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Why do dogs get Seizures? 4 Types-13 Causes

Seizures, also known as epilepsy, convulsion, ictus, or fit, are sudden, uncontrolled electrical impulses in the brain. It is the most frequently occurring health issue in some dogs. Why do dogs get Seizures?

The seizure is a neurological disorder caused due to involuntary disturbance of normal brain work.   In this condition, Normal brain function is temporarily interrupted, and irregular muscles movements are activated.

The repeated attack of seizures is known as epilepsy. This neurological disorder typically occurs with uncontrollable muscle spasms.

Why do dogs get seizures?

The exact cause of Seizures in dogs is unknown. This condition in pets occurs for many reasons. To better understand this neurological disorder, lets elaborate on the Types of Seizure and causes of Seizures in dogs.

Types of seizures in dogs:

1. Generalized seizure:

A generalized seizure is the most common type of seizure in canines. A pet who suffered from this condition suddenly lose consciousness and convulse for some time.

The duration of the Generalized seizure could be from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the attack’s strength.  

2. Partial Seizures or Focal Seizure:

Focal seizures in canine occur only in one part of the brain and lead to unusual movements in one side of the body. The duration of this Seizure is concise, and a dog recover from it with in seconds; however, some times, it may convert into a generalized form.

3. Psychomotor Seizure:

Psychomotor Seizure

This sudden neurological disorder lead a dog to bizarre behavior such as look like attacking an imaginary object, irregular movement of eyes, and chasing its tail. The duration of this disorder is a few minutes.

The mentioned behavior is common, and even a fine pet can do the same. However, developing the behavior repeatedly will indicate a Psychomotor seizure in your dog.

4. Idiopathic epilepsy in dogs:

Idiopathic epilepsy in dogs

Idiopathic means illness due to an unknown cause. Idiopathic epilepsy in dogs is occurred by a sudden abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain in the repeated episodes. This epilepsy mostly occurs between 1 and 5 years of age.

According to vets, idiopathic epilepsy in dogs occurs mostly from an underlying genetic cause in dogs.

Idiopathic epilepsy mostly occurs in purebred as compared to mixed breeds. Male dogs are more at risk to suffer from Idiopathic epilepsy than female dogs.

The idiopathic epilepsy is most common in the below breeds:

  • German shepherds
  • Labrador retrievers
  • Belgian Tervurens
  • Australian shepherds
  • Border collies

Causes of Seizures in dogs:

There are many causes of seizure in dogs, but the exact reason is unknown. According to vets, the most common cause of this behavior is a genetic disorder known as idiopathic epilepsy.

Below we are mentioning some of the most major reasons and causes of seizure in dogs.

  • Genetic disorder
  • Brain trauma
  • Electrolyte problems
  • High or low blood sugar
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain cancer
  • Head injuries
  • Liver disease
  • Anemia
  • Stroke
  • Encephalitis
  • Ingesting Poisonous substance
  • Food poisoning

Seizures in dogs symptoms:

Sings, and symptoms of seizures can vary. It depends on the breed and strength of the attack.

  • Sudden change in the physical appearance.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Sudden Jerking or twitching body motion.
  • show signs of confusion.
  • Irregular Shaking of the body.
  • Incontinence during the condition.
  • Drooling, Howling and foaming at the mouth.
  • Chewing tongue and lips.
  • Irregular eye movement.
  • Collapsing or falling down.

What toxins can cause seizures in dogs?

MedicinesFoodsPlantsRodenticides &InsecticidesIllicit DrugsOthers
IbuprofenXylitolMushroomsMetaldehydeCocaineEthylene glycol
AmphetaminesCaffeineBrunfelsia BifenthrinAmphetaminesMycotoxins
SulfonylureasEthanolSago palmStrychnineCannabisBee sting envenomation
IvermectinDark chocolateAutumn CrocusZinc phosphideYnthetic cannabinoidsHomemade play dough
Fluoroquinolone antibioticsPentobarbital  Castor Bean4-Aminopyridine  – —salt dough
LamotrigineAflatoxins  Foxglove  – —  – —  – —
Procaine Penicillin GMolds  Lily of the Valley  – —  – —  – —
PhenylpropanolamineHeavy metals  Daffodil  – —  – —  – —
DiphenhydramineHomemade play doughPeriwinkle  – —  – —  – —
VilazodoneSalt doughTulip  – —  – —  – —
AmphetaminesEthylene glycol  – —   – —  – —  – —
Phenylbutazone  – —  – —   – —  – —  – —
Metronidazole  – —  – —  – —  – —  – —

How do dogs detect seizures? To find the exact cause of seizures, a full neurological checkup with a certain procedure is required. However, according to ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, the leading cause of sudden seizures in dogs is the toxin reaction of certain foods, plants and medication. Below, the table shows all the toxin that leads a canine to sudden seizure.

What to do if your dog has a seizure?

  • First of all, you don’t need to be panic. Stay calm and wait for our dog recovery.
  • Make sure your dog dint fall in a place that hurt him with something sharp. Eg. Nails, broken glass etc.
  • If possible, take a video of your canine. It will help your vet to know about the type of behavior.
  • If your dog has a seizure history, make sure to concentrate if you or on the stairs.
  • Don’t try to feed during the attack.
  • Don’t put anything in the mouth if you think your dogs swallow his tongue. Dogs don’t swallow his tongue during the seizure.
  • If your dogs have seizure or epilepsy, Make sure a routine checkup by a veterinarian.
  • Your vet will try to diagnose the cause and may perform some test to confirm if your dog is suffering from any underlying health problems.

How do you stop a dog from having seizures?

  • To prevent a dog from having a seizure, The most effective way is to minimize all the possible triggers which lead to dogs seizures.
  • Follow the bellow technique to prevent your dogs from seizures.
  • Improve your general dog health by feeding a healthy diet.
  • Schedule a routine checkup to timely identify the underlying issues.
  • Maintain your canine Blood sugar level.
  • Maintain your pet blood pressure.
  • If your pup is hypothermic, wrap it in a cold towel or provide a fan.  Don’t cool too much.
  • Protect your puppy from eating toxic foods and poisonous substances.

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How long does a dog take to recover from a seizure?

The recovery time of dogs from seizure depends on the type of seizure your canine is suffering from. Usually, from general seizures, a dog recovers within a few seconds to a few minutes.

For focal seizures, the recovery time is within seconds, but sometimes it develops into the generalized form. A dog recovers from it within seconds. Psychomotor seizure takes a few minutes to recover.

The recovery time from Idiopathic epilepsy take a bit longer and depend on the strength of the attack.

Can stress cause seizures in dogs?

Generally, Stress is not a leading cause of seizures in dogs. However, stress and seizures both have a great impact on the brain. So stress can increase the risk of seizures.

Does honey help dogs with seizures?

Yes, honey is the best option to restore a dog blood sugar level after the seizure. Honey benefits for dogs are numerous. Feed a little amount of honey to your canine after the recovery from the seizure.

Do not overfeed; overfeeding could lead your dog to other health issues.