Pet seizures are alarming and can make a pet owner feel helpless. We hate to see our pets in pain, but even worse is not knowing what is happening or what can be done to help. The following is a look at the important things to understand about pet seizures when they happen to your dog and when to take your pet to your local animal hospital or pet urgent care center.
Understanding What Causes Pet Seizures
Seizures are among the most commonly reported neurological conditions in dogs. Seizures occur when there is an involuntary disturbance of normal brain activity which results in abnormal, uncontrollable muscle activity.
A seizure can be caused by any number of things. If your dog suffers from head trauma or eats something poisonous, it may disturb the brain in such a way to cause a sudden and unanticipated seizure. This type of seizure is very alarming as it is the result of some other type of injury. For other dogs, seizures may be the result of an inherited genetic problem such as epilepsy and may occur regularly with or without provocation.
The Different Appearances Pet Seizures Can Take
Most people associate seizures with the severe shaking of the body. However, seizures can manifest in other ways. Whole-body shaking also called convulsing, is known as a Grand Mal seizure. There are also localized seizures in which only one part of the body is affected. A dog with a localized seizure may exhibit symptoms like rapid, unusual barking, facial tremors, or erratic leg twitches. These types of localized seizures can be hard to spot.
What to Do When Your Pet Has a Seizure
- Remain calm
- Keep track of how long the seizure or erratic behavior lasts
- Grab a pillow or blanket for your pet’s head
- If the seizure has lasted for more than two minutes, apply cool water to the groin, paws, neck, and head to prevent overheating
- Call your veterinarian immediately after the seizure ends and inform them of the severity, length, and appearance of the seizure
- If a dog or other pet has more than one seizure in 24 hours, bring them to pet urgent care ASAP
Contact Our Animal Hospital to Learn More
Radford Animal Hospital has years of experience addressing pet seizures and their side effects. For more information about pet seizures, pet urgent care, or to schedule an appointment, call us at (540) 639-3891.