeable to you. Some dogs will run to you or appear “needy” shortly before they have a seizure
  2. This is known as the Ictal Phase. In the ictal phase of a seizure, the physical manifestation of the seizure takes place. The seizure might last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes. The usual generalized seizure looks like this: your dog collapses on his side and begins paddling and biting his jaws with both front and back teeth. Dog teeth chattering is something that some owners will notice. They may drool, foam at the lips, pee, and move their bowels as a result of their illness. They may bark or make other vocalizations. During this period, known as the Post-ictial Phase, dogs are completely ignorant of their surroundings. This phase of a seizure happens soon following the occurrence of the seizure itself. Dogs will look bewildered and disoriented, and they may roam or pace about the room. Some canines will be briefly blind and may collide with items as a result of this. After an ictal episode, the usual dog may walk aimlessly, be wobbly on their feet, may stumble over to their water dish and over-drink and/or over-eat, slobber, and otherwise appear bewildered. This phase might last anything from a few minutes to several hours.

What To Do and NOT to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure

Clients frequently inquire about what to do and what not to do if their dog suffers from a seizure. Even though seizures are just a few minutes long, they can be quite frightening since they appear to endure for an eternity. Clients frequently inquire as to whether their dog would die as a result of a seizure. Find out more about the possibility of death in Is it possible for a dog to die from a seizure? In general, the following actions should be taken if your pet is suffering a seizure are recommended:

  • Don’t get too worked up over it. Despite the fact that it is really frightening, remember that your dog is asleep and not in agony. He is completely unaware that he is being seized. He is completely unaware that you are around and may respond in terror, possibly biting you
  • Proceed with caution. Pets do not swallow their tongues, unlike humans. Put your hand or any other object in your dog’s mouth at any time. This is the method through which many pet owners get bitten
  • Remove children and pets from the area. Keep youngsters and other pets (including cats and dogs) away from the area where the pets are being held. They are frequently frightened, and their emotions can be very unexpected. During this stressful and confused period for the other family pets, there have been stories of assaults on both the seizing dogs and the people who are holding them. The seizure should occur at a specific time. Keep an eye on your wristwatch to see when the seizure occurs. The duration of a seizure may appear to be interminable, although it may just be seconds. Keep an eye on your pet. Pets who are taken into custody might thrash and injure themselves. Keep your dog away from water, stairwells, and other sharp items. To move your dog gently into the middle of the room, we propose that you pull him or her by the back legs. A large number of dogs may urinate or defecate. If you have a towel on hand, lay it beneath their rear end and watch for the seizure to occur. Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior and movement during the seizure. If so, is there padding on all of the legs, or only the front? Is there any munching going on? Foaming? Is your dog urinating or defecating on the floor? Provide comfort for your pet. Keep an eye on your dog but keep your hands away from his/her mouth. You can soothe your dog by speaking quietly and patting him
  • But, you must be prepared to go. For any queries, please contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. They can advise you on whether or not you should come in, as well as whether or not any treatments are advised.

What to Do After a Dog Seizures

The post-ictal phase refers to the time period that follows a seizure. This can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Most of the time, dogs are disoriented and sluggish, and they exhibit improper behavior such as tripping, walking into walls, and drinking excessively from the water dish. What should you do if your dog has a seizure?

  • The most important thing you can do after a seizure is to keep your pet safe. Access to stairwells and bodies of water such as swimming pools, ponds, and lakes should be restricted. It is quite easy for your dog to fall down the stairs since he is wobbly on his feet. Allow your dog to enter only a room that is free of sharp things
  • If your dog is able to lie still, soothe him or her with soothing words and caressing. If your dog is nervous, he may not want to lay down for long periods of time. Do not restrain him because this will just add to his tension. Continue to only let your dog out on a leash for the following few hours to keep an eye out for any other abnormalities such as additional seizures, stumbling, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or lethargy. Create a seizure record to keep track of your seizures. Make a note of the seizure, including the time of day and the length of time it lasted. This will assist your veterinarian in determining if seizure drugs are necessary in the future.
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Your dog’s behavior should gradually return to normal over the course of several minutes to hours. Once he has returned to normal behavior, you may grant him access to the stairwell, food, and the outside. Immediately call your veterinarian or a nearby 24-hour emergency veterinary facility if your dog continues to have seizures or suffers from a second seizure.

When Your Seizure Dog Should See Your Veterinarian

If any of the following symptoms arise in your dog, you should take him to the veterinarian:

  • Any seizure that lasts for more than 5 minutes is considered severe. In the event that there are more than three seizures in a 24-hour period of time
  • Seizures that begin before your pet has fully recovered from the previous seizure
  • Seizures that begin before your cat has fully recovered from the previous seizure If your dog does not recover from the seizure within 6 hours, consult your veterinarian. If your dog exhibits other symptoms such as not eating, vomiting, lethargy, difficulty breathing, weakness, or any signs of blood or diarrhea, you should seek veterinary attention.

