Dog Having Seizures
Seizures are always a rather scary experience to have witnessed, whether it affects a human being or an animal. Actually witnessing the occurrence of a person or animal losing complete control over itself is rather frightening because of the raw physicality of the episode. Essentially, a seizure is the result of a rather sudden and abnormal neurological activity – which most scientists will describe as being an electrical storm in the brain. Seizures are also accompanied by altered or complete loss of one’s consciousness. Each seizure will have a certain duration – which needs to be recorded for medical reasons as it will help the attending veterinarian get a better insight into the seriousness of the problem. Some seizures may last not more than a few seconds while others may last a number of minutes. Seizures in dogs are classified into two categories – generalized and focal seizures. Generalized seizures will affect the entire body of the animal and include overall stiffness as well as involuntary actions and limb movements. Most dogs will also experience full body rigidity while the animal may also lose control of its bladder and bowels.
Focal seizures in dogs are usually isolated to a certain part of the brain and, therefore, will affect only a certain part of the animal’s body. One example of the same include facial twitching but will also feature a sudden disorientation or fainting spell. Some of the most common causes that influence a dog having seizures include a reaction to some kind of toxin or allergen, a systemic disorder much like thyroid disease or liver shunt, a brain tumor, structural or developmental abnormality and a bacterial or even viral infection. As with most serious medical complications such as this one, it is important to be able to identify anything you notice may have triggered the reaction in the animal. Factors like stress, the sudden explosions of fireworks, excessive exercise or playing as well as consumption of some strange product or food item. If it is the first time that the animal has suffered a seizure, it is important that the veterinarian be contacted as soon as possible. Some breeds are known to be at a higher risk of suffering from seizures than others. These breeds include beagles, British Alsatians, Dachsunds, golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers. Some of the tests that the veterinarian may run in order to aid diagnosis include an MRI or CT brain scan to help identify the presence of a tumor, toxin tests, antibody titers and spinal tap.