Are you familiar with what triggers or causes seizures in dogs? Learn about different triggers & causes of dog seizures here!. There are many causes of seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy, the most common cause of seizures in the dog, is an inherited disorder, but its exact cause is unknown. Extracranial causes of seizures are the causes that originate elsewhere in the body but are still able to affect the dog's brain and cause seizure.
Triggers Dog Seizures? What
Was one side of the body affected first? What sort of movements did your pet exhibit, e. Records of these observations along with your seizure diary will be very useful information for your vet. How often a dog with epilepsy experiences seizures can vary greatly between dogs and over an individual dog's lifetime. Recording how often your dog has seizures is important to track how well their treatment is working, and so your vet can alter their treatment if necessary.
Some dogs experience seizures very close together in time e. These types of seizure pose a particularly high risk to your dog's health, can be life-threatening and an emergency:. A cluster seizure occurs when a dog has two or more seizures within a hour period.
Cluster seizures occur in around one third to three quarters of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. If your dog has cluster seizures, emergency medication may be prescribed by your vet for home use. These medications are administered if a cluster seizure occurs, to try and stop the seizure and to prevent more from occurring. You should never attempt to put anything in your dog's mouth, including your hands during a seizure. Immediate treatment is necessary because status epilepticus can cause permanent neurological damage or even death.
If status epilepticus occurs in your dog, immediately contact your vet for emergency treatment. Emergency treatment includes your vet administering high doses of medications that try to stop the seizure and minimise damage to your dog's brain and body. Although seizures are distressing to witness, you should always try to stay calm when a seizure starts and time how long it lasts, so you know whether a seizure is lasting a particularly long time, and are prepared to contact your vet if status epilepticus occurs.
Some dogs may appear to have 'triggers' that lead to a seizure, while others do not. Identifiable triggers may differ from dog to dog. In people with epilepsy, common triggers include tiredness and lack of sleep, stress, and not taking medication. Stress is a trigger commonly reported by owners, and may be caused by a variety of situations including changes in the environment, changes in routine, car rides, thunderstorms, and visits to the vets to name a few.
Other owners report certain foods or medications seem to trigger seizures in their dog. Keeping a seizure diary may help identify triggers in your dog. In most cases, epilepsy in dogs cannot be cured. Maintaining a seizure-free status without causing unacceptable side effects is the ultimate goal of antiepileptic drug AED therapy.
The goal of medical treatment is therefore to improve your dog's quality of life by minimising how frequently the attacks occur and how severe they are. Additionally, the medications chosen for this should not cause serious side effects. If your vet recommends commencing AED therapy, ensure you discuss this thoroughly so that you understand the importance of this treatment and why it is necessary.
Your vet will be able to support you with this treatment, and regular health checks should be arranged so you can both monitor for adverse effects of the idiopathic epilepsy or the medication.
Once started, AED treatment is continued indefinitely, in most cases for the rest of your dog's life, with periodic health checks and blood tests to ensure correct drug dosage, treatment efficacy and minimal treatment-related side effects. Your vet will be able to advise you as to which antiepileptic drug AED is most suited to treating your dog's epilepsy. Factors that may influence your vets decision may include the type of seizure your dog experiences, how often they seizure, and if they have any problems with their kidneys or liver.
The first medications your vet can legally prescribe to treat your dog's epilepsy in the EU are either Imepitoin or Phenobarbital. If the desired reduction in seizures is not seen with the 'first line' medications, they may choose to 'add-on' Potassium Bromide as a second medication.
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Here are ours for the comments: No bullying or harassment of fellow commenters. No foul language or obscenities, please. Most dogs begin to have epileptic seizures between the ages of six months and six years. If an older dog has never shown signs of epilepsy, it is unlikely that it will present in a senior dog; the seizures are more likely to be caused by a disease.
There are a number of illnesses that can cause seizures in your pet. Another factor to consider when an older dog has seizures is that they can be frailer, and more likely to get hurt or disoriented.
Take extra care to keep your senior pet safe and comfortable if it starts having seizures. If your dog has recurrent seizures, this is known as epilepsy. When canine epilepsy has a known cause such as disease , it is called secondary epilepsy. However, some pets will have recurring epileptic seizures that are unexplained, and this is known as idiopathic epilepsy or primary epilepsy.
Although idiopathic epilepsy in dogs is not treatable, the symptoms can be managed through a combination of anti-seizure medication and lifestyle changes, and epileptic dogs can still enjoy a good quality of life. Learning to spot the symptoms can help you to prepare yourself and your pet. The most common type of seizure is generalized, tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures. Many dogs experience generalized seizures in three stages, though this is not always the case. Status epilepticus is a life-threatening condition and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
In addition, the generalized tonic-clonic seizures described above, there are other kinds of seizures to watch out for. Mild seizures are similar to generalized seizures but without the loss of consciousness or such pronounced spasms. Petit mal seizures in dogs are manifested by brief absences and can be difficult to spot. Look out for short periods of unconsciousness, upturned eyes, or blank stares.
Cluster seizures is a term to describe multiple seizures that happen within a hour period. Although the individual seizures may be brief, cluster seizures are considered life-threatening and you should contact your vet immediately if your pet has them.
How to recognize and handle dog seizures
Abnormal, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in your dog's brain cause seizures, affecting how he looks and how he behaves. Seizures. Head injuries can also cause seizures in dogs, which is just another reason to try to avoid accidents of this nature. Illness-related. Health issues that can lead to. Idiopathic epilepsy usually affects young to middle age dogs (6 months to 6 years old) in which no underlying cause for repeated seizures can be found.