Additional Canine seizure Articles of Interest:

  • It’s important to understand what it means when you see dogs’ teeth chattering. Is it possible for a dog to die from a seizure? The Following Is What You Should Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure: What is the best diet for dogs with epilepsy? Dogs are prone to seizures

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Get a free quote from PetPartners today.

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Having to watch your dog go into a seizure is one of the most horrific moments a pet owner can have with their animal. When your best buddy is shaking violently on the ground, the sensations of perplexity, helplessness, and terror can be overpowering. While these emotions are completely normal, they may frequently lead to dog owners making the mistake of attempting to “assist” their pets.

While there are many things you may do to assist your dog during a seizure, the fact is that there are very few things that you can do to aid your dog. However, there are things you can do to prepare for seizures and to assist your dog once he has experienced one.

What to do Before the Seizure

If your dog has never had a seizure before, there isn’t much you can do to prepare him or her for one. However, if your dog has had a seizure in the past or comes from a genetic line that has a history of seizures, there are a few things you may do to “prepare.” Take note of the following: Recognizing that your dog is susceptible to seizures will assist you in being more acutely aware of how your dog is acting on a regular basis. Spend a little more time with him and pay attention to his unique personality traits.

  1. Recognize these warning signs: Prior to having a seizure, your dog’s demeanor will undergo a significant transformation.
  2. His eyes may be bloodshot and he may be peering into what appears to be nothing.
  3. Prepare: Make sure your dog is in a safe and comfortable area of the room where there are no harsh or pointy items to distract him.
  4. They might grow frightened and mistakenly injure your pet.

What to Do During Your Dog’s Seizure

As soon as your dog’s seizure begins, there isn’t much you can do to prevent it from continuing. If you discover that your dog is having a seizure, give him plenty of room and make sure that he has a free area where he can allow the seizure take its natural course. Muscle spasms will occur involuntarily in your dog’s body, and he or she may begin to froth at the mouth. Hold on for a few minutes longer, and be prepared to care for your dog after the seizure has ended, if it does. And remember to maintain your composure!

What to Do After Your Dog Has a Seizure

When your dog’s seizure is over, he will likely be a little “out of it.” It can take him a while to grasp where he is in this situation. The dogs are completely unaware that they have just gone through a seizure. During this period, your primary responsibility is to ensure that your dog is comfortable. Gentleness and reassurance will go a long way in helping him to cope with the situation. Maintain a calm demeanor and let him know you are present. Because you are the only one who truly understands your pet’s nature, do anything you believe will make him feel more comfortable.

Dogs might suffer brain damage if they have a large number of seizures in a short period of time.

The majority of the time, your dog will recover from the seizure and return to his regular, joyful self within a few days.

A seizure can last anywhere from a few minutes to a whole day, depending on the severity of the episode.

Long-Term Treatment of Seizures in Dogs

Some dogs will have a single seizure and never have another one again, while others will have several seizures. However, there are many dogs that are genetically predisposed to Idiopathic Epilepsy, either as a result of their breed or as a result of their family line. If your dog has more than one seizure, he should be sent to a veterinarian for evaluation and long-term dog seizure therapy to avoid further complications. In some cases, your veterinarian may propose pharmaceutical or natural remedies for your dog, depending on the severity of his or her disease.

Some medications may have undesirable side effects, such as lethargy and increased thirst, that you should be aware of while selecting the most appropriate therapy for your canine companion.

However, both pharmaceutical and natural therapies can assist you in reducing the danger of seizure in your dog – and in allowing him to enjoy a full and happy life alongside you.


  1. “What to Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure.” “What to Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure.” Petfinder, accessed on March 8, 2017
  2. Jenna Stregowski, accessed on March 8, 2017. “What to Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure.” “What to Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure.” “Here’s What to Do After Your Dog Has a Seizure,” according to The Spruce Pets, accessed on March 8, 2017. “How to Recognize and Handle Dog Seizures,” published on PetPlace on April 25, 2018, and accessed on March 8, 2017. Cesar’s Way, 3 May 2017, accessed on 8 March 2017
  3. Burke, Anna. Cesar’s Way, 3 May 2017. The article “Dog Seizures: What to Do When Your Pup Has One” can be found here. The American Kennel Club published a statement on April 13, 2018, which was accessed on March 8, 2017.

What to do if Your Dog has a Seizure (And Related FAQs)

It comes as a complete surprise – and is frequently terrifying. It can happen to any breed at any age, and it can happen to anybody. One minute you and your dog are going about your daily routine, and the next your dog is suffering a seizure on the floor. You may have the impression of being a powerless observer, yet this is far from the truth. Even when your pet is having a seizure, there are three things you may do to assist him: 1. Stay safe and try to remain cool – and give your pet the opportunity to handle the seizure.

