If Your Dog is Having a Seizure: What to Do Next

A seizure is an involuntary contraction of muscles usually the result of epilepsy, abnormal brain activity or medications. Treat a dog having seizure symptoms fast and calmly. Most episodes won't last long, but damage can happen in seconds. If it lasts more than 20 minutes, get emergency care.

Keep Your Dog Safe

  • Gently holding him down with a large blanket or pillow to prevent him from causing self-inflicted wounds.
  • Clear away objects such as electrical chords, sharp tools and furniture.
  • Move your dog away from dangerous areas like the top of stairs, pools, and fireplaces.
  • Create a quiet environment: turn off TVs, radios, and try not to panic or make noise. You need to reinforce a sense of calm for yourself and your pet.
  • If your dog gets seizures from low blood sugar, give him honey or corn syrup to quickly elevate his blood sugar levels.
  • Observe your dog's actions and time the seizure. A seizure may involve all the skeletal muscles or simply be spasms in one area. Taking good notes about your dog's episode will help your vet make a thorough diagnosis.

What NOT to do

  • Don't touch your dog's mouth or hug him since dogs in the throws of a seizure will bite involuntarily.
  • Don't try and push down his tongue. Fortunately, a dog having seizure won't try and swallow his tongue.
  • Don't disturb him too quickly after the episode. He will need anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour to get back to normal from the loss of energy and possible hallucinations he has experienced.