Seizures in Dogs

Throughout the life of our pet, it is normal for certain diseases to appear in their body. Depending on the breed, the frequency of these will be greater or lesser. However, there are pathologies that we do not expect because they are rare. Seizures in dogs can perfectly fit into this group.

seizures in dog

But what is considered a canine seizure? This type of pathology appears when our pet’s brain becomes unbalanced, causing a failure in the excitation and inhibition signals of its neurons. This situation causes the brain to send electrical discharges that result in the dog’s seizures.

What are the symptoms in which this pathology manifests itself? Seizures in dogs are evidenced by tremors, strong shaking, and intense drooling. Depending on the dog’s breed, age, subsequent seizures, physical condition, and injury history, your pet will be more likely to have some type of seizure.

Causes of Seizures in Dogs

Seizures are not symptoms that are related to a single disease or cause. One of the complications that this type of neuronal dysfunction entails is the large number of pathologies to which it can be related. The conditions that can be associated with this symptom are the following:


The first epileptic seizures occur in dogs from six months to five years of age. We are talking about a hereditary disease that causes loss of consciousness, prostration, pedaling, salivation, defecation, urination and -the aforementioned- seizures.

Encephalitis or Meningitis

Inflammation of the brain or meninges can be two causes that involve your dog’s seizure. They are usually caused by a viral infection such as canine distemper, ehrlichiosis or toxoplasmosis.

Metabolic Diseases

These pathologies are varied and cause significant losses in the dog’s metabolism: hepatitis, hyperlipoproteinemia, hyperthermia, hypocalcaemia, etc.

Congenital Malformations

One of the most common is hydrocephalus, a disorder that consists of an abnormal increase in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the cavities of the brain. This liquid is responsible for eliminating the waste produced by the continuous functioning of the nervous system. It is a common pathology in the following breeds: Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Boston Terrier and Maltese.

how does it look a seizure in a dog

Phases of Seizures in Dogs

In general, several stages can be contemplated in seizures that will allow us to detect in advance what is happening to our dog and, in this way, be more likely to guarantee its health. Read carefully the three phases that we show you!

Preictus Phase

Its duration varies from a few minutes to several days. The dog begins to behave strangely and is nervous for no apparent reason. Some of the symptoms of this phase are tremors, confusion, incoordination and excessive salivation.

Ictus Phase

It is a period that can last several seconds or minutes. It represents the beginning of the attack. The dog usually loses consciousness and falls sideways to the ground. Immediately afterwards, he begins to pedal unconsciously. In addition, the dog is likely to vomit, urinate and defecate.

Postictus Phase

It is a stage that will allow us to measure how intense the seizure that our dog has suffered has been. It is likely that, if it has been strong enough, the dog will show certain consequences that will last several days: confusion, blindness, tremors, etc.

How to act in the face of a seizure of a dog?

It is logical and normal that in a situation of these characteristics, nervousness takes over us. As it is something we do not expect, it is likely that we will not act appropriately. For this reason, we show you everything you should do and everything you should avoid when your dog suffers a seizure.

Staying calm is the first thing you should do. In extreme circumstances of this type, we will think much better if we keep our minds calm and unnerved. Once we are calm, we will have to remove any object that is near our dog so that it does not get hurt.

Once the attack has passed, it is important that we move our pet to a cool and ventilated place, otherwise, its recovery could worsen. Immediately afterwards, what you should do is bring your faithful companion to the nearest veterinarian. With a precious professional diagnosis, you will be able to discover what has caused the dog’s seizure.

In the days, weeks and months that follow, you should give your dog the relevant medication that the veterinarian has prescribed. It is important to be consistent in this regard. If, even so, the attacks continue, it will be necessary to take him back to the vet.

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