  1. This is also true for cats that have seizures, but dogs, in particular, can become extremely uneasy, agitated, and even blind shortly following a seizure in which they are involved.
  2. Even the most gentle of dogs can cause catastrophic injury to you, even while you are attempting to console them.
  3. Make some room.
  4. Place a barrier between you and adjacent stairwells or other threats.
  5. Make a video of yourself.
  6. Besides epileptic seizures, other illnesses such as balance issues, discomfort and weakness, as well as certain behaviors, might appear to be epileptic.
  7. When the seizure has subsided, it is likely that inquiries may arise.
  8. Is it necessary for my pet to see a veterinarian right away?
  9. It is necessary to take prompt action in two seizure situations: “Status Epilepticus” (a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes) and Cluster Seizures (a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes) (multiple seizures that occur within 24 hours of one another).
  10. What caused my dog’s seizure, and how can I know if he’s having one?
  11. Some breeds are genuinely susceptible to developing idiopathic epilepsy as a result of a genetic mutation in their DNA.

Alternative causes of seizures are substantially less prevalent than the more typical ones. These are some examples:

  • Infectious illness, inflammatory brain disorders (encephalitis), strokes, metabolic derangements, and brain tumors are some of the conditions that might occur. Dogs suffering from one of these other types of seizures will frequently, but not always, display other indications, such as altered behavior, becoming dull or sluggish, circling, being trapped in corners, or having difficulty walking.

Because certain causes of seizures may be ruled in or out with basic blood work, the veterinarian may recommend that the pet have blood testing after the first seizure. To get a solid diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and a spinal tap are necessary. If, however, based on your dog’s history and a neurological exam, we determine that he meets the criteria, we are typically confident in declaring him to have presumptive idiopathic epilepsy, which means that an MRI and spinal tap are not required to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Precautions should be taken.
  • Look for potential hazards and take steps to reduce them.
  • If your pet becomes disoriented after having a seizure, he or she may suffer a catastrophic injury while attempting to ascend the steps.
  • Medication is frequently used in the treatment of seizures.
  • Consider using a calendar to keep track of your doses.
  • A large number of anti-seizure drugs have negative side effects.
  • Others may be able to last for extended periods of time.

It’s possible that a different medication may be more appropriate for your pet.

and it’s really essential.

It might be disconcerting to think that another person may appear.

Consulting with your veterinarian will assist to alleviate any concerns you may have about seizures.

SAGE Centers Newsletter featured an article prepared by Starr Cameron, BVetMed, DACVIM (Neurology) that was initially published in the newsletter (May 2014)

Dog Seizures: What to Do When Your Pup Has One

There are few things more frightening for dog owners than watching their pet experiencing a seizure. Despite the fact that these events might leave us feeling powerless and out of control, there are things you can do to ensure your dog’s recovery is as safe as possible. We spoke with Dr. Jerry Klein, the Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club, about seizures in dogs and what you should do if you observe one.

What Causes Seizures in Dogs?

The first thing to understand is that a seizure is not an illness, as Dr. Klein says. In the brain, there is some aberrant motor activity that manifests itself as this condition. It can be caused by a number of different factors, the most frequent of which is idiopathicepilepsy. The exact etiology of epilepsy is still a mystery to veterinarians; however, there is evidence to suggest that it is inherited.

In addition to electrolyte and blood irregularities, such as hypoglycemia, severe anemia, cancer and brain tumors, brain trauma, metabolic illnesses and exposure to chemicals, other causes of seizures in dogs include a variety of medical conditions.

What Do Seizures Look Like?

Dr. Klein points out that determining whether or not your dog is suffering a seizure is not always straightforward. Whole-body seizures, also known as Grand Mal seizures, occur when your dog’s complete body convulses at the same time. Some seizures, while more difficult to detect, may be localized, such as a facial tremor, or manifest as a rapid commencement of rhythmic motions or behaviors, such as peculiar barking, while others may be generalized. Although most animals recover fast after having a seizure, the time it takes for the owner to watch it might seem like an eternity.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Is Having a Seizure?

