Being a pet parent is a blessing. Your furry little friend loves you unconditionally. Regardless of what life crisis you are in, it always has love to shower on you.
Of all the beautiful things that come your way being a pet parent, a few of them could be slightly alarming. One such event could be witnessing a beloved canine have a seizure.
Seizures can occur in any breed at any age. Seeing a young pup in that condition might overwhelm you with helplessness.
This comprehensive guide will help you protect furry friends if/when they suffer a seizure. Keep reading to know more about seizures and what to do if your dog has seizures.
What are Seizures?
Seizures, also known as convulsions or fits, are a kind of neurological condition in dogs. While suffering from one, your pet might experience momentary disturbance of normal brain function, followed by uncontrollable muscle activity.
Seizures may result from abnormal functioning of the cerebral cortex of the brain. The exact cause of seizures is yet to be discovered. However, many diseases can cause seizures in dogs. Idiopathic epilepsy is one of the most common causes of seizures.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Having a Seizure
Identifying seizures can be a tricky task. A seizure progresses in three phases. However, there is no exact period specified for how long a seizure might last.
All three phases are different from each other. Remember, once the third stage is reached, the seizure is over. The three phases are:
Pre-ictal (or Aura) Phase
This is the first phase when the pup might get nervous and become restless. It may even shake or whine. The pre-ictal phase can last from a few seconds to a few hours.
This second phase might last from a few seconds to around 5 minutes. During the ictal phase, the dog might go into an unconscious state, be unable to walk, trip, or even move its legs and body eccentrically. It might appear to be absent-minded and vomit, urinate, salivate or defecate. Remember, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, take your furry friend to the vet immediately.
Seizures can be disturbing, and after the ictal phase, disorientation, restlessness, pacing, hiding, confusion, or worst, blindness are common. After a seizure, the brain takes time to recover. This third phase forms that recovery phase. All the after-effects of the seizure are momentary and subside eventually. Just give them a little time and love.
What to Do If Your Dog Has Seizures
Witnessing a dog having a seizure can be hard on a pet parent. So, here is a list of a few things that you must remember to help a tailed best friend.
You would help your dog better if you stayed composed. Your dog’s health entirely depends on how well you focus and act according to the circumstances. So, stay strong.
Again, you will not be able to time your dog’s seizure if you panic. It is essential to know when the episode started and how long it lasted. This information helps the veterinarian analyze the cause and symptoms of the seizure.
Record the Episode
Seeing your dog seize might make recalling the exact episode hard when you visit the veterinarian later. So, try recording the seizure. If someone is around, ask them to record it for you.
Gauge the Condition
The dogs usually whine and howl as if in pain. It might look like it because the dog is experiencing many unusual things simultaneously, but it does not. Seizures are NOT painful. Your dog is terrified and trembling because it is going through a lot. Knowing this is essential because it can be dreadful to see your pet suffering. But knowing that it is not in pain makes things a bit less hard.
You might feel like holding and hugging your pet, especially when seizures make them lose sight momentarily. But, do NOT touch your dog while it has a seizure. You might get bitten. Also, dogs don’t swallow their tongues during seizures. So don’t try to place anything in your pet’s mouth while it convulses. You’ll only risk further injury.
Let It Be
Dog might drool and foam at the mouth excessively. However, this does not mean it has rabies. Also, dogs may urinate, defecate, and vomit. But still, just let the dog be on its own. You can try comforting it by talking to it.
Since Dog cannot walk or see properly, it may hurt itself by tripping, colliding, or falling. Therefore, remove all potential hurdles and clear the area as much as possible. Be careful of stairs.
This is the condition of overheating, and it occurs if/when a seizure lasts more than 2-3 minutes. If this happens, try keeping the dog cool. You can apply cold water with wet towels around your dog’s neck, head, and paws. In the case of hyperthermia, it is essential to call a veterinarian immediately.
Sometimes, dogs experience more than one seizure in a 24-hour time frame. Such seizures are called cluster seizures. If this happens, without any delay, you must take your dog to a veterinarian.
Treatment: When is It Necessary?
Getting your pet examined after a seizure is essential, but treatment is required only in severe cases. For a quick and effective treatment, your veterinarian might want to know about any seizure history.
Videos and observations of the time your dog had seizures will be helpful in its treatment. Also, it is advisable to maintain a journal to keep track of your dog’s seizure history. Note down the details, dates, and medical records.
Most veterinarians will only initiate treatment if your dog has had any of the following conditions:
- Frequent Seizures: Seizures occurring more than once every four to six weeks
- Cluster Seizures: Multiple seizures within a 24-hour time frame
- Grand Mal Seizures: The prolonged seizure that lasts more than 5-6 minutes
Seizures are terrible, and you might get frightened by seeing your furry friend suffer. But understand that you can protect your dog if you stay calm and focused.
Keep talking to it. You may embrace it after the seizure. It would be best to refrain from touching your dog while it has a seizure. Shower love to comfort your canine.
This guide covered everything you need to know about what to do if your dog has seizures. However, in case you witness something unusual, seek medical assistance immediately.