Can dogs have seizures?

April 13, 2012

The dog is at it again… darting here and there, growling playfully to torment the cat to the amusement of the whole family. Suddenly, the dog started to whine, trembled and keeled over. The dog is briskly pedaling its limbs; the seemingly unseeing eyes are dilated. The dog is drooling excessively and foaming at the mouth. This is no longer play acting. The dog is no longer tormenting the cat. Owners unwise to the situation would panic. Dog owners that have witnessed the same occurrence would know that the dog is seizing. Yes, dogs can have seizures too. Watching the beloved pooch seizing would be very stressful for the pet owner. The owner would naturally try to help the pet.

There are several reasons for the seizure of the dog. Commonly, the seizure is a manifestation of a neurological disorder. The seizure can be blamed on distemper that causes brain damage. Distemper that is transmitted through the feces, urine and saliva of the infected dog is more common in puppies. A blow in the head or a brain tumor puts pressure on the brain causing the dog to seize. Ingestion of toxins is one of the most common reasons why a dog would have a fit. The dog has a good chance of recovery if the poisoning is detected at once and the necessary treatment is administered. The seizure can be genetic in nature. Evidences have pointed to the possibility that seizure is a hereditary trait. German Shepherds, Collies, Dachshunds, Keesehond, Poodle and Golden Retriever are prone to having seizures. Frequent and sudden seizure attacks are attributed to epilepsy. Epileptic seizures happen when the dog’s normal sensory and muscular functions are disrupted due to uncontrolled brain activity. Epileptic seizures are life threatening as it can occur in continuous seizures that could go on for 30 minutes or more. This kind of seizure can also be recurring loops where the dog will no longer regain consciousness.

A seizing dog is not a pretty sight but the best thing that the dog owner can do is to keep calm. The dog may appear to be in the throes of immense pain but dog experts tell us that the dog actually don’t feel anything. It is not necessary to restrain the paddling limbs of the dog as it is a convulsive contraction of the muscles and doing so can only hurt both the owner and the dog. Some owners have this idea that the dog’s tongue must be pulled out when the dog is convulsing. The dog cannot swallow its tongue! What is a possibility though is that the owner’s hand can be bitten by the dog. The best thing a dog owner can do is to prevent the dog from being hurt. Slowly move the convulsing pet away from stairways or from nearby objects that can cause the dog injuries. Trying not to panic may be hard but it is necessary to help calm the pet. The dog may be disoriented or even unconscious but the comforting voice of its master would have a calming effect. This is very important. Seizing dogs can attack. It is necessary to keep children and other pets away from the seizing dog.

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