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What You Should Know About Seizures in Dogs

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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What You Should Know About Seizures in Dogs

November is National Epilepsy month, and to help my readers prepare I want to educate them about Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs. This is one case where knowing what to do in case of an emergency is incredible helpful so today's information is very important.

You might have heard about epilepsy as a cause of seizures. (The terms seizure, epileptic fit, and convulsion all mean the same thing.) Epilepsy is a seizure condition that has no underlying cause. Sometimes seizures can happen for a variety of reasons such as organ failure, trauma, brain tumors, and infections. However, with epilepsy these typical causes are absent. It can be difficult to predict when seizures will strike and why.

What cases a seizure? The medical explanation is that a seizure is the physical manifestation of a sudden, excessive electrical discharge of neurons in the brain. This results in a series of involuntary contractions of the voluntary muscles, abnormal sensations, abnormal behaviors, or some combination of these events. In less complicated terms, part of the brain is affected by a random firing of nerves which then causes side effects.

A seizure can look a lot of different ways. (If you have ever seen an animal or person experience a seizure, you know it can be really scary.) Seizures vary between individuals and even between incidents and can last seconds or minutes (although it often seems like a long time). Your dog may fall on his side and may look like he is kicking or paddling. He might salivate, lose control of his bladder, and be unaware of his surroundings.

What should you do if your dog has a seizure or you see any pet have a seizure? There are very specific things owners should and should not do, and it is very important to be informed. Find out what they are at: Seizure Disorders in Dogs.

It is so, so important to know how to react if your dog has a seizure. Please forward this information to any dog-loving friends you might have so they will be prepared just in case.

Remember, some seizures are caused by accidental ingestion of medication. To protect your dog, make sure that all medication is securely locked away where they cannot access it.

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