Why Is Your Dog Having Seizures?

Seizures may occur in dogs of all breeds and ages and most dog owners think of epilepsy first. However, the reasons your dog is having seizures may be more diversified. Finding the reasons why seizures occur may help you prevent these in the future. Seizures can be dangerous, so you need to know how to apply first aid help.


Poisoning can cause seizures in dogs. The poisoning may be caused by exposure to lead or other toxic substances; however, if the dog ingests a toxic ingredient such as chocolate or alcohol, he may also suffer from poisoning.

Heat Stroke

If your dog is hot, he may have difficulties in reducing his temperature and this may lead to a heat stroke. A dog suffering from heat stroke will have a shallow breathing, pale gums, may vomit, collapse and have seizures.


Epilepsy is an idiopathic condition that may have hereditary causes. This condition causes seizures, which may vary in frequency. If the seizures are frequent, medication should be administered.

Dog Distemper

Dog distemper is a condition that is caused by viruses and may affect the brain, causing significant damage. The virus can be transmitted through saliva or other bodily secretions, but may also travel through air and infect dogs in this manner.

There is a distemper shot that may be administered to prevent the occurrence of the virus. Puppies that haven’t received the antidote are more exposed to contracting the virus.

Neurological Problems

If your dog has a neurological problem, this may also cause periodical seizures. The nervous system may be inflamed and the additional pressure will lead to seizures.

Brain cancer or malformations may also cause seizures due to the additional pressure in the skull.


Hypocalcemia or low calcium levels can cause seizures in dogs. Dogs typically don’t have calcium deficit, but this condition may occur in dogs that lactate.

Other Causes

Other causes of dog seizures include heartworms (in advanced stages), head injury, trauma or noises such as fireworks or alarms.

How to Identify Seizures in Dogs

A seizure may be signaled by sudden collapse, paddling legs, jaw movements or an open mouth with excessive drooling or foaming and muscle spasms.

The dog will move without having control over his muscles and may urinate or defecate.

First Aid Help

If you notice your pet is having a seizure, you should help your dog, as during a seizure he is not conscious and may hurt himself.

First of all, you need to remove all sharp and dangerous objects and place a few soft pillows that will prevent the dog from hurting himself.

The dog may bite you so don’t touch him or his mouth; dogs don’t tend to swallow their tongues during a seizure.

You should try to find the triggering factor of the seizure and calculate how long the seizure is, so that the vet can diagnose the cause of the seizure.

If you suspect your dog may be poisoned or have a heat stroke, you need to get immediate veterinary help.