Do These Drugs Have Side Effects
Your dog may experience side effects of their AED treatment. The effects may occur soon after treatment starts or their dose is increased. These effects generally disappear or decrease in the subsequent weeks due to your dog’s body developing a tolerance to these drugs. In some cases, these side effects persist and must be monitored to ensure their severity does not compromise your dog’s quality of life. Side effects vary with different AEDs.
Length Frequency And Severity Of Seizures
How often a dog with epilepsy experiences seizures can vary greatly between dogs and over an individual dog’s lifetime. Recording how often your dog has seizures is important to track how well their treatment is working, and so your vet can alter their treatment if necessary. Some dogs experience seizures very close together in time , seizures that are very long, or seizures that immediately lead to more seizures, which they do not return to normal in between. These types of seizure pose a particularly high risk to your dog’s health, can be life-threatening and an emergency:
Status epilepticus is classed as either:
- a seizure that lasts longer than five minutes, or
- where two or more individual epileptic seizures occur, between which the dog does not return to ‘normal’ and regain full consciousness
Immediate treatment is necessary because status epilepticus can cause permanent neurological damage or even death. If status epilepticus occurs in your dog, immediately contact your vet for emergency treatment. Emergency treatment includes your vet administering high doses of medications that try to stop the seizure and minimise damage to your dog’s brain and body. Although seizures are distressing to witness, you should always try to stay calm when a seizure starts and time how long it lasts, so you know whether a seizure is lasting a particularly long time, and are prepared to contact your vet if status epilepticus occurs.
Can Something In Your House Cause Seizures
If toxic mold may be present, a thorough home inspection will be able to identify the presence of the dangerous mold form, which should be professionally treated. Toxic molds produce chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause rashes, seizures, respiratory problems, unusual bleeding and severe fatigue.
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Nutrition For Dogs With Idiopathic Seizures
Correct nutrition plays an important role in managing idiopathic epilepsy in dogs.
If your dog has idiopathic epilepsy, its vital to feed him an all-natural, fresh raw diet. Whenever possible, use free-range, organic ingredients. Your dogs diet should consist of
- Small amounts of fruits like berries and apple
- Healthy seeds, oils and herbs
The Effect Of Seizure Phase On Behavior In Epileptic Dogs
A Fisher’s exact test was performed on questions pertaining to separation, attachment and attention seeking, and obedience and training behaviors to investigated if an association existed between seizure phase and different behavioral traits. This analysis identified behavior changes across the varying seizure phases in 14 of 37 total epileptic dogs in a majority of questions presented . The P-values associated with the Fisher’s exact tests performed on this section of the questionnaire were all statistically significant . This indicates that seizure phase is associated with behavior changes, although one specific seizure phase was not more likely to produce behavior changes than another.
A high level of significance was noted in several behavioral categories of this section of the questionnaire, which included questions relating to separation-related behaviors, attachment/attention seeking, and obedience and training. The behaviors associated with a high level of significance included: loss of appetite when left or about to be left alone strong affection for one particular member of the household tendency to nudge, nuzzle, or paw owner for attention when their owner is sitting down agitation when their owner shows affection for another person or another dog obeying the stay command and exhibiting a high propensity to be distracted by interesting sights, sounds, or smells .
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Making Sure Your Dog Is Safe
Its critical to keep toxins away from your pup since they can cause seizures and other health issues. But if an accident does happen and your dog begins to have a seizure and exhibit other symptoms, calm him down and seek veterinary care right away for treatment options. With the right intervention, youll have a better chance of ensuring your dog stays healthy and lives a long, healthy, and happy life.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Having A Seizure
Not all canine seizures manifest the same way, as indicated in the chart above. Your dog may be having a seizure with typical jerking movements that last moments to minutes. Other dogs may experience staring episodes, the inability to walk, or even falling to one side.
According to Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, Chief Veterinary Officer for dvm360, says he sees a lot of dogs, including Cocker Spaniels, in his practice whose pet parents believe are having a seizure, when they are not.