If you’re dealing with a seizure-prone animal, there are a few things to keep in mind, says Dr. Klein. “First and foremost, don’t panic.” Observing the following guidelines can assist to keep you and your dog safe until the seizure has passed:

  • Maintain your composure. Although it may be challenging, your dog’s health is dependent on your ability to concentrate. Check the time on your phone. Your veterinarian will benefit from knowing when your dog’s seizure began and how long it lasted since it will provide critical information regarding your dog’s symptoms. You may also ask a witness to record your seizure with his phone so that you can present it to your veterinarian later. If there is another person in the room, you can ask him to do so. Recognize that your dog is not aware or in agony, despite the fact that he may appear to be so
  • When dogs (and people) have seizures, they do not swallow their tongues. Do not attempt to capture his tongue, since you may get bitten as a result of the attempt
  • It is possible for seizure dogs to froth at the mouth or drool excessively, but this does not always indicate that they are infected with rabies. Keep your dog away from stairs during a seizure, cushion his head, and gently cuddle and console him until he begins to regain awareness in order to avoid him from harming himself. Some dogs may urinate or defecate on their owners’ property. This has no effect on whether the seizure is better or worse. Dogs that have seizures that continue longer than 2-3 minutes are at danger of developing hyperthermia (overheating). Cold water or damp cloths can be used around the groin, neck, paws, and head of your dog to attempt to cool him down, but it’s critical that you get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Never hesitate to contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian if your dog is having a seizure, even if your dog appears to be functioning normally. Set up a diary or make a note on your phone to keep track of your dog’s seizures, making a note of the date, time, and length of each seizure. This will assist your veterinarian in determining whether or not your dog’s seizures are related to a pattern. The term “cluster” seizure refers to a group of seizures that occur in a 24-hour period in a single animal. That means your dog needs emergency medical assistance, and you must take him to a veterinarian straight now to get him examined
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Searching for the Genetic Basis of Bloat is a related article.

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

A surprising injury or sickness can strike at any time, and even the most conscientious pet owner cannot always safeguard their pet. Getting your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible might be the difference between life and death. Please click here to get this e-book to learn more about what to do in an emergency scenario. *Please disable your pop-up blocker to download this e-book.

Seizures General For Dogs

When it comes to neurological problems in dogs, seizures are one of the most commonly reported. Uncontrolled muscular activity is typically associated with seizures, which are sometimes known as convulsions or fits. A seizure is a transient, involuntary disruption of normal brain function that occurs as a result of an uncontrollable disruption of normal brain function.” Epilepsy is a medical word that refers to the occurrence of seizures on a regular basis.” Epilepsy is a medical word that refers to the occurrence of seizures on a regular basis.

They can also be uncommon and unexpected, or they might occur at regular intervals.

What causes seizures?

Seizures can be caused by a variety of factors. Idiopathic epilepsy, the most prevalent cause of seizures in dogs, is a hereditary illness whose specific etiology is unclear. It is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. Other factors to consider are liver illness, renal failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, or poisons in the environment. “The most prevalent cause of seizures in dogs is idiopathic epilepsy,” according to the ASPCA. Seizures are more likely to occur during periods of fluctuating brain activity, such as during periods of excitement or eating, or while the dog is going asleep or waking up from a nap.

What happens during a typical seizure?

Generally speaking, seizures are made up of three parts: It is at this stage that the dog may hide, act scared, or seek out its owner that he or she is said to be in the pre-ictal phase (aura). It may be agitated, anxious, whimpering, shaking, or salivating, among other things. This might last anything from a few seconds to several hours. This phase occurs before to the onset of seizure activity, as if the dog has a precognitive understanding that something is going to happen. 2)The ictal phase can last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes, and its appearance can change during that time.

All of the muscles in the dog’s body twitch spastically and unpredictably if the dog has a grand mal seizure, which is a full-blown seizure that results in loss of consciousness.

Frequently, the head will be pulled backward.

If the seizure does not cease within five minutes, the dog is considered to be in status epilepticus, which is a medical term that means “in protracted seizure” (see below).

In most cases, there is no clear relationship between the severity of a seizure and the length of time spent in the post-ictal phase.

Is a seizure painful or dangerous to the dog?

Despite the dramatic and violent look of a seizure, seizures are not unpleasant for the dog, however the dog may experience disorientation and maybe panic as a result of the experience. The common misconception is that during a seizure, dogs swallow their tongues. This is not the case. Putting your fingers or an object into its mouth will not assist your pet, and you will face a great chance of being bitten extremely hard or harming your dog as a result. Keeping the dog from falling or harming himself by banging items into himself is the most crucial thing to remember.

“The dog may experience disorientation and, in some cases, terror.” A single seizure is rarely harmful to the dog’s well-being.

Hyperthermia (abnormally increased body temperature), which can occur after an epilepsy, raises a new set of issues that need to be handled.

What is status epilepticus?

Status epilepticus is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. It is distinguished by the presence of a seizure that lasts for more than five minutes. It is possible that the dog will die or suffer lasting brain damage if intravenous anticonvulsants are not administered quickly to interrupt the seizure activity. If you have status epilepticus, you must get care from a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Now that the seizure is over, can we find out why it happened?

Following a seizure episode in a dog, your veterinarian will begin by collecting a detailed history of the dog’s health, paying particular attention to any possible exposures to toxic or hallucinogenic chemicals, as well as any history of head trauma. In addition, the veterinarian will undertake a physical examination, blood and urine tests, and, in rare cases, an electrocardiogram (heart rate monitor) (ECG). These tests are used to rule out conditions affecting the liver, kidneys, heart, electrolytes, and blood sugar levels, among others.

