Dear fellow animal lovers! Dogs are known as human’s best friend, and who dare to argue that? They are loyal and easy to train. If you ever know the story of Hachiko that waited for his owner over nine years following his death, you surely understand what we mean. You know, sometimes human just don’t deserve dogs at all.
However, we believe dogs (and all our animal friends) deserve the best care we could provide. That is to show our gratitude as well as our love toward them. Remember happy animal make a happy owner, and vice versa. That’s why here we will tell you a little bit about dog seizure and how to take care of it.
What is dog seizure?
Basically, seizure is an uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in the brain that will affects one’s behavior, feeling, movements, even consciousness. The appearance of dog seizure is just like seizure in human, they will twitch or shake uncontrollably for less than a minute or several minutes. You may also recognize this disorder with the name of epilepsy.
What causes dog seizure?
Because seizure attacks the brain, it is often happen at times of changing brain activity, such as during excitement, feeding, also as they’re falling asleep or waking up. Affected dogs can appear completely normal between seizures. The followings are some causes of dog seizures (which mostly are their own diseases).
- Eating poison
- Liver disease
- Low or high blood sugar
- Kidney disease
- Electrolyte problems
- Head injury
- Brain cancer
What are the symptoms?
Should your usually bubbly doggy shows these symptomps including collapsing, stiffening, muscle twitching, jerking, loss of consciousness, drooling, chomping, tongue chewing, or foaming at the mouth, chances are they’re having seizure. Your dogs can fall to the side and make paddling motions with their legs as if they’re treading water. Note that they sometimes poop or pee during the seizure.
How to care your dogs seizure?
The most important thing is try to stay calm and speak to your pets in a soft, comforting voice. Then, put light pressure on your pets’ eyeballs for a minute to stimulates the vagus nerve. Eyeball pressure may helps decrease your dogs seizure duration. But remember, do eyeball pressure only if it’s safe to do so.
Next, move away objects that possibly harm their head to prevent injury and protect your pets. However, never try to move your pets during a seizure and approach their head or the mouth if you don’t want to get bitten. Similarly, you don’t want to put medication or anything in your dogs’ mouth while they’re having a seizure.
If possible, try to document the event, like time how long the seizure happens and what led up to the event. The seizure that lasts for more than a couple of minutes may put your dogs at risk of overheating. Turn a fan on near your dogs and put cold water on their paws carefully to cool them down.
Get emergency help or reach out to your local vet as soon as possible if your dogs have a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes, or if the next seizure follows right after one ends. That is a serious and life threatening situation which also called status epilepticus. Unless intravenous anticonvulsants or IV Valium are given by your vet immediately to stop the seizure activity, the dogs may die or suffer irreversible brain damage.
What to expect when taking dogs to the vet?
Your vet will do a thorough examination and get some lab work to look for the causes of your dogs’ seizures. They may begin by taking a thorough history, concentrating on possible exposures to poisonous or hallucinogenic substances or any history of head trauma. After that, your vet will conduct a physical examination, blood and urine tests, and sometimes an electrocardiogram (ECG). If your dogs are not taking monthly heartworm preventive, a heartworm test will also performed.
If these tests are normal and no exposure to poison or recent trauma are found, further diagnostics may be recommended, depending on the intensity and frequency of the seizures. Occasional seizures (less frequently than once a month) are not as alarming, but they can be more frequent or more severe. In this situation, a spinal fluid analysis may be performed.
Depending on the availability, specialized techniques such as a CT scan or MRI may also be performed to look directly at the structure of the brain.
Treatment is usually begun only after your dogs have following conditions:
1. Several seizures in a month.
2. Clusters of seizures in a row right after one seizure ends,
3. Severe grand mal seizures or if they are prolonged in duration.
The two most commonly used medication are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. The use of another newer anticonvulsants such as zonisamide and levetiracetam also becoming more popular. Combination therapy is recommended for dogs that are poorly responsive to standard treatments.
Note that once anticonvulsant medication is started, it must be given for life. There is evidence that discontinuation after starting the medication may lead the dogs to a greater risk of developing more severe seizures in the future. Even if your dogs have no history of seizures or epilepsy, they may be induced to seizure if an anticonvulsant medication is given and then suddenly withdrawn. Remember that your vet will give you specific instruction if anticonvulsant medication for your dogs must be discontinued or changed for some reason.
The followings are some steps you may include in your dogs seizure’s treatment and prevention.
- Strengthen the brain
- Strengthen the liver
- Avoid toxins
- Provide a stable environment
- Give medication to prevent uncontrolled brain activity
- Provide surgical relief to brachycephalic dogs
- Include alternative therapies
All in all, we hope this article helps. We always hope for you and your dogs’ well-being. Good luck!