Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs

By Tess Thompson

Feline and canine seizures are common occurrences. But dogs are more prone to experience them than cats. Seeing your dog buckle without knowing what is going on can be a horrifying experience if you have not seen a seizure before. Seizures normally have more than three stages and are separately classified according to the stages and severity.

Seizures are serious occurrences and may be harbingers of worse things to come. They should be reported to the veterinarian. If you observe and detail out the seizure incident the veterinarian will be able to assess and diagnose the problem better. It is highly unlikely that the veterinarian will get to actually see your dog during a seizure episode and therefore the only way a proper diagnosis can be done is through the information that you provide. Therefore it becomes pertinent that dog owners educate themselves about knowing what a seizure is and the symptoms to look for.

Depending upon the different stages and severity of the seizure, pets show the following symptoms of seizures. These can be triggered by feline or canine seizures or due other reasons including brain injury, an underlying disease or breed specific genetic disorder:

  • Paddling of limbs as if swimming.
  • Jaw movements that look like the dog is trying to chew gum.
  • Pupils in one or both eyes dilate, unresponsive as if unaware of the surroundings. Staring or altered vision.
  • Frothing at the mouth. Begins salivating or drooling.
  • Stiffness.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Involuntar urinating or defacating.
  • Sudding and violent shaking.
  • Muscle twitching or slight shaking of a limb, loose control of hind quarters.

Short episodes of seizures may produce unconsciousness with instances of loss of muscle control and blank looks. Partial seizures involve odd activities like paddling and neck and head bending. Most of the symptoms of muscle spasms appear only on one part of the body. These types of seizures can gradually worsen and turn into serious manifestations and start affecting the entire body. Even if the dog is conscious during a seizure he is absolutely unaware of what is going on around him. He can be extremely unpredictable and the clenching jaws can do serious if not permanent injury.

Seizures are basically a disruption in brain activity that results in confusing signals being sent to the body and muscles. Feline and canine seizures can potentially cause death if they are not attended to. Even mild and moderate looking symptoms should be taken seriously. Some symptoms of mild seizures initially look like playful activities and although they do not cause any pain to the dog can develop into a stage where they cause irreparable harm. Seizures are likely to recur and if left untreated the frequency may increase to unmanageable levels. The ultimate stage of canine seizures, status epilepticus, is a state of continuous seizures for hours without any intervals of consciousness.


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