If the results of these tests are normal and there has been no recent poisoning or trauma, further diagnostic testing may be required, depending on the severity and frequency of the seizure activity.

In this case, it may be necessary to undergo a spinal fluid analysis.

How are seizures treated or prevented?

Treatment is often initiated only when a pet has experienced:1) more than one seizure per month,2) clusters of seizures in which one seizure is immediately followed by another, or3) grand mal seizures that are severe or extended in length, as determined by the veterinarian. Phenobarbital and potassium bromide are the two most regularly prescribed drugs for the treatment of seizures in dogs. Researchers are still investigating the use of different anticonvulsants, and novel anticonvulsants such as zonisamide (brand nameZonegran®) and levetiracetam (brand nameKeppra®) are becoming increasingly popular.

“Once anticonvulsant medicine has been initiated, it must be continued indefinitely.” Once anticonvulsant medicine has been initiated, it must be continued indefinitely.

Anticonvulsant medicine must be withdrawn or modified if it is necessary for any reason, and your veterinarian will provide you with detailed advice on how to do so.

The Eight Things You Need to Know if Your Dog Has Seizures: Part 1

If your pet is suffering active seizures, cluster seizures, or status epilepticus, they are classified as “RED” – or genuine emergencies – on our Fast Track Triage system, which means they are considered true emergencies. We recommend that you seek veterinarian treatment as soon as possible. To ensure that the veterinary staff is prepared for your arrival, please phone ahead of time. Please keep in mind that a single seizure lasting less than five minutes and followed by complete recovery is classified as a “GREEN” case in our Fast Track Triage system.

  • If your pet is currently suffering seizures, make sure they are kept in a secure place. Examples of this include blocking off stairwells or the edges of furniture. A pet that has been taken hostage is completely unaware of his or her surroundings. They may continue to appear “out of it” for many minutes to several hours thereafter, and their conduct may be erratic. Prevent getting your hands too close to your pet’s mouth to avoid getting bitten. In order to move your pet to the car, first roll the pet onto a blanket and then hoist the covering.

My dog, Harbor, had a seizure for the first time, and I still remember it well. My 45-pound dog kicked me in the side, jolting me out of my sleep, and it was terrible. Fortunately, I was a veterinarian student at the time, and I had just recently heard about seizures in class; still, it took me a while to comprehend what was going on. While trying to calm Harbor, she was aggressively paddling her limbs, drooling excessively, peeing everywhere, and entirely unresponsive to my voice as I attempted to quiet her down.

  1. She was unable to move while she was regaining consciousness after the seizure.
  2. Once I was satisfied with how she was healing and had soothed my other dogs, I dialed 911 to summon an ambulance and an emergency veterinarian.
  3. “It’ll take at least ten minutes, but she appears to be coming out of it okay,” I responded.
  4. In retrospect, it appears that the seizure lasted little more than two minutes.
  5. She spent the night in the intensive care unit, where she was closely watched for more seizure activity, and she was allowed to return home the next day.
  6. It wasn’t long after her first seizure that she began taking her first anti-seizure medication.
  7. Luckily, we have been able to control Harbor’s seizures with these two medications, and eight years later, she is still doing well.

Approximately 0.5-5 percent of all dogs seen at veterinary referral hospitals are being evaluated due to epilepsy just like Harbor’s. Fortunately, our treatment success rate is quite high; we can get good control of seizures in approximately 70 percent of patients.

1. What exactly is a seizure?

A seizure is caused by aberrant electrical activity in the brain, which causes the brain to stop functioning normally for a period of time.

2. Seizures occur in three stages:

  • During this period, some pets may exhibit signs of fear or agitation, or they may become “clingy.” It is possible that owners will not notice this stage since it is too indistinct. Ictus: This is the phase during which the seizures are most active. It is common for animals to lose consciousness and fall over while experiencing strong muscular spasms during a seizure. The torso is inflexible, but the legs have the ability to paddle. Drooling, urine, feces, and whimpering are all frequent symptoms of the condition. The majority of the time, it just lasts thirty seconds to two minutes. Postictal refers to the period immediately following the seizure. Your pet will be bewildered, restless, temporary blind, and thirsty as a result of the situation. Pets should not be left alone during this period, and they should be kept away from stairwells and other high traffic areas. Depending on the situation, it might last anywhere from an hour to one to two days.

What is the cause of seizures? Do all dogs that have seizures require medication to keep them under control? Discover the answer in Part II!

