Canine epilepsy is common, especially in breeds of dogs such as Labrador and golden retrievers, Beagles, dachshunds, poodles and German shepherds, although being a particular breed doesn't mean your dog is guaranteed to have seizures.
Seizures don't always look the same either; one dog may have a seizure that looks more like a head shake, while another may have a full body seizure. If you notice your dog acting differently, or suspect he or she is having a seizure follow the tips below on what to do.
Keep an eye on your dog if you suspect they are having a seizure. If it's a full body seizure (grand mal seizure), you will be able to notice, but a small sign such as a head shake or excessive licking could also be a seizure.
Sometimes your dog's eyes may bulge a bit and you may also notice the pupils getting larger. Your dog may also breathe heavily or have clenched teeth or jaw. Take notice of what all your dog is doing and write it down to report to your veterinarian if you're concerned.
Clear the Area
If your dog is having a full body seizure, you will want to clear the area of anything that could harm your pup. A full body seizure could involve thrashing, so if your dog kicks at something such as a table, it could cause an object to fall onto your dog.
Also clear the area of small children and other pets. If your dog is having a seizure, other pets or small children could startle your dog and could put them in harm's way.
Keep the room as quiet as possible and clear the room to keep your dog having the seizure safe and to keep other pets or small children safe as well.
Take Your Dog Out
Immediately after the seizure subsides, your dog may need to relieve themselves outside. This is especially true if it was a grand mal seizure. Your dog may have expelled some urine or feces during the seizure. If this happens, do not punish your dog. Instead take your dog out just in case there is any more that needs to come out.
Your dog may be a little unsteady, so give your dog a few minutes to get moving and avoid any stairs if possible.
Call the Veterinarian
Give your veterinarian a call if you've suspected a seizure and give him or her all of the details of the seizure. The veterinarian may ask you how long the seizure lasted, if you've noticed any seizures in the past, what type of food you feed your dog and if you've noticed any other symptoms or oddities with your dog.
The veterinarian may ask that tests be ran on your dog, or may have you keep an eye out for any other seizures. Your dog may need tests such as blood work or x-rays, and they may need.
Keep an Eye Out
If your dog is prescribed medication, be sure to keep an eye on your pup for any other seizures and take note of how often they occur.
The medication may need to be adjusted, so write down everything. Seizure medication may make your dog a little unsteady, so also watch your dog when using stairs. If your dog happens to be allergic to the medication, you may notice your dog panting heavily or showing signs of a fever, which should be reported right away to your veterinarian.
Epilepsy in a dog can be quite scary. Be sure to keep an eye on your pup to keep him or her safe, take note of the seizure and report everything to your veterinarian at Riverfront Animal Hospital.