Pet parents think their Cocker is having a grand mal seizure when in fact it is syncope episode from heart disease, he said. Most dogs have seizures because of a hereditary trait.
Dr. Christman says research has come a long way where a dog DNA test may identify potential genetic markers for seizures. He sees quite a few of the fly biting or focal seizures more so than the grand mal seizures in his practice.
There is no single definitive test to determine if your dog has epilepsy. A veterinary neurologist can work with you to rule out other possibilities while performing a series of tests. Testing may include a physical examination, blood work, brain MRI, and possibly a spinal tap.
Not all seizures or convulsions in dogs are epilepsy. A dog can have an isolated seizure, but it doesnt mean he has epilepsy. Your dogs vet may or may not recommend medications unless your pooch has further seizures.
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Speak In Comforting Tones
Speak in low, comforting tones to your dog. Some owners even try putting on soft, gentle music for their dogs after a seizure. As long as you dont play anything too loudly, this is fine. However, your dog may appreciate it more if you just let him come back to normal without adding distractions around him, too.
Natural Remedies For Dog Seizureswhat Are They Can They Work
Some dog owners swear by natural treatments for their epileptic dogs, though the scientific backing behind them is sometimes lacking. These natural remedies can include belladonna, aconite, cocculus, silica, Hyoscyamus, kali brom, bufo and cicuta virosa. Always check with your vet before starting new anticonvulsant medication.
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Significant Clues Include The Age Of Onset The Dog’s Breed And His Response To Treatment
There are few things as frightening as watching your dog have a seizure. Yet seizure disorders are surprisingly common in canines. A seizure is defined as uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can run the gamut from very minor, focal seizures to major convulsions in which a dog loses consciousness, may vocalize loudly, has uncontrolled muscle movements, and loses bowel and/or bladder control.
What Does A Dog Seizure Look Like
What Are the Symptoms of Seizures? Symptoms can include collapsing, jerking, stiffening, muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, drooling, chomping, tongue chewing, or foaming at the mouth. Dogs can fall to the side and make paddling motions with their legs. They sometimes poop or pee during the seizure.
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Should An Aed Be Administered
AED drug therapy is recommended if any of the following are present/occur:
- Structural cause for the seizure
- Severe first seizure or post-ictal period
- Owner preference to reduce chances of another seizure.
For IE, I recommend AED therapy after 1 or 2 seizures in a 6- to 12-month period for several reasons:
Environmental Triggers Of Dog Seizures
Your dogs environment can play a large role in seizure episodes. While a dogs environment involves your home as well, this section will focus on the potential environmental triggers your dog may encounter outside.
Dogs love to be outside. From walks to the dog park, to just sitting out in the backyard, the outdoors will be a big part of your dogs life. Unfortunately, there are many things found outdoors that can potentially trigger a seizure in dogs.
Think about your own yard and garden and neighborhood. You and your neighbors may use lawn treatments and fertilizers to get that plush, green lawn of your dreams. And while they might be great for your yard, these products may contain toxins harmful to your dog, and can even trigger a seizure. Herbicides and insecticides are other chemicals often used around the yard that can be potential triggers of seizures in dogs.
Other risk factors found in the yard, such as cedar shavings, can also be harmful to your dog. In addition, many flowers and plants are poisonous to dogs, which can also cause a seizure. The ASPCA has provided a list of plants that are toxic to dogs.
What you can do: For your own home, try to only use lawn and yard products that are animal-friendly, to ensure that you dont trigger your own dogs seizure with these potentially harmful products. There are plenty of yard and garden treatment products that are dog-friendly, and it should be easy to find on the label.
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How Does Stress Trigger Seizures
We arent sure just why stress may trigger a seizure. Stress is an expected and unavoidable part of life. It is our body’s reaction to any change that requires a physical and emotional response. Stress is known to cause worry, depression, frustration and even anger. Stress may affect people in many ways. Consider the following:
- Stress makes or releases certain hormones related to the nervous system that can impact the brain.
