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Canine Epilepsy

Have you ever heard of dog owners coming home to a cold pet without any previous signs of sickness? Seizure, or what is commonly known as canine epilepsy, can be fatal in whatever breeds if left unnoticed. This condition can be acquired either genetically or for unknown reasons. As canine epilepsy is a brain disorder, you will find your dog losing control over one’s hinds and this can sometimes lead to unconsciousness. The shaking behavior which makes you think your dog has been electrocuted invisibly can last for a minute or two or even longer and slowly, you will find him getting back to his normal reflexes and consciousness.

Possible causes of Canine Epilepsy

1. For unknown reasons

Aside from genetics, your dog can potentially suffer from canine epilepsy due to any head injury, stroke, as well as brain cancer. Diseases affecting the kidneys, liver, anemia and encephalitis are likewise linked with seizure. The same holds true for dogs who have been diagnosed with electrolyte problems and high or low blood sugar. If your dog has been poisoned or has eaten anything that may have caused his toxicity, seizure can be manifested as a result.

2. Genetically

This is known as idiopathic epilepsy. If epilepsy has been genetically acquired, the signs usually occurs as early as six months. Among the breeds that are susceptible to genetically acquiring this condition are Labrador Retrievers, Beagle, Shetland Sheepdog, Golden Retrievers, Belgian Tervuren, Keeshond and Vizsla. There are instances when the condition also comes late at the age of five or six.

Signs and symptoms every loving owner should watch out for

The sign and symptoms that may come to your mind when thinking of this condition are surely drooling and shaking. On its onset, you can notice your dog getting shocked and frightened causing him to either hide or seek comfort by your side. This can be followed by falling, loosing balance and he may seemed blind as he bumps into everything in sight. Other symptoms include walking in circles, eyes gazed, jerking, muscle twitching, salivating or mouth foaming, having stiffened limbs, loss of consciousness, paddling on four limbs, and can even causing him to defecate or urinate.


This condition knows no time. It can attack your dog in the morning or evening. You can never predict when will be the next attack as well. It can be too soon within the day or the next months and very often, dogs who have been suspected to have epilepsy have shown no signs of sickness when tested by a veterinarian. Except for those with benign brain tumors, which are obviously among the known causes of epilepsy and seizures, veterinary neurologists have successfully treated them.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from epilepsy, do not leave him untreated otherwise the condition will become worse and attacks will be more frequent. A thorough physical and laboratory examination are required to determine whether your dog is suffering from epilepsy.

What to do in case your dog is suffering from epilepsy

Be sure to secure your dog from possible injuries when shaking or falling – sharp edges, furniture, and the like. Keep an eye on your dog and don’t panic. Attempting to put anything on his mouth is definitely a no-no. For one, he might bite you. Second, choking is a possible scenario as he tries to gasp for air. I tell you, choking can be fatal when air passages are blocked. Instead, keep your cool and make sure your dog does not overheat at all. The duration for which an epileptic attack lasts is crucial so it is better to keep your dog cool by putting a fan on him.

Whispering and talking to your dog to let him know you are beside him is the best way to reassure him of you care and love. Once the attacks subsides, take him to the vet. Take note of the duration too. Damages can happen, internally.

Potassium bromide is usually recommended but always make sure you avoid giving your dog salty food. Always follow the vet’s advice and regular check-ups are necessary. Regularly monitoring your dog’s internal and external condition will help you deal with it easily and give your dog a better living condition.

Comments to Canine Epilepsy

  • Are you aware of an active database for Labrador retrievers with epilepsy?

    Ellen July 16, 2018 5:54 pm Reply

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