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Posts Tagged ‘seizures in dogs’

PostHeaderIcon Do You Really Know What Seizures Look Like In Dogs?

Is It Possible That My Dog Had A Seizure When She Fell Down?

If your dog had a mild seizure would you recognize it for what it is?  Severe seizures or “Grand Mal” seizures are easily recognized by their symptoms. The dog usually falls and his body becomes rigid. He may appear as if running or paddling his legs.  He will also lose consciousness along with loosing control of his bladder. These seizures usually last from 30 seconds to several minutes. While this is traumatic for any pet owner at least we recognize it and know that it is a seizure.

On the other hand, mild seizures or “Petit Mal” seizures, can look as if the dog has simply fainted and their eyes have a blank stare.  Many of these petit mal seizures are fleeting lasting only a few seconds and you might even think your pet has hurt himself because frequently the pet will cry out before falling.  This it exactly what happened to a dog I recently cared for.

I was pet sitting for this cute little dog when she had a seizure.  I knew it was a seizure because my Pomeranian had many  before she passed.  It was a really mild seizure and the dog seemed fine afterwards.  Since it was an extremely mild seizure and it was on the weekend  I decided to wait until the next day to call the veterinarian. Before we arrived at the veterinarian the next day the dog had another seizure.

How are  seizures in dogs diagnosed?

If your dog experiences seizures some tests that your veterinarian might want to perform  include blood work, urine tests, CT scans and MRI’s.  Luckily for me and the dog’s owners the veterinarian discovered the dog had pancreatitis by just doing some simple blood work.

While seizures aren’t considered a symptom of pancreatitis,  low blood sugar resulting from the pancreatitis can cause seizures.  I did mention to the vet that both of her seizures occurred several hours after eating.

When the dog’s owners returned from their vacation, I informed them that their dog had two seizures.  When I was describing the seizures to them they realized that their dog had several seizures at home before they came.  Their dog would cry out and fall to the floor.  Since they had no prior experience with mild seizures with their little dog they just thought that she somehow hurt herself.

They took the dog to their veterinarian and since he had no idea the dog was having seizures he simply prescribe some tramadol for the dog’s pain.

While it took a little longer for the proper diagnoses, I’m glad to say this cute little dog is doing fine today and the owners are determined not to spoil her with any more fatty table scraps which can trigger an attack of pancreatitis.

Some other causes of seizures in dogs are:

  • epilepsy
  • hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • hypocalcemia (low blood calcium level)
  • poisons including, chocolate, caffeine, strychnine and others
  • heat exhaustion
  • parasites, such as fleas and hookworms
  • low blood sugar

What should you do if your dog has a seizure?

Try to remain calm if your dog has a seizure, you don’t have to worry he can’t swallow his tongue. You should also keep your hands away from his mouth in case he snaps at you unintentionally. I would always pick my dog up and hold her when she was having a seizure but not really a good idea if you don’t want to get urinated on.  Try to keep track of how long her seizures last and what time of day it was in case the seizure was caused by low blood sugar.

In conclusion  seizures in dogs, mild or severe  should always be investigated by your veterinarian. Untreated seizures in dogs can often worsen and cause irreparable harm.

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