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 quite common.

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.

dog seizures

One of the unpleasant things we experience as pet parents is to see our dog suddenly drop to the ground. However, as one of our fellow pet parents, we have your back! We will provide you with tips and advice on how you'll know if your dog is having a seizure and the safety precautions you can take.

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DOG SEIZURES

Dog seizures don't just happen without any underlying reasons. It can be genetic or illness-related. Let's get specific!

Environmental

Seizures can happen to your dog probably because they have taken in something poisonous: food, rodent poison, toxic treats/bones. Injuries/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 actual children!

Health issues

Illnesses in your dog like kidney and liver disease, stroke, anemia, high/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 as regularly as possible.

Genetic

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 daily check ups to your veterinarian.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

If you're confused whether or not your dog is having a seizure, here are the things you should be keeping eyes on.

Before a Seizure

Before a seizure, your dog will have a change of behavior. He will cling more to you, act scared, anxious and not at ease. 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 bowel and may probably poop anytime and anywhere.

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.

After a Seizure

When a seizure is over (finally), it has been reported that dogs feel dizzy, they easily bump on things, they are disoriented, can be frailer, they will experience confusion, restlessness, and temporary blindness for some. They need to be watched and observed more than ever during this time.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

You will never know when your dog will be having a seizure. It can happen anytime (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.

Before

  • When you notice that your dog is showing pre-seizure symptoms mentioned above, put on dog diapers on him. 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 'mess'.
  • Clear any debris / things away from your dog to keep him safe.
  • 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

  • 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

  • Give your dog a time to recover and rest. They're most likely to feel disoriented, week 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).
  • 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, 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.