Dog Epilepsy Symptoms

Dog epilepsy is a rare condition that is often passed from animal to animal via genetic predisposition. Epilepsy can also be caused by certain diseases or conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. Although epilepsy is rare, it's helpful to recognize the symptoms on sight so that you can best treat your dog if he should have a seizure. Fortunately, seizures can be split up into three distinct stages: the prodroma is the period leading up to the seizure itself, the episode itself then occurs and is followed by a period of post-seizure stabilization.

Symptoms Leading up to a Seizure

It can be very difficult to notice the subtle changes in behavior that a dog will make before he seizes, but there is a period of a few hours up to several days prior to a seizure when your pet will behave strangely. He may seem disoriented or confused, or he may act as if he's in some kind of pain, but without any visible symptoms. Many dogs experience prodroma symptoms that are so mild that they may not be noticeable to owners at all. If your dog has regular seizures or has been diagnosed with epilepsy, begin to recognize the signs that an episode is imminent so that you can best prepare to deal with your seizing pet.

Symptoms during the Seizure

Seizures themselves range from mild to quite severe. The symptoms that your dog will present depend entirely upon the type of seizure that he's having. A partial seizure may only affect one side of your pet's body, and will usually result in strange muscles spasms and movements. Your dog may exhibit unusual aggression and may bite people, or he may twist and contort in unusual ways. Some seizing dogs have been seen to continuously chase their own tails for the duration of the episode.

More serious seizures can result in drooling and unusual salivation, involuntary evacuation of bowels or urination and serious loss of muscle control. Your pet may walk in place or continuously repeat the same action over again (sitting down and standing up, for instance.) In the most severe types of seizures, dogs may lose consciousness and have breathing difficulties.

Symptoms following the Seizure

For a period following the seizure ranging from a few hours to several days, your dog will be disoriented and confused. He may experience a partial loss of vision and could consequently move in erratic patterns. He may even bump into furniture or walls. Dogs will behave strangely during this time, and may display signs of personality traits that do not typically present themselves. Over a period of a few days your dog's behavior will return to normal.

If you suspect that your pet has or will have a seizure, respond quickly by getting him medical attention as soon as possible. Some seizures may present no harm to your pet's overall health, while others can be seriously damaging or even fatal. A veterinarian can help to diagnose your pet's condition and to provide an adequate treatment method.