My dog had a seizure. What do I do?

Seizure disorders are relatively common in dogs and can be caused by many different conditions. Although upsetting to witness, it is important not to panic.  Seizures usually last less than two minutes.  A pet may lose consciousness, become rigid, paddle its limbs, and urinate or defecate during the event. If your pet is having a seizure, keep it from any area where it may fall and injure itself, such as stairs. Keep your hands away from its face and mouth. Bites can occur when the pet is not aware of its surroundings. Also, try to obtain a video of the event, as this can help with diagnosing the cause of the episode.  Heart-related collapse can look very similar to a seizure.

Dogs typically go through a recovery period after a seizure, where disorientation and wobbly gait occurs. This is expected and may last for hours. If your pet is recovering well from the event, a single seizure is typically not life-threatening.  If the seizure lasts longer than a few minutes, or if multiple seizures occur in a day, the pet should immediately be seen by a veterinarian. If your pet has a neurologic condition, and you would like to discuss treatment or diagnostic options, please schedule an appointment with us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Crane

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