HomeCompanion AnimalsEpilepsy in Dogs: Causes, Types, Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

Epilepsy in Dogs: Causes, Types, Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

Epilepsy in dogs is defined as a neurological disorder. The disease is characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of muscular, sensory, or psychic malformation with or without loss of alertness or convulsive seizures. A seizure indicates the involuntary shrinkage of muscles. Seizures can consequence of abnormal electrical activity in the brain brought on by tumors, blood clots, scar tissue, or chemical shortcomings such as low blood sugar or exciting nerve drugs. Tetanus toxin poisoning can excite muscles to contract to result in seizures.

What Did You Need To Know About Epilepsy in Dogs

It is the most common neurological disorder seen in dogs. The dogs’ breeds that are most likely to suffer from seizures are Shetland sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Golden Retriever, Keeshond, or Vizsla. Idiopathic epilepsy is the most widespread cause of seizures in dogs, is an inherited disorder, and the exact cause of the condition is anonymous. Finnish spitz, Bernese Mountain dog, Irish Wolfhound, and English Springer Spaniel sometimes are more prone to seizures.

Information on Epilepsy in Dogs

Causes of Epilepsy in Dogs

The most common causes of epilepsy are as follows: 

  • The small tumor can be a source of abnormal nerve activity.
  • The genetic predisposition for epileptic activity has been shown in certain breeds of dogs.
  • Psychological stimuli can play a role.
  • An uncommon food allergy may be at the heart of the matter too.
  • Brain cancer, eating poison, liver diseases, low or high blood sugar, kidney disease, anemia, strokes, electrolyte problems, and encephalitis.

Causes of Seizers in Dogs

Typical Dog Breeds for Epilepsy

The most common breeds that are known to have a greater risk of the disease include-

  • Poodles.
  • Australian Shepherds.
  • Belgian Tervurens.
  • Beagles.
  • Cocker Spaniels.
  • Border collies.
  • Collies.
  • German Shepherds.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Irish Setters.
  • Golden Retrievers.
  • Labrador Retrievers.
  • Keeshonds.

German Shepherd

Types of Epilepsy in Dogs

There are five common types of epilepsy are:

  • Generalized Tonic-clonic Seizure ( also referred to as a grand mal seizure )- Generalized seizures when the abnormal activity causing an outbreak begins in both halves of the brain simultaneously. Many generalized seizures are the result of epilepsy. Other diseases may also cause these seizures, such as severe head injury, stroke.
  • Focal Seizure – Focal seizures or partial seizures, or localized seizures affect initially only one hemisphere of the brain. The symptoms of focal seizures are muscle contraction, followed by relaxation, abdominal pain, rapid heart rate or pulse, contractions on just one side of your body.

Types of Epilepsy

  • Simple Seizures (focal motor )- Focal motor seizure is a simple partial seizure with localized motor activity. There may be a spasm or clonus of one muscle or a muscle group, and this may remain localized, or it may subsequently spread to adjacent muscles as a Jacksonian seizure.
  •  Complex Partial Seizures ( Psychomotor )- it is a form of epilepsy that is typically limited to the brain’s temporal lobe and results in impairment of awareness and responsiveness to one’s surroundings. Infections of the brain cause the disease.
  • Idiopathic Seizure– Idiopathic seizure is an inherited disorder in dogs, and it is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. The reasons are unknown, and they usually happen in dogs between 6 months and six years old.

The symptoms of the Seizures in Dogs

There are different types of signs and symptoms that can help you identify that your dog is having a seizure or convulsion. The signs and symptoms include:

  • The dog may appear anxious, behavior changes.
  • The animal losses consciousness.
  • Abnormal gestures in one part of the body with or without a shift in consciousness.
  • The affected dogs can fall to the side and make paddling motions with their legs.
  • The animals sometimes poop or pee during epilepsy.
  • Collapsing, jerking, muscle twitching, stiffening, drooling, tongue chewing, chomping, or foaming at the mouth.

Symptoms of Epilepsy in Dogs

How are Seizures Treated or Prevented?

Many drugs that have been treated for epilepsy over a while can slowly be taken off medication. 

  • Phenobarbital is the most widely used medication to treat epilepsy in the dog. 
  • Potassium bromide is being used in some dogs, where the response to conventional medication is disappointing. 
  • Potassium bromide had been used to correct human epileptics for over 100 years. 

Prevention of Epilepsy

What To Do When Your Dog Has a Seizure?

When handling your pets, the animal should be kept calm and stay safe always. Make the environment as quiet and secure as possible for your dogs. Your animals will likely be completely unaware of their surroundings or even their behavior during and immediately after a seizure. Even the mildest of animals can seriously injure you even as you try to comfort them.  

Concluding Remarks on Canine Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the most common nervous disorder in dogs. The disease is commonly seen in many dog breeds. In my article, I have briefly described the most common facts on epilepsy. As a dog owner, you should know the standard features of the disease. If the above article helps you, please follow our website.


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