What to Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure

Seizures are one of the most prevalent neurological issues in dogs, accounting for 10% of all cases. Seizures in dogs occur when the cerebral cortex of the brain fails to function properly, although there are a variety of disorders that might cause them to have seizures. If the origin of seizures is unclear, as in the case of idiopathic epilepsy, the condition may be passed on from generation to generation. Whatever the reason, it’s critical for you to learn how to recognize a seizure in your dog and the many treatment options available to you.

What Are Seizures?

Caiaimage/Getty Images/Robert Daly/Caiaimage Uncontrolled muscular activity is commonly associated with seizures, which are sometimes referred to as convulsions or fits. A seizure is a momentary involuntary disruption of normal brain function that, in most cases, is accompanied by uncontrollable muscle movement. Epilepsy is the most prevalent cause of seizures in dogs. It is a hereditary disorder whose specific etiology is unclear, and it affects around one in every 1,000 dogs. Other possible reasons include brain tumors, brain trauma, infections, liver illness, liver failure, or a response to something poisonous such as xylitol, to name a few possibilities.

When it comes to seizures, they can happen at any time of day or night, but they are most common during periods of fluctuating brain activity.

The majority of dogs appear to be fully fine in between seizures.

Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs

courtesy of BraunS / Getty Images The majority of seizures manifest themselves in three separate stages. The seizure will normally progress through all three phases, although there is no set time limit for how long each phase will occur in each case. Recognize that each phase is distinct, and that once phase three is achieved, the seizure is officially gone.

  1. Pre-ictal (or aura) phase: A time of changed behavior during which your dog may appear scared, hide, or attempt to locate its owner. The dog may look to be restless and may whimper or toss its head in frustration. This period might take a few seconds or several hours, depending on how long the dog has been alerted that something is about to happen. The ictal phase is the actual seizure itself. Its duration might range from a few seconds to around five minutes. During this period, the dog may lose consciousness or just appear to be absent from his surroundings. The dog may lose consciousness, fall over, and even move its body and legs in an irregular manner if it is having a full-blown seizure, also known as grand mal. Besides urinating and defecating on the floor, the dog may also vomit or salivate. Prolonged seizures are defined as seizures lasting more than five minutes and occurring more than once per hour. This is considered an emergency, and you should seek the attention of a medical expert as soon as possible
  2. Post-ictal phase: The period of time immediately following a seizure is typically characterized by bewilderment, disorientation, restlessness, pacing, and, in some cases, vision loss. This is the stage during which the brain heals from the events of the previous day.

However, some dogs may only have seizures when they are under a great deal of stress, and in these instances, the triggers can be avoided if the situation is managed properly. Seizures are not painful for the dog, despite the fact that they appear to be. The most serious consequences for your dog may be injuries sustained during falls or thrashing against items in its immediate proximity when experiencing a seizure.

What to Do During a Seizure

Devon OpdenDries captured this image for Getty Images. Leave your dog alone if it is having a seizure unless it is in a dangerous situation where it might be hurt. Alternatively, if you find yourself in the position of needing to relocate your dog, gently shift them to a more secure spot by dragging them by the rear legs or from around their torso. However, even if it will be simpler to move them, avoid gripping them at the front of their chest or shoulders in order to prevent injuring yourself by unintentionally.

  1. It is critical that you do not place anything in your dog’s mouth that will act as a brace against their teeth.
  2. Even though it may be the last thing on your mind while your dog is experiencing a seizure, it is important to keep note of how long the seizure lasts for your dog.
  3. Similarly, keep track of your dog’s conduct after an ictal episode and how long they remain in this post-ictal period before reverting to their regular behavior.
  4. Seizures that continue longer than 5 minutes, particularly those that are prolonged, can result in hyperthermia and long-term brain damage.

Having said that, if your previously healthy dog experiences a grand mal seizure, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. If your dog suffers a single, brief seizure, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to get your dog checked out by a professional.

Diagnosing Seizures in Dogs

Images courtesy of Larry Williams / Getty Images Given the fact that seizures in dogs can be caused by a variety of different circumstances, your veterinarian will need to conduct a number of diagnostic tests before she can decide the best course of therapy for your dog. Starting with your dog’s comprehensive medical history, she will look for any incidents involving brain trauma and/or exposure to poisons or hallucinogenic chemicals that may have occurred in the past. Following that, the veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, which may include blood and urine tests as well as an electrocardiogram, or ECG.

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Especially if your dog isn’t on a monthly heartworm preventative, she will almost certainly test your dog for heartworm as well.

CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are noninvasive diagnostic technologies that create pictures of the brain and other internal organs, respectively.


