Dog Emergency Prevention

My Dog Had a Seizure, What Do I Do Next?

Welcome back to the blog! We know as pet parents that few things are as alarming and startling as your dog having a seizure. We can feel helpless, but there are steps to take that will help your dog recover safely.

What Do Canine Seizures Look Like?

Seizures can take many forms, from recognizable full-body shakes (called grand mal) to more localized muscle tremors. These are easier to spot but not the only kind of seizure. Seizures can also include drooling, a loss of consciousness, and unusual eye-rolling movements, among others. Many animals recover quickly, but it can feel like forever watching it.

What Causes Seizures in Dogs?

It’s vital to remember that a seizure is a sign or a symptom, not a disease itself. There are a variety of causes for seizures, the most common being idiopathic epilepsy. Other causes of seizures could be a lack of electrolytes, overheating, abnormalities in electrolytes, or the blood. Those kinds of abnormalities can be caused by low blood sugar, anemia, cancer, brain tumors and trauma, metabolic disease, and toxin exposure.

Common Canine Seizure Causes

  • Epilepsy
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Nutritional imbalances such as thiamine deficiency
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Liver disease 
  • Tumors
  • Ingested poisons such as caffeine, chocolate
  • An injury to the dog’s head (such as a road accident)
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious diseases such as canine distemper virus infection (CDV) and rabies
  • Heartworms

    What Should I Do If My Dog Has a Seizure? 

    First and foremost, remain calm, the best outcome for your pet is dependent on your ability to focus. Next, check the time. Knowing when it started and how long the seizure lasted are key points of information for your vet. If someone else is in the room with you, have them film the seizure so your vet knows exactly which area was affected. Remember, dogs (also, people) don’t swallow their tongues when seizing, and sticking your hand in their mouth is a good way to get a bite. Also, it’s fairly common for dogs to froth at the mouth or drool excessively, but that doesn’t automatically mean they have rabies. Seizures lasting longer than 2-3 minutes can put your dog at risk of hyperthermia (overheating).

    Once the seizure subsides, get them to a vet immediately.  Even if they seem to be acting normally, seizures are a symptom and could indicate something more serious. A veterinarian can best determine the cause of the seizure and work out a treatment plan.

    If your pet is experiencing an emergency involving seizures, contact your emergency animal hospital immediately. Any time you cannot reach your primary care veterinarian, our team at Veterinary Emergency Clinic are here to help with 24/7 vet emergency services. 

    Get in Touch! 

    Here at Veterinary Emergency Clinic, we’re always here when you need us most. Being part of a pet emergency can be upsetting, knowing that a team of experts is available near you here in WNY allows you to rest assured that your pet always has somewhere to go. 

    Stay up to date with our blog for more helpful pet health hints and more information! You can also follow along with our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more. We’re always available via our 24-hour emergency line. Calling our emergency line could save your pets’ lives! We also have a contact form if you have questions regarding your pet. We’re happy to help!



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