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Pet Health Concerns: Seizures

Bernese PuppyIt is always sad when a pet suffers from any ailment but seizures may be one of the most disheartening. Watching your beloved pet have a seizure, which at the most intense has the pet thrashing wildly on the ground, is one of the most helpless feelings. There is nothing you can do to stop a seizure once it starts, leaving you watching helplessly until the end when you can give comfort while the pet recuperates.

Seizures occur when there is excessive nueronal activity in the brain. This activity can be caused by a number of things including tick bites, a brain tumor or head injury, or the ingestion of a toxin. But the most common cause is epilepsy, which is simply a health condition characterized by recurring seizures.

Seizures caused by a toxin or head injury will normally stop once the initial cause is treated. Seizures caused by epilepsy are generally controlled with medication.

With pets with recurring seizures, it’s important to learn the signs of an impending seizure in order to be able to get the pet to a safe area before one starts. Signs of seizures may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Appearing worried, stressed, or frightened
  • Visual disturbances
  • Loss of focus
  • Seeking help from an owner
  • Urinary accidents

If your pet experiences a seizure, it’s important to have him or her seen by a veterinarian immediatly to determine if there is an underlying cause and any affects the seizure may have had on the pet. With early treatment and proper care, seizures don’t have to stop a pet from living a long and healthy life.

Have you had a pet that has suffered seizures? What was the prognosis?

About Heather @FamilyAndFur

Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue. Google+

8 Responses to Pet Health Concerns: Seizures

  1. My dog had epilepsy, and we were able to manage it with medication,it was hard to see him suffer with seizures. He lived a long time, but I miss him.

  2. Tanya says:

    We had an Italian Greyhound that suffered from seizures since puppyhood. Her seizures lasted a long time and apperaed in clusters (which were more dangerous), but once we dialed in the correct amount of phenobarbitol we didn’t have any major problems. We didn’t see her have a seizure for about the last 6 to 7 years of her life. And before that we were able to dial them back to just one every few months. We could always tell she was gong to have one because her hair would stand up on her back and she’d come slinking up to us as if she were scared – looking for our support. We always held onto (because she was small enough) her until she was done. It is a horrible thing to witness. It helps to know that they aren’t aware of what is going on.

  3. Charlaine Burgess McCauley says:

    My mother’s dog had seizures for many years. It was always so frightening to watch and when he would come out of them, he would be very confused. The vet couldn’t really determine the root cause of the seizures, but he gave medication to try and control them. Grendel, my mom’s Shih Tzu, lived a long, wonderful life. He passed several years ago at age 15.

    We didn’t give up on Grendel. He was a fabulous, loving, wonderful pet.

  4. Jayson says:

    Great article and advice. I’ll be sure to follow.

  5. Vicky says:

    My poor Louis had seizures. It ended up being a liver problem rather than epilepsy. All I have to say is that its very scary to watch a pet go through an episode but it helps to be calm and reassure the animal during and after a seizure. I was lucky enough to have the pet insurance so I never had to pick and choose tests that Louis had to go through.

  6. JF says:

    Seizures look a lot scarier than they are. Many people think that seizures cause brain damage, but normal seizures (in a person or animal) don’t leave lasting damage.

  7. KP says:

    I worked at a doggie daycare and one of our regular visitors started having seizures a few times a month. I’m not sure what his diagnosis ended up being, but he was otherwise healthy and spunky.
    Although his episodes were sad and scary to us people, it was amazing seeing the concern and love from the other dogs. I’ll never forget that.

  8. Dawn says:

    Our dog Jackson (German Shorthair Pointer) was diagnosed with Epilepsy. He was originally treated with Phenobarbital, and nearly died, because in some dogs this drug shuts down the white and red blood cells. Luckily we found this out in time, and we now treat with Sodium Bromide. It has cut down on the number of seizures, but has not eliminated altogether. His seizures are short in duration and not as severe as most, and oddly happen only when he is sleeping.

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