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8 Things to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure

Dog with Veterinarian
When your dog has a first seizure, it can be a frightening experience. You are worried about your pet's wellbeing and wondering about the cause behind his seizures. The truth is that seizures in dogs can be caused by many different things, like kidney disease, nutritional imbalances, and trauma to the brain. The steps you take during and after your dog's seizure can make a big difference. 

Here are eight things to do if your dog has a seizure.


Remain Calm

You may instinctively panic when your dog is experiencing a seizure, but panicking won't do any good. In fact, losing your cool can make the situation worse. Your dog may sense that you are upset and get stressed out. Instead, gently pet your dog and talk to him or her in a soft and soothing voice.


Remove Possible Dangers

When dogs experience a seizure, they lose control of their bodies and can get hurt. For example, if your dog is near a coffee table, your pet could bump his or her head. If your dog is on top of a stairway, he or she could fall down. Remove possible hazards so that your dog does not get harmed.


Apply Ice

A dog's body temperatures can get high during a seizure, so you may want to use ice. If you apply an ice pack to the middle of your dog's back and hold it firmly in place, the ice may help slow down the seizure. Apply the ice pack to your dog's back as soon as you suspect that your pet is having a seizure.


Keep Your Hands Away From Your Dog's Mouth

When your dog is in the middle of a seizure, avoid putting your hands near his mouth. No matter how bad it looks, your dog can't bite his tongue off during a seizure. Your dog can't control his movements during a seizure and may bite your hands if they get too close to his or her mouth.


Take Notes About the Seizure Activity

Remember to write down key points about your dog's seizure in a journal. For example, you may want to include how long the seizure lasted, how your dog acted before the seizure, and how long your dog took to recover. If you give your veterinarian this information, he or she may be able to provide you with better suggestions on how to treat your dog.


Put Other Dogs in a Separate Room

If you have any other dogs in the home, you should keep them away from the dog that is seizing. Dogs may attack another dog that is having a seizure. Put your other dogs in a separate room until the seizure activity is over.


Give Your Dog a Snack

A dog's blood sugar levels will often drop after a seizure. Try giving your pet a little snack, like vanilla ice cream or honey, to raise those levels back up. 


Take Your Dog to the Animal Hospital

If your dog's seizure lasts more than five minutes, it becomes an emergency situation. Seizures that long can cause your dog's body temperature to rise to a dangerous temperature and increase the risk of brain damage. Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately so your dog can get medical care.

No pet parent wants to watch their dog go through a seizure. Fortunately, several medications available can control recurring seizures. If your dog has seizures once a month, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about medications. Seizure medications can reduce the frequency of your dog's seizures and give him or her a better quality of life.

Dr. Michael Butchko, DVM
5488 Mission Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92509

Phone: 951-686-2242

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