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Do Fans and Lights Induce Seizures in Dogs?

Dr. Debra,

It appears my dog has more seizures when he rests on my parent’s bed. My mom thinks it might be triggered by the movement of the fan and lights could this be possible?Just another thing we noticed he sits up when they start.Thanks so much.


Hi Samatha,

Seizures are unlikely to be triggered by fan or lights – no more than you would expect that stimulus to induce seizures in people. However it is possible.

Your dog may sit up before a seizure because he feels the seizure coming on.

There are 3 phases to a seizure. One is the “pre-ictal period”. People getting ready to seizure will sometimes feel various sensations – some will see different colors e.g. blue and know they will seizure. Some will experience a certain taste. They often have a sensation that they associate with having a seizure just before.

Dogs can also sense when a seizure is coming. Your dog may feel some sensation that suggests to him that he is going to have a seizure which is what causes him to sit up.

The second phase is “ictal” phase. This is when the active “seizure” event occurs. The third phase is called the “post-ictal” phase and is the period after the seizure when the pet is recovering from the seizure. Some dogs will be uncoordinated, run in to objects, some dogs will be blind, etc.

When discussing seizures with a local veterinary neurologist, they believe that seizures generally occur for no good reason. It is the rare occasion when a seizure occurs and associated with light or noise. It is rare but has been documented that a seizure can occur during stressful times and loud noises such as fireworks. That is not common.

I’d suggest you take your dog to your veterinarian for evaluation and discussion regarding possible underlying causes, blood work and discussion of medications to treat the seizures if indicated.

Best of luck,

Dr. Debra