Your veterinarian will want to know about your dog’s seizure history in order to provide the best treatment possible. Keep a record of your dog’s seizure history for future reference. Make a note of the information, date it, and save it with your pet’s medical files. Most veterinarians will only begin treating your dog if your dog has suffered from one of the following conditions:

  1. A seizure every four to six weeks or more than once every four to six weeks
  2. Cluster seizures (a series of seizures occurring within a 24-hour period)
  3. Grand mal seizures that last for a lengthy period of time

Your dog will most likely be treated with an anticonvulsant medicine such as phenobarbital or leviteracitam, according to the veterinarian (Keppra). Once you begin administering an anticonvulsant medication to your dog, you must continue to provide it for the duration of the dog’s life. If the medication is stopped, the dog is at increased risk of having seizures. Inform your veterinarian of all of your alternatives and make sure you understand all of the directions if you find yourself needing to switch medications.

Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

Dog Seizure Signs

Dr. Lisa Lipitz, VMD, DACVIM, is a veterinarian (Neurology) When it comes to neurological problems in dogs, seizures are the most usually reported. Witnessing a cherished pet have a seizure is a terrifying event for the majority of dog owners. It is a chronic ailment marked by recurrent seizures; these seizures are unpredictable in nature, posing an additional difficulty to pet owners who must learn to cope with the condition. The prevalence of canine epilepsy is believed to be between 0.5 and 5-7 percent in the general population.

This indicates that as many as one in every twenty dogs will have a seizure at some point in their lives. Here are some indicators that your dog could be having a seizure, as well as what you should do if this happens.

How would you define a dog seizure?

When neurons in the brain behave abnormally and excessively, it results in a seizure, which is a brief presentation of symptoms. Seizures are usually indicative of a problem with the forebrain (the cerebral cortex). In the cerebral cortex, a significant number of neurons communicate with one another using chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters, which are released by the brain. Neurotransmitters have the ability to either stimulate or inhibit neighboring neurons. Neuronal activity that is considered normal represents a good balance between excitatory and inhibitory impulses.

What causes seizures in dogs?

Excessive excitement of the brain, which results in a seizure, can occur as a result of the following factors:- In dogs, reactive seizures can arise as a result of metabolic disorders or toxin exposure (which affects the otherwise healthy brain of the dog). The diagnosis is determined by the use of testing such as bloodwork and medical history. Patients with symptomatic seizures are often suffering from structural brain diseases such as tumors, strokes, malformations, inflammation in the brain, or infections in the brain, among other things.

  • There is no recognized or recognizable etiology for unknown or idiopathic seizures.
  • This diagnosis is reached by the exclusion of the two groups listed above, and all diagnostic tests come back normal.
  • Brain infections, toxin exposure, metabolic abnormalities such as liver shunts, and congenital brain anomalies are the most prevalent problems seen in puppies younger than six months of age.
  • The most prevalent type of brain disease in animals older than five years is structural brain disease, especially tumors and strokes.

What are the symptoms of seizures?

A seizure in a dog progresses through three stages: Before a seizure occurs, a period of changed behavior known as the aura may take place minutes before the event. Although this is not always apparent, many owners have reported that their dogs may hide, act frightened, seek attention, or whimper immediately before having a seizure, among other symptoms. Ictus: The actual seizure itself is referred to as the ictus. It normally lasts seconds to one to two minutes and is self-limiting, although it can last for extended periods of time if it is severe.

Postictal phase: Following the seizure, many dogs have a period of confusion known as the postictal phase.

This might last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. The most often reported symptoms are behavioral abnormalities, excessive drowsiness, disorientation, momentary blindness, and an insatiable need to eat.

Are there different types of seizures?

Yes, seizures can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. The area and extent to which the cerebral cortex is abnormally firing will determine how a seizure appears clinically. A generalized tonic-clonic seizure (also known as a grand mal seizure) is the most common and most easily recognizable type of seizure in the general population. The right and left hemispheres of the brain are both active concurrently. A characteristic of this condition is that it causes a sideways fall, loss of consciousness, and repetitive contraction of muscles (paddling, jerking of limbs, chewing jaw movements).

  1. A focused seizure (also known as a partial seizure) might be more difficult to identify.
  2. Simple (focal motor) seizures are caused by the firing of neurons in the motor area of a cerebral hemisphere and are characterized by involuntary limb jerking or repetitive facial muscle movements.
  3. Complex partial (psychomotor) seizures are the most difficult for pet owners and vets to diagnose since they appear as a behavioral aberration.
  4. These come from the limbic system, also known as the temporal lobe of the cerebrum.
  5. For example, unmoving gazing, hostility, and hallucination activity such as fly biting are all examples of paranoid behavior.

What should you do if your dog is having a seizure?

Keeping your dog on the ground and away from stairs is the most crucial thing you can do to protect them from falling or becoming harmed when they are convulsing. Always avoid putting your fingers in a dog’s mouth when he is having a seizure, since you may be accidently bitten. Maintain your composure. Keep track of how long the seizure lasts and what you are seeing while you are there. If your dog has never experienced a seizure before, recording the occurrence and showing it to your veterinarian might be extremely beneficial.

