Dog Seizures – What You Need To Know
Watching your dog have a seizure can be a startling experience: your furry loved one that normally is happy and playful starts shaking and trembling uncontrollably and may even stumble around or even fall down. Now the question is what do you do? In order to answer that question, we need to first understand the causes of a seizure and what you can do to help.
Main Causes of Dog Seizures
A medical disorder in dogs called Idiopathic epilepsy is one of the most common causes of dog seizures but doctors are not sure exactly what causes this form of epilepsy.
Additional causes of dog seizures include:
- Different type of diseases of the liver,
- Kidney issues
- Brain tumors or trauma
- Blood pressure issues
- Toxins and food poisoning
Ingestion of poisonous substances is one of the leading causes of seizures in dogs. Needless to say, the simplest method of treatment is prevention by ensuring your dog doesn’t approach any dangerous substances.
Your pets type of breed also may play a role in terms of their likelihood of experiencing a seizure. For example, Belgian Tervuren, Shetland sheepdog, beagle, Labrador retriever, golden retriever, keeshond, or vizsla. Finnish spitz, Bernese mountain dog, Irish wolfhound, and English springer spaniel are breeds that may be more prone to seizures than other breeds.
Seizures in dogs due to genetic predisposition generally occur with younger dogs up to three years old.
How do I know if my dog is having a seizure?
Seizures may be characterized by uncontrollable twitching and generally last anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes.
What exactly is a seizure in dogs?
Simply put, a seizure in dogs is an involuntary muscular convulsion that may be caused by a variety of triggers. Veterinarians report that dog seizures are one of the most common symptoms reported among dog owners. When these seizures recur on an ongoing basis at different intervals, it’s generally referred to as epilepsy. Epilepsy in dogs is a term given after various medical exams have been performed on the dog and come back as inconclusive, meaning that no other specific medical cause could be determined.
What actually happens to my dog during a seizure?
1) The first phases is referred to as aura – which is essentially the pre-seizure phases in which your dog may exhibit irregular behavior such as whining, anxiousness or heightened drooling from the mouth. The typical duration for this phase ranges anywhere between a few seconds to a few hours.
2) The second phase is the seizure itself and may the typical duration is anywhere from a few seconds to approximately 5 minutes. The intensity of the actual seizure may also vary. Some dogs may lose consciousness while other dogs may demonstrate muscle convulsions. Sometimes, dogs may shake their legs while lying down.
3) The final phase of the seizure actually refers to the post-seizure phase and is generally described as dog experiencing confusion, anxiety, incessant barking, etc.
You should contact your vet immediately if your dog begins having a seizure.
In certain cases, your vet may prescribe Valium to your dog to try and reduce the seizure.
What can I do to help my dog with his seizure?
Although it may be unpleasant and disturbing to watch, dog seizures don’t actually hurt your dog. In general, your dog will be more confused as to what’s happening more than anything else. Some people believe that dogs may swallow their tongues during a seizure however there is no evidence that this is true.
You can help your dog during their seizure by moving away any sharp or dangerous objects that they may come in contact with during their seizure. DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS OR FINGERS INTO YOUR DOGS MOUTH DURING THE SEIZURE!
Although you should always seek medical assistance for any dog seizure, it’s especially urgent to take your dog to the vet for any seizure lasting more than a few minutes. A seizure lasting more than 5 minutes may be indicative of a condition called status epilepticus and this is a life threatening condition that must be treated immediately.
Treatment for Dog Seizures
After your dog has a seizure, your vet will conduct a series of tests and exams to try and determine the exact cause of the seizure. The exams may include blood and urine tests and in extreme cases an ECG to assess if the kidneys, heart and blood sugar levels are all normal.
Obviously, if your dog has eaten a leftovers in an unknown location or has been exposed to chemicals, that should be reported to your vet immediately.
In general, treatments for dog seizures are generally recommended only when they occur more than once a month.
The two most commonly used medications to treat seizures in dogs are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Research into the use of other anticonvulsants is ongoing, and combination therapy is often used for dogs that are poorly responsive to standard treatments.
One of the main disadvantages to these standard treatments is that once treatment is started, it must be continued for life.
Due to the lifelong treatment requirement as well as other potential side effects of standard treatments, more and more dog owners whose dogs have experienced seizures are discovering cbd oil as a potential solution. Many dog owners ask if cbd oil is safe for dogs with seizures or if cbd oil can help with dog seizures. The answer to both questions seems to be positive due to the numerous dog owners that have tried using cbd oil for dog seizures and seen impressive results.
CBD Oil for Dog Seizures
CBD oil is a natural anti-convulsant and there are hundreds of testimonials from vets and pet owners alike attesting to the effectiveness of cbd oil to reduce and even mitigate completely their dog’s seizures with regular use of CBD oil.
Medical research in this field is still ongoing. Currently, new medical research is underway to determine the best cbd oil for dog seizures and well as how much cbd oil for dog seizures is most effective.
Pet owners that are interested in trying cbd oil for dog seizures are advised to learn more regarding how much cbd oil for dog seizures is appropriate before giving to their dogs.