It can be incredibly scary watching your dog collapse to the floor and seeing his body jerk, muscles stiffen or twitching while he looks confused and dazed?

Why is he having a seizure? What are the symptoms? What should I do? If you are concerned about your dog and want to know the answers to these questions, read on.

Seizure Triggers What can cause seizures in dogs?

Most commonly, dog seizures are caused by idiopathic epilepsy, which is typically inherited, but the cause is usually unknown.

Here is a general list provided by Pets.WebMD:

Environmental triggers can include: herbicides, insecticides, and chemicals found in yard treatments; extremely hot or cold temperatures; and other triggers from the yard might include poisonous flowers and plants.

Food allergies are also common triggers of seizures in dogs, brought on by processed, low grade dog foods. Certain spices, such as rosemary, sage, fennel and saffron can also be potential seizure triggers.

Seizures commonly occur when the canine’s brain has a change in activity, which can occur through stimulation from the environment, things around the house, foods, medications and of course, stress.

SymptomsCommon symptoms of your dog having a seizure can include:

  • hyperactivity or acting abnormally,
  • jerking, 
  • collapsing,
  • stiffening, 
  • muscle twitching
  • drooling,
  • chomping,
  • tongue chewing,
  • foaming at the mouth,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • falling to the side
  • making paddling motions with their legs, and
  • loss of bowel control (can poop or pee during the seizure).

“Some dogs may look dazed, seem unsteady or confused, or stare off into space before a seizure. Afterward, your dog may be disoriented, wobbly, or temporarily blind. He may walk in circles and bump into things”, states Pets.WebMD.com.

What to do?If you think your dog is having a seizure, you can:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don't move your dog if you don’t need to.
  • If he is in a dangerous location where he might hurt himself, you can move him by gently dragging him by his hind legs.
  • Stay away from your dog’s mouth so he won’t bite you. Dogs cannot choke on their tongues.
  • Time it (if you can).
  • You dog is at risk of overheating if the seizure lasts for more than a couple of minutes. Put cold water on his paws or back or turn a fan on your dog to cool him down.
  • Reassure your dog by talking to him and staying by his side.
  • Avoid touching him or he may uncontrollably bite you.
  • As soon as you can, call your vet.
  • If the seizure last more than three to five minutes or if he has a second one, get your dog to a veterinarian. Seizures that last that long can cause problems with their brain and cause brain damage.
  • Make sure you put the seizure on your calendar to see if there is a pattern at all developing. That way you can give your Vet the exact dates and description.

If you are in doubt at all about whether your dog is having a seizure and what to do about it, contact your Veterinarian asap to get your flurry loved one out of danger.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.