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Did My Dog Just Have a Seizure?

By Species, Care & Wellness, Dogs, Emergency Situations

Did your dog just fall on the ground? Or begin shaking uncontrollably? Is it drooling for no reason? Has it lost control of its bowels? It might have just had a seizure.

If it has repeated seizures, your pet might have the well-known neurological condition, epilepsy.

But, your pet might have had a single seizure that was unrelated to epilepsy. The other reasons for a dog to seizure can include metabolic disorders with the liver or kidneys, or electrolyte (Sodium/Potassium), or Glucose disturbances. Other conditions, like a brain tumor, stroke or even trauma to the head, can initiate a seizure. If an exact “cause” for the seizure activity cannot be identified we call it idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic simply means the cause for the seizures is not determined. There may be a genetic predisposition for the seizure activity. Many dogs diagnosed with epilepsy will begin having seizures between 2 and 5 years of age.

If you witnessed what you think was a seizure, it is important to try to be as accurate as possible when describing what happened when talking to your veterinarian. Also, what occurred just before the seizure, and how long it lasted. Often what looks like a seizure is not really a true seizure! Dogs with severe ear infections can shake vigorously and lose balance if the inner ear is affected. Dogs with heart conditions can have fainting spells that may resemble a seizure. It is important to have a complete and comprehensive physical examination by your veterinarian to rule out the other conditions that may mimic a seizure.

These other medical problems must be addressed and, if possible, treated in order to prevent the re-occurrence of seizures.

If your pet is diagnosed with juvenile-onset idiopathic epileptic seizures, we can discuss with you when and what type of medication your pet may need to be on to control the seizure activity. The prognosis is usually good, depending on the response to therapy, but the therapy is usually life-long.

If you need to discuss your pet’s therapy for seizures, or if you need to schedule an MRI or other diagnostics for your pet’s neurological condition, call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at 540-943-7577 to discuss the case with our Board-Certified canine Specialist.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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