Dealing With Seizures In Dogs

Seizures do not just affect humans; they can also happen to canines. Seeing your dog fall to the ground and become unconscious can definitely be frightening. You hate to see your furry family member like that and want to do anything you can to help him. Although it is easy to panic, it is very important to stay calm and protect your dog from danger. This article will help you understand what you should do.

What Causes Seizures?

If your dog suffers from seizures, you probably want to find out the reason. The truth is that seizures can occur for a number of different reasons. Some of the most common causes of seizures in dogs include:

  • Liver disease
  • Parasites
  • Hyperthermia
  • Poisons
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Epilepsy

To find out the cause of your dog's seizures, it is necessary for his veterinarian to run some tests.

Are Seizures Painful?

Even though seizures may look quite violent, they will not cause your furry companion any pain or discomfort. Your dog will be unconscious during the seizure and will have no idea what is going on. Afterward, he may be confused and a little scared. However, since your dog can't control his body during a seizure, he may hit different objects and hurt himself. Clear everything out of the way so that your dog is not harmed.

How Should You Handle Seizures?

1. Avoid Screaming: Watching your dog go through a seizure is terrifying, but you must stay calm. If you start screaming or yelling, it will make things worse for your dog. Instead, you can talk to your dog in a quiet and soothing voice. 

2. Apply a Wet Rag to His Back: A seizure can cause your dog's body to overheat, which can be very dangerous. An effective way to cool your pooch down is to apply a wet rag to the middle of his back. Have someone hold your dog while you press the rag on his body.

3. Keep Your Hands Out of His Mouth: When your dog is in the middle of a seizure, it might seem like he will swallow his tongue. In reality, this is very unlikely. If you put your hands in your dog's mouth, you could get bitten.

4. Remove Other Dogs from Room: If you have other dogs, you need to remove them from the room immediately. They do not understand what is going on and may attack the seizing dog.

5. Provide a Relaxing Atmosphere: A noisy and overly bright environment can worsen your dog's seizures, so dim the lights and turn off the TV and radio. A relaxing atmosphere may help your pooch recover from his seizure faster. 

When is a Seizure an Emergency?

Sometimes dogs snap out of seizures on their own and do not require medical attention. However, if your dog's seizures lasts more than five minutes, it is definitely time to take him to an emergency pet hospital. A seizure that lasts too long can raise your pooch's body temperature and cause permanent brain damage. At the hospital, a veterinarian can administer medicine that will help bring your dog out of the seizure. 

How Are Seizures Treated?

Although there is no known cure for seizures, they can be managed. If your dog has more than one seizure a month, it may be necessary for him to take a daily medication such as phenobarbital or potassium bromide. These medications lessen the frequency and intensity of seizures. In order for the anti-seizure medication to work effectively, they must be administered at the same time every day. A veterinarian can help you choose a medication that is best suited for your dog.