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What to Do for Dog Seizures or Convulsions

Because of how much your dog means to you, it can be incredibly upsetting and stressful when your dog is sick. Dog seizures especially are hard to endure, but it’s important to stay calm if your dog is having one. The team at Advanced Animal Care of Colorado in Fort Collins wants to make sure you know what to do if your dog begins to seize, so we’ve gathered some information to help you.

Seizure types and what to do

Seizure symptoms will vary depending upon what type of seizure your dog is experiencing. Grand mal seizures affect the whole body, with symptoms like full-body convulsions and loss of consciousness. Focal seizures, however, only affect one part of the brain, so the seizure symptoms only show on one side or part of the body. The final seizure type is psychomotor, which is difficult to recognize, as the symptom is usually just odd behavior, such as attacking things that aren’t there.

Most dog seizures last only a few seconds to a few minutes, but it can feel like a lifetime. Know that your dog isn’t in pain, and stay calm. If your dog is having a grand mal seizure, make sure you:

  • Time the seizure – Check the clock as soon as you notice your dog seizing and attempt to time the seizure as accurately as possible.
  • Make the surroundings safe – If your pup is around any hard or sharp objects, try to move them away from him. If you can’t move the items away, try to gently slide your dog to a soft, safe place. Placing a pillow underneath his head could also help avoid trauma. DO NOT put your hands or anything else near your dog’s face, as they could unintentionally bite during the seizure. Your pup won’t swallow their tongue during a seizure, either, so don’t attempt to hold onto it.
  • Comfort your dog – Talk to your dog in a soothing voice, even after the seizure has stopped, and lightly pet him, keeping your hands away from his face.
  • Keep your dog cool – When a seizure goes on for longer than two or three minutes, your dog can start to overheat, resulting in a dangerous condition called hyperthermia. If your pup has been seizing for two minutes, pour cool water or lay cold, wet towels on his paws, neck, and head. Fans can also help keep your dog cool.

After the seizure has stopped

It’s not unusual for your dog to experience weakness and blindness after a seizure, sometimes for a few hours. Your dog also may have bitten his tongue during a seizure, causing it to bleed. Always call your veterinarian after your dog has a seizure and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If your pup has experienced multiple seizures within 24 hours or had a seizure that lasted two minutes or longer, he or she is in need of emergency medical attention. Immediately contact a local emergency veterinarian, such as our team at Advanced Animal Care of Colorado, and take your dog in to be seen. Dog seizures can be caused by anything from idiopathic epilepsy to ingestion of poisons, so seeing a veterinarian can mean the difference between life and death for your pup.

More questions? Contact us now.

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