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Your dog keels over and starts convulsing and having uncontrolled movement. After a short while, she loses consciousness. Well, the unfortunate episode you have seen is a canine seizure. Yes, your beloved dog, like humans, can suffer from the condition. And you will learn about dog breeds prone to seizures as you read on.
Essential Information on Canine Seizures
Canine seizures are a serious medical condition. They are characterized by uncontrolled and abnormal electrical activity in the dog's brain. There are variations in frequency, intensity, and duration due to underlying factors.
There are two types of dog seizures. The first is generalized/ or grand mal seizures affecting the entire brain. The dog will experience convulsions and involuntary muscle contractions. In the worst-case scenario, it will lose consciousness.
The second type is focal or partial seizures affecting specific brain parts. The result is localized symptoms like repetitive movement, twitching, or altered behavior.
Determining the exact cause of canine seizures can be difficult. Many underlying factors contribute to the condition. Such include epilepsy, structural brain abnormalities, and metabolic disorders. Others are toxins, genetic factors, and inflammatory or infectious diseases.
How to Handle an Active Seizure
Handling an active seizure can be a frightening experience. It's important to stay calm, as panicking can exacerbate the situation. Ensure a safe environment by moving any objects within the vicinity. Such can harm your dog as it goes through an episode.
Avoid the temptation to restrain your dog and keep away from the mouth. The involuntary movement can cause the dog to bite you.
It's vital to time the duration of the seizure. That information will be critical to your vet in determining the severity of the seizure.
Lethargy and disorientation are common during the postictal phase. This is the period following the end of the seizure. Give your dog time to recover in a safe and comfortable space. For first-time seizures, please contact your vet immediately.
Prepare, & Practice Self-Care
You love your dog and share an undeniable bond. So, seeing it go through a canine seizure can affect your emotional well-being. Manage stress by prioritizing self-care to help give your beloved dog the best care.
Learn everything you can about canine seizures, their causes, and treatment. Knowledge will reduce anxiety and better prepare you for the episodes.
Develop an emergency plan for how to deal with seizures. Also, have contact information of a vet or emergency animal hospital.
Start a seizure journal to record pertinent information. These include frequency, duration, and any other critical observations. Your vet will need such information to determine the best course of treatment.
Seek professional support if you feel overwhelmed. Or, use stress relief techniques to avoid burnout. Yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and outdoor time are great self-care techniques. Support from other dog lovers or dog communities can also help.
Which Dog Breeds Are Most Prone to Seizures?
Seizures can affect various dog breeds, but certain breeds are more prone to seizures due to genetic factors. Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Labrador Retrievers are among those with higher susceptibility. Smaller breeds like Shetland Sheepdogs and Saint Bernards are also at risk. Understanding breed tendencies can help pet owners take proactive measures.
Are Seizures Genetic?
Yes, seizures can be genetic in some cases. Certain breeds have a predisposition to seizures due to their genetics. For instance, idiopathic epilepsy, a common cause of seizures, is believed to have a hereditary component. While genetic factors play a role, other triggers like underlying health conditions or environmental factors can also contribute to seizures.
How to Manage Dogs With Seizures
Managing dogs with seizures involves several steps. First, it's crucial to identify the type of seizure, such as focal seizures or generalized seizures. Monitoring your dog's seizures, recording details, and consulting a veterinarian are essential. Veterinarians may recommend anti-seizure medications to control seizure activity. Creating a safe environment during seizures and minimizing triggers are also vital aspects of management.
Are There Things You Can Do to Reduce the Likelihood of Seizures in Dogs?
While it's challenging to completely prevent seizures, there are steps pet owners can take to reduce the likelihood. Ensuring your dog's overall health through regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and regular exercise is essential. Avoiding exposure to toxins, maintaining a stable routine, and managing stress can also contribute to minimizing the risk of seizures.
Knowing what to do if you have dog breeds prone to seizures helps. Start by educating yourself on canine seizures. Also, your vet will advise on the best cause of action.