The Best Way to Stop a Dog Seizure
Just as in humans, a seizure in a dog is an episode when abnormal electrical triggers fire in the brain. As the effects of this electrical triggering spread, it affects the dog’s mental and physical functions, causing jerky movement and loss of physical control. If your dog is epileptic or has another condition characterized by seizures, it is important to be able to identify the seizure and handle it in the way that is best for your dog.
In dogs, a seizure typically starts with an aura, which is a set of pre-seizure behaviors. A dog in the aura stage often acts in a way that is totally the opposite of its normal behavior. Dogs that are usually sweet might become withdrawn and snappish; dogs that are laid back may become strangely anxious; and dogs that tend to be aloof might start to demand affection.
An aura can last for up to an hour before the seizure. Suddenly, your dog will collapse, with all four legs rigidly extended. Then the dog will kick its legs or move spasmodically, and he or she might bite at nothing. The dog may also lose control of its bowels and bladder. The seizure may last for several minutes, and leave your dog shaky and disoriented. The confusion following a seizure may last for several hours.
When your dog has a seizure, try to move it to a place where it will not do any harm. Pull it away from anything that could get knocked over and fall on top of it. Try to keep your hands away from the dog’s mouth, because he or she will lose control over the biting reflex during the seizure.
Talk soothingly to your pet, especially if it seems to respond to your voice. Dogs are acutely tuned into the way we say things; you must do everything you can to keep your dog calm. If you can help the dog stay calm, you can reduce the amount of agitation and potential physical damage it suffers during this unpleasant experience.
One way to help a dog move out of the seizure stage is to apply ice to his or her lower back, just above the tail. Keep a sealed plastic bag of cold ice in your refrigerator at all times so you can apply it when your dog starts to have a seizure. The cold pack can help your dog come out of a seizure very quickly. It also reduces or completely eliminates the post-seizure haze.
If your dog has a seizure, it is essential to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. This is important even if your dog experiences seizures on a regular basis, because you can never know when actual damage has occurred. If your dog has never had a seizure, you will find it even more imperative to talk to a professional.
Remember that seizures can result from many things, including poison and kidney failure, so consult a professional after your dog has had a seizure!
|Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Understanding & Living with Canine Seizures|
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