Diabetic Seizures in Dogs

Proper control of your dog's diabetes is the most important factor in controlling diabetic seizures. Diabetic control means closely controlling the sugar and carbohydrates that your dog ingests.

Canine Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is usually caused by your dog's inability to produce sufficient quantities of insulin to properly process sugars and carbohydrates in his diet. Insulin is produced by your dog's pancreas. Diabetic seizures are normally caused by one of two things: either your dog's blood sugars have risen too high because of a poor diet or lack of insulin, or from hypoglycemic shock. Hypoglycemic shock is caused by your dog being given a dose of insulin without sufficient food to allow the body to properly process the insulin.

Signs of an Impending Seizure

Prior to the onset of a diabetic seizure, your dog may exhibit a variety of abnormal behaviors. Disorientation and weakness are typically observed prior to a seizure. Your dog may also exhibit other abnormal behaviors, such as constant whining or crying. The seizure itself is characterized by rapid, involuntary twitching of the muscles or convulsions.

Treatment of Diabetic Seizures

Hypoglycemic shock is best treated by the ingestion of sugars that are rapidly available to your dog's system. These include honey in a squeeze bottle or a solution of powdered glucose and water. Small amounts of vanilla ice cream may also be helpful. If your dog suffers from canine diabetes mellitus, you should always keep a ready supply of one of these on hand for treatment of diabetic seizures.

Prevention of Canine Diabetic Seizures

Careful monitoring of your dog's blood sugar and insulin levels is the most important way to prevent diabetic seizures. There are a number of good quality blood testing meters available on the market for this. There are no special blood testing monitors made for dogs; the same ones you would use for yourself are what you will need for this. Careful monitoring of your dog's diet is the next important step for you to take in preventing hypoglycemic shock and the ensuing seizures. Regular exercise is important in maintaining proper health, including sugar and insulin levels in your dog's blood.

Insulin Indicated Diabetes

If your veterinarian determines that the dog's diabetes will need to be treated with insulin, you will need to pay careful attention to his or her instructions for the testing prior to insulin administration, the method of administering the insulin (intramuscular or intravenous). It's also important to note that there are special canine insulins that your dog will be prescribed. Two trade names of these special types of insulin include Vetsulin and Novalin. Intially, your vet may prescribe Humalin NPH or Novalin NPH, because of their ready availability. Vetsulin is a pork-based insulin; because of the similarity between canine and pork insulin, it has been found to work better in some dogs.

If you suspect that your pet has canine diabetes mellitus, you should take him to the vet for diagnosis as soon as you can.