At what point should I take my dog to the vet if my dog is having a seizure?

It is unusual for isolated seizures to be life threatening as they are typically self-limiting. If your dog suffers a seizure for the first time, arrange an appointment with your veterinarian to discover the reason and discuss treatment options with him or her. A seizure may occur if your dog has a pre-existing seizure disorder, such as idiopathic epilepsy, in which case he or she may already be taking daily anticonvulsant medication; in this case, notify your veterinarian as soon as a seizure occurs so that he or she can determine if any changes to your dog’s treatment plan are necessary.

Status epilepticus is a medical term that refers to seizure activity that continues for more than five minutes.

An active seizure is stopped with intravenous valium, and further seizures are prevented by injections of long-acting anticonvulsant drugs (such as phenobarbital and keppra), which are given every few hours.

What are some misconceptions people have about dog seizures?

Many people are unaware that a first-time seizure is frequently the most prevalent indicator of structural brain illness in older dogs, despite the fact that this is the case. A seizure can serve as a warning sign that a brain tumor is forming in the brain. As a result, a new seizure problem in an older dog nearly always need further investigation and testing. Almost three out of every four dog owners claim that their dog’s seizures are triggered by something. Stressful events, variations in barometric weather pressure, changes in the lunar phase, and sleep disruptions are examples of these.

  1. In dogs that do not have idiopathic epilepsy, it is a common belief that triggers can induce them to have seizures.
  2. Despite the fact that it is a popular topic of conversation, there is no evidence to support the claim that food intolerance causes epilepsy in dogs.
  3. Another source of misunderstandings is the use of post-ictal home rescue therapies.
  4. If your dog suffers from a severe seizure problem, your veterinarian may prescribe valium rectal suppositories, which can be used to interrupt an active seizure and shorten the time it takes for your dog to recover from an ictal episode.

What is your dog likely to feel during a seizure?

In spite of the fact that seizures might appear to be extremely frightening, in reality, dogs are frequently asleep and consequently unaware that a seizure is taking place. Seizures are not unpleasant experiences. Because of this, it is possible that it is more difficult for pet owners to notice than it is for dogs to experience.

Dog Seizures: When to Worry, When to Wait

When it comes to seizure control, the purpose of anti-convulsants isn’t to ensure dogs never have another seizure. Although this would be ideal, it is not a realistic expectation. The number, length, and intensity of seizures, on the other hand, should decrease with treatment. Obtain a simple blood test for your pet if he or she continues to experience breakthrough seizures in an amount that causes you worry. This will confirm that the drug level is therapeutic for your pet. If the dosage is therapeutic but your pet continues to seize, contact with your veterinarian about adding another drug – such as bromide or phenobarbital, depending on which one your pet is presently taking – or potentially meeting with an expert in the field.

I can’t tell if my dog is having a seizure or trembling for another reason.

Shaking and shaking in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors that are unrelated to epilepsy. Learn how to distinguish between the two in 6 Reasons Your Dog May Shiver, and for more information about dog seizures, watch the video above or read the transcript at the bottom of this page. Transcript of the video: Hello, my name is Dr. Fiona Caldwell, and I work as a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Today, I’ll be addressing questions from the Pets Best Facebook page.

She wrote: “My dog suffered a seizure.” My veterinarian advised me to hold off on putting her on seizure medication until she has recovered from her illness.

This may be a really terrifying and distressing experience to witness.

What you’ll most likely witness is your pet losing consciousness and paddling his or her legs, jerking or convulsing violently.

If you have any reason to believe that your dog has had a seizure, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

When a seizure occurs, the veterinarian will most likely want to perform some sort of lab work or some other diagnostic tests to rule out the possibility of another underlying disease that is causing it.

Epilepsy is often the most prevalent cause of death in dogs between the ages of one and six or seven years old.

Given the age of the animal and the nature of his seizures, it may be appropriate for you to postpone administering seizure medication to the animal for a short period of time.

If your dog is one of the lucky ones that never experiences another seizure, your veterinarian is unlikely to want to put him or her on seizure medication in the first place.

Check your watch or the clock on your phone to see how much time has passed so that you can determine how long it was exactly.

If a seizure lasts longer than three to five minutes, it is considered an emergency, and your dog should be sent to the veterinarian immediately.

Seizures that occur for an extended period of time in dogs, especially as they age, can create difficulties with their brains and even cause brain damage.

If your dog’s seizures persist and they’ve progressed to the point where they’re occurring once a month or two to three times a month, the frequency of the seizures will eventually necessitate treatment.

There are seizure drugs available that are generally effective in controlling seizures in dogs and can help regulate their seizures.

Obtaining pet insurance before any seizure or indications of a seizure occur can save money in the long term by reducing expenditures. A quotation from Pets Best Insurance may be obtained quickly and easily.

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