Ask the Vet: What Causes Seizures in Pets and Tips for What to Do
Imagine this scenario: You’re at home with your pet when all of a sudden, he collapses to the ground, jerking, twitching, stiffening, and foaming at the mouth.
Chances are, your pet is having a seizure. But even if you can deduce this dangerous medical situation based on his symptoms, what can you do to help him?
In this article, we’ll outline some key tips you can use if your pet ever experiences a seizure. But first, let’s go over the most common types of pet seizures and why they occur.
Types of Pet Seizures
Most seizures in pets are called grand mal seizures or generalized seizures. They are caused by abnormal electrical brain activity. Your pet will convulse — usually for a few seconds or up to a few minutes — and may lose consciousness.
The other most common type of pet seizure is the focal seizure, during which symptoms occur on just one side of the body because the abnormal electrical brain activity is occurring in just one section of the brain.
Most Common Reasons for Pet Seizures
It can be difficult to know why a seizure occurs — both in pets and in humans. Although you should always seek medical advice at a veterinarian clinic, for the most part, one of the following reasons will be at the root of your pet’s seizure:
- Head injury
- Encephalitis (Inflammation of brain tissue)
- Brain cancer
- Consuming poison
- High or low blood sugar
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Electrolyte issues
What to Do if Your Pet Is Having a Seizure
- Stay calm. Remove any objects or furniture that may hurt your pet, and/or gently slide him away from staircases or other dangerous areas.
- Avoid touching your pet or getting close to his head and mouth. Unknowingly, he may bite you.
- Never put anything in your pet’s mouth. They won’t choke on their tongue.
- If possible, set a timer so you know how long the seizure lasts. Speak softly to your pet and be a comfort, but again, avoid touching him.
- If the seizure goes on for more than two minutes, you’ll want to cool him off as he may be at risk of overheating. Put cool water on his paws and turn a fan on that blows over him.
- Make an appointment at Sunset Veterinarian Clinic as soon as possible. If your pet experiences a seizure, it’s important to know why it occurred and hopefully avoid future episodes. The veterinarians at Sunset Vet Clinic can help.
Book your appointment today (as soon as possible after the seizure) and we would be happy to meet with you and your pet to diagnose any existing medical issues.