Just like people, pets can suffer from seizures. There are many different causes, including chronic conditions or illness. In ether instance, if you think your pet has suffered from a seizure, you should contact your emergency vet at Waldorf Emergency Care in Waldorf, MD, as soon as possible.
Causes of Seizures in Dogs
Seizures are an abnormal motor activity that occurs in the brain. There are a variety of causes, including idiopathic epilepsy, electrolyte imbalances, blood abnormalities, low blood sugar, severe anemia, cancer, brain tumors, and trauma to the brain, metabolic diseases and exposure to toxins.
How to Recognize a Seizure
Whole body seizures can cause your dog’s body to convulse. Other seizures may be more localized. For instance, your pet may experience a facial tremor or have a sudden onset of actions or rhythmic movements that are uncharacteristic for your pet. This may include uncontrolled barking.
What to Do if Your Pet Has a Seizure?
Animals recover quickly from seizures, but they may seem to take forever if you are watching it happen. If you see your pet having a seizure, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. Make note of the time and see how long it lasts. Your veterinarian will ask for the length of time of the seizure to help determine the type and cause. Your dog also runs a risk of hypothermia if the seizure lasts more than two to three minutes. Keep in mind that your pet is not in pain during the seizure even though it may appear that they are. Try to hold his head gently and comfort them as they regain consciousness so they don’t thrash about and hurt himself.
After your pet has the seizure, contact your emergency vet immediately, even if your dog begins to act normal.
What to Expect at the Vet
Once you bring your pet in after a seizure, your vet will perform a complete blood cell count to look at their blood count. This can determine whether your pet is anemic, whether they are dehydrated, and indicate any infections or pathological diseases.
A veterinarian will also perform a blood chemistry test and a urinalysis. If these tests do not indicate a cause, your emergency vet may recommend a cerebrospinal tap to rule out meningitis or encephalitis. Other tests may include a CT scan or an EEG.
Treatment for Seizures
The most common treatment for seizures includes administration of seizure medications. Surgery and other alternative methods may be required.
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