Can Dogs Get Seizures?

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If you or someone you know has ever had a seizure, you might understand how scary it can be. Seizures happen in different ways for people, and they affect people in different ways. Reasons for seizures are not always understood and may not always be visible or easy to recognize. Seizures typically have three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. During a seizure, a person could have one or many various symptoms such as seeing flashing lights or loss of vision. One might experience heightened senses or loss of senses, such as taste or smell. Forgetfulness or loss of awareness and confusion are all things people may feel during a seizure. The body takes on physical changes as well during a seizure. A person having a seizure might have a difficult time talking or may make garbled sounds. They may be unable to speak or swallow, possibly drooling. Some people with seizures have tremors or become rigid. Seizures can certainly be scary. If you have a dog, you might be wondering if your dog can go through this as well.

Can Dogs Get Seizures?

YES!

Seizures are something that happens to the brain and the electrical activity within the brain. This means anyone with a brain can have a seizure. If your dog has seizures frequently, they may actually have epilepsy, which is a condition in which seizures which occur often.

Does My Dog Have Seizures?

If you notice drastic changes in physical appearance and behavior rather quickly, your dog could potentially be suffering from seizures. If your dog is usually in a great mood, active, and happy and suddenly flops over, goes rigid, and potentially drools, or possibly even appears to be swimming or treading water, there is a chance your dog is suffering a seizure.

Most veterinarians agree that there are stages of seizures for dogs as well. Your dog may begin to act differently before the seizure occurs, attaching himself closer to you in fear or concern. Your dog may appear to be confused, unsure, and fearful. And during a seizure, your dog will show the typical signs and symptoms such as drooling or chomping at the mouth, collapsing, or even going rigid. After seizures, dogs tend to walk in circles. They may bump into walls and furniture and appear wobbly and disoriented. You can learn more aboutseizures in dogs here.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Seizures?

Your veterinarian will want to treat the reasons for the seizures in your dog, not only the seizures. Seizures can occur for various reasons, and it will be important for your veterinarian to know why seizures are happening in order to treat them properly. It is likely your dog will be on medications for the seizures. If your dog is experiencing something like epilepsy, he may be on seizure medications for the rest of his life.

How Are Seizures Similar in Dogs and Humans?

The signs and symptoms of seizures are similar across species. All seizures, because they are brain related, typically have three stages. The beginning, middle, and end stages of seizures will be similar in humans and dogs as well as in cats and other animals. Not everyone reacts the same way to a seizure, however, the symptoms, though the list is long, can be similar in all species.

How Are Seizures Different in Dogs and Humans?

Because brain activity is similar across species, seizures are more similar in dogs and humans than they are different. There are many reasons people and dogs, as well as other animals, can begin to develop seizures, from illnesses to genetics, foods, injuries, and disease. The biggest difference between dogs and people is that we may not have a complete health history or a family history for a dog to understand their genetics and what they may be susceptible to. Dogs can also get into poisons that most people would not tamper with, which could cause seizures .

Case Study

An otherwise healthy senior Red Retriever, aptly named Red, stopped in the middle of her living room one afternoon and flopped to her side. Her legs went rigid and jetted straight out. Her owner ran to her, not understanding what was happening, and watched her dog drool and chomp with her mouth as her head violently shook and trembled. This seizure lasted about two minutes. When the seizure was over the owner lifted her beloved Red, who was unsteady, unable to stand on her feet, and appeared dazed and confused as if she didn't know who her owner was.

With a trip to the veterinarian, their doctor told them Red had probably had a seizure. It could be her only seizure, or she could continue to progress with more. With instructions from the veterinarian, the owner went home and kept a close eye on her dog, who had three more seizures over the next two or three months. This dog is now doing testing with their veterinarian and owner to see what the causes of seizures might be. Because she is a senior dog, her age might be a factor.