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Signs to Look for in Dog Seizures and Safety Precautions to Take

As scary as we may think it is as humans, dogs can have seizures, too, and in fact it is actually somewhat common. However, just because they can be common, does not mean that dog seizures are not serious.

Signs to look for in dog seizures and safety precautions to take

Dog seizures can be scary and can definitely cause you panic especially if you do not know what do or are not prepared. It can especially be terrifying when you don't know your dog is already suddenly having an attack out of nowhere! It causes us pet parents to go into full panic mode. But, the best thing to do is be prepared, rather than panic. How do you prepare for a dog seizure? Let's take a look at how to notice the symptoms of a dog seizure, what can cause it, and what to do if one is happening.

"Dog seizures don't just happen without any underlying reasons. It can be genetic or illness-related."

One of the unpleasant things pet parents can experiences is to see their dogs suddenly drop to the ground and shake uncontrollably. According to Pets WebMD, abnormal and uncontrolled sudden bursts of electrical activity in your dog’s brain cause seizures. What does a dog seizure look like? Seizures can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking and can last from less than a minute to several minutes.

In this article, we will provide you with tips and advice on what causes seizures in dogs, how you'll know if your dog is having a seizure, the symptoms of dog seizures to look out for, and the safety precautions you can take to help your dog.

Possible Causes of Dog Seizures

Why do dogs have seizures? Dog seizures don't just happen without any underlying reasons. But, why dogs have seizures can vary. It can be genetic or illness-related. Seizures can happen to old dogs or puppies, but the reasons may be different. Let's get specific and look at what causes seizures in dogs.

Environmental

Seizures can happen to your dog if they have taken in something poisonous. What toxins can cause seizures in dogs? Certain human food, rodent poison, toxic treats, bones, and others can all cause seizures. Injuries and trauma to the head can also be one of the reasons. To avoid this from happening, we have to be observant and cautious to keep away our dogs from any potentially harmful substances and try to avoid any accidents that involves the head, as much as possible. Much like having human children!

Health Issues

dog seizure poop, my dog has seizures and pees

Illnesses in your dog like kidney disease and liver disease, stroke, anemia, high and low blood pressure (the list goes on) can cause your dogs to experience seizures. To know if your dog has one or more of the following, it's always recommended that you have him checked up by his veterinarian regularly.

Genetic Issues in Dogs

Dog seizures can be passed on. Certain dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, English Springer Spaniel, Belgian Tervuren, Golden Retriever, etc are just few of the family line of dogs that are more likely to develop seizures. To know if your dog is at a high risk of having one, trace his pedigree if there are any history of dog seizures and have regular check ups to your veterinarian.

It is important to know that seizure is not a disease. According to the American Kennel Club, a seizure is a manifestation of some abnormal motor activity happening in the brain. If your dog experiences a seizure, it is best to take them to the vet immediately to find the cause and hopefully prevent further seizures in the future.

What to Look for to Spot Dog Seizures

If you're confused whether or not your dog is having a seizure, it is best to treat it like they will so that you are prepared. Here are some signs of seizures in dogs to look out for to help you identify if your dog is about to have a seizure.  

Before a Seizure

Before a seizure, your dog will have a change of behavior. They may:

  • Cling to you more than usual
  • Act anxious or scared
  • Look uneasy
  • Stare into space blankly

It is also during this phase that muscles contraction begin to occur and they might not anymore be able to have full control over their bowels or bladder. They may poop or pee involuntarily at any moment.

During a Seizure

Just like how humans act when somebody has seizures, dogs who are experiencing an attack will have a foamy mouth, will collapse, twitch, drool, create uncontrollable movements with their legs, loss of consciousness. They will also probably vomit and since they no longer have full control of their bladder and bowel, they will (most likely) pee or poop during a seizure. Therefore, be prepared to clean up dog seizure poop after your dog has finished their seizure. 

After a Seizure

When a seizure is over (finally), it has been reported that dogs feel dizzy. They may easily bump on things because they are disoriented and they can be frailer than usual.  A dog after a seizure will experience confusion, restlessness, and some will even experience temporary blindness. They need to be watched and observed more than ever during this time.It may be necessary to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and assessment.

Safety Precautions for Dog Seizures

You will never know when your dog will have a seizure. It can happen anytime (although hopefully not when you're not at home). You can't stop it once it has already started but you can actually do something to manage it properly. The best thing you can do is know what causes seizures in dogs and the signs of seizures in dogs. If you know the signs, here are some steps you can take to help prevent further injury and trauma when you see the dog seizure symptoms:

Before a Seizure

  • When you notice that your dog is showing pre-seizure symptoms mentioned above clear away any debris or objects that he or she could potentially get hurt on. Try to keep your dog in a soft place, away from pointed edges of furniture or decorations. A clear carpet might be a great place to keep your dog if you notice dog seizure symptoms. 
  • Put on dog diapers on your dog. Since they will be unable to have full control of their bladder and bowel anymore and may pee / poop anytime, diapers will help keep your dog from bathing in his own dog seizure poop or pee. This will also help save your carpets since you are looking for a soft spot for dog.
  • You can place a Pawtect® Pad on the ground under your dog for extra protection in case your dog vomits, pees, or poops during their seizure.
  • Your dog will feel restless, comfort him by stroking him or just by talking to him, but be mindful to keep your hands away from your dog's mouth as he might be able to bite it down when his muscles begin to spasm.

During a Seizure

  • Do not move your dog when he's having a seizure to prevent any accidents/injuries. Doing so might only hurt you and your dog.
  • Keep track of how long your dog had his seizures. If the seizures last for more than five minutes, contact your vet immediately for an emergency.
  • Make sure your dog does not bump / crash into something while having seizures. You won't want another additional injury.

After a Seizure

  • Give your dog a time to recover and rest. They're most likely to feel disoriented, weak and confused.
  • Many dogs will become hungry after a seizure. See to it that you provide your dog enough food and water. You can also feed your dog with something sweet like honey to bring his glucose levels back to normal (because some will experience low sugar levels).
  • Remove the diaper from your dog. More than likely, you dog will have peed or pooped during their seizure and the diaper will be soiled. Pet Parents® Dog Diapers are machine washable, so you can toss it in your washing machine and keep tending to your dog. Wipe any dog seizure poop and pee from your furbaby. 
  • Consult your veterinarian for treatment and possible medication. Only your veterinarian can assess well your dog's condition.
  • You can't cure the seizure but you can take necessary actions to keep them from happening on a daily basis. Your veterinarian can provide you with a diet plan, dog seizure medications, and other lifestyle changes for your dog.

Preventative care is the best you can do for your dog to be able to prevent any serious seizures in the future. We know it's tough and sad to see your dog deal with problems like this but all we can do is help them get through it because they're family. But the good news? You can have full control of the environment, make them comfortable in your home and give them the love and care they most need.

"Preventative care is the best you can do for your dog to be able to prevent any serious seizures in the future."