Canine Epilepsy Symptoms

Canine epilepsy is a serious condition that causes seizures. However, once detected, epilepsy is manageable. Epileptic seizures are dangerous, as the dog may get injured, being unconscious and having no control over his muscles. Recognizing the canine epilepsy symptoms can help your get medication for your pet and know how to keep your dog safe the next time he has a seizure.

Symptoms of Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy will manifest itself through seizures that occur suddenly and without any warning signs. The seizure may be triggered by excessive noise or light or a stressful situation.

During a seizure, the dog may fall down, stagger and he will have spasms. The dog may or may not lose his consciousness, but he will have no control over his muscles and limbs.

He will be breathing with great difficulty and he will salivate excessively. He may also have foam around his mouth, due to the fast rate breathing. Not all seizures are the same; in some situations, the dog may get stuck in a position (i.e. open jaw).

The seizure may be dangerous, as the dog may encounter sharp objects or may fall and hurt himself.

The seizures may lasts under a minute or up to 5 minutes. Make a note of the length of each seizure and the possible cause that triggered the episode.

Apart from seizures there will be no other symptoms.

Causes of Epilepsy

Epilepsy may be a genetic disease but it may also be caused by:

  • Damaged brain tissue (from trauma or previous injuries)
  • Tumors
  • Blood clots in the brain

Seizures may also occur due to heat strokes, poisoning, chemical imbalances, calcium deficit or low blood sugar. The vet will rule out these causes before considering epilepsy as a diagnosis. In any case, if your dog has a seizure, you need to seek veterinary advice.

What to Do during a Canine Seizure

If your dog has epilepsy, he may experience seizures. The frequency of the seizures may depend according to each case in part. Some dogs may have only 1 seizure in 6 months. Other dogs may have weekly seizures.

If you notice that your dog has muscle spasms or that he falls down suddenly, this means that he’s having a seizure. You need to dim the lights and reduce the noise and remove any sharp objects from his area. Place a few pillows that will prevent the dog from getting injured.

Don’t try to hold your dog’s tongue during the seizure, as he may hurt you. There are low chances of the dog swallowing his tongue during a seizure.

Wait until your dog is calm; put him to rest.

Treatment for Canine Epilepsy

In case your dog has rare epileptic episodes (i.e. once or twice per year) medication is not recommended, as it has more side effects.

If your dog has seizures more often, an anti-epilepsy drug should be administered.

You may prevent seizures if you detect what triggers the epileptic episodes in your dog. Some dogs may have a seizure due to thunders of excessive noise, while others can start having involuntary muscle contractions from a stressful situation.