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What are the causes and symptoms of epilepsy in dogs?

(October 13, 2011)

Epilepsy in dogs, like in humans causes frequent and recurrent seizures. These seizures happen because neurons in the brain do not fire their responses correctly. Epilepsy can start showing up in dogs at six months or even at five years. There are some breeds that are prone to such conditions and it is in the buyer’s interest to find out from the breeder if the dogs have a history of epilepsy.

Causes of Epilepsy in Dogs

There are many different causes of epilepsy in dogs. One of the primary causes for epilepsy in dogs is congenital defects. Anemia, blood pressure, volatile blood sugar, kidney or liver issues, toxins, fever or brain damage are some of the other reasons that cause epilepsy in dogs. What actually causes an epileptic seizure in dogs is not known but often a state of excitability can trigger a seizure.

A dog tends to have involuntary muscle contractions which look as though the dog is kicking or swimming. The dog also tends to forth excessively and could also urinate or defecate in this state. As it is not a conscious state, the dog does not register these seizures.

Sign and Symptoms of Epilepsy in Dogs

The symptoms of epilepsy in dogs can be uncontrolled muscles spasms, vomiting, frothing or salivating and confusion. A dog usually shows no definite symptoms and if you have a dog that has a history of seizures you will recognize these signs.  Some signs of epilepsy in dogs include the dog being very restless, whining, pacing and even demanding affection. After a seizure a dog will also seem sluggish and uncoordinated. This can disorient the dog quite a bit. There are short and long seizures. Short seizures or petit mal are swift and quick and could go unnoticed. The longer seizures are known as grand mal. Grand mal is the most common type of seizures that dogs tend to experience.

If you notice your dog twitching uncontrollably, hold him down until it passes. Avoid putting your hand inside his mouth as you could be bitten really badly. Once the seizure has passed, it is important to take your dog to a vet, if it is the first time something like this has happened. If your dog has a known history, do take immediate care as specified by the vet. Sometimes if a seizure lasts for more than five minutes, it could prove to be dangerous. In this case a dog goes from one grand mal to another seizure. This condition is known as status epilepticus.
Submitted by N on October 13, 2011 at 02:06


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