- Areas of the brain important for some types of seizures, for example partial seizures, are the same areas of the brain involved in emotions and responding to stress.
- Stress can cause problems sleeping which is also a seizure trigger.
- Chronic stress can lead to anxiety or depression. Sleep problems are symptoms of these mood problems. Being anxious and depressed can also worsen stress, causing a vicious cycle with more seizures and mood problems.
Dr Vasquez Which Toxins Can Cause Dog Seizures
Well, so there are any number of toxins that can cause seizures in dogs, but some of the very common things include macadamia nuts, so be careful not to feed your dogs nuts, moldy foods including moldy cheeses, so just be very careful about your pets getting into the garbage. We can also see seizures secondary to certain kinds of pesticides, so always be aware that when they’re spraying your property, you have your pets safely indoors or away. You can also see it unfortunately more recently with certain kinds of algae that are found in some of the water.
Okay, so there are food types of toxicities, like I mentioned with macadamia nuts, there are plant toxicities, be very careful with the kinds you plant in your yard, pesticides. A common thing that a lot of people have in their yards, mulch. Mulch can get moldy and if your dog eats moldy mulch, you can most certainly see seizures and other neurological disorders. Be careful where your pet swims, standing water that might get algae toxicity can most certainly cause seizures.
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Bonus: Gelatin Dog Treat Recipe
- ½ cup unflavored, unsweetened gelatin from grass fed animals
- ½ cup of cold liquid
- 1-½ cups of boiling liquid
- ½ cup of low glutamate fruit or vegetable of your dogs choice
- Put ½ cup of gelatin in a 1-quart bowl
- Add ½ cup of the cold liquid and let stand for few minutes to soften
- Pour 1-½ cups of boiling liquid over the softened gelatin
- Stir until gelatin completely dissolves
- Put fruit or vegetable on the bottom of a pan or a mold
- Pour over the gelatin mixture
- Let it set
- Serve and enjoy giving your dog this healthy treat!
Instead of risky and possibly ineffective drugs to control your dogs seizures try choosing the right food and managing your dogs environmental triggers.
Does My Dog Have Canine Epilepsy
In most cases, epileptic seizures respond well to treatment. Epilepsy in dogs can be broken down into three categories idiopathic, structural or reactive. Idiopathic epilepsy effectively means no underlying cause of the seizures can be established. This is the most common cause of seizures in dogs and, in most cases, the condition is inherited. Idiopathic epilepsy is often called primary epilepsy.
Structural seizures can be brought on by head traumas, brain inflammation, stroke or brain tumours. However, the fits themselves may not present for weeks, months or even years after brain damage occurs. Reactive seizures are usually the result of metabolic imbalances. These can include low blood glucose, low blood calcium, high blood potassium, liver disease and kidney failure. Poisoning from the likes of lead and snail bait can also cause structural seizures in dogs.
In most cases, epilepsy cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. There are drugs available that can help your dog live a seizure-free life. You should speak to your daytime vet about your options.
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The Future Of Treating Canine Seizures
Compared to humans, who can monitor what they feel and what happened prior to a seizure, pet parents have limitations on monitoring their dogs seizures. The AKC Canine Health Foundation says preliminary research on intracranial electroencephalography in dogs suggests that the technique might be a way to predict seizures, which has the potential to be incredibly helpful for individuals who currently suffer from seemingly random epileptic events.
There are many causes of canine seizures, but there are many ways to treat them, prevent them in many cases, and help your dog live a long, happy, healthy life.
What Is A Trigger Of Dog Seizures
Simply put, a trigger is the source of your dogs seizure. It is the factor, inside or outside of the dogs body, that causes a seizure to occur. There are plenty of potential seizure triggers including the environment, things around the house, foods, medications and of course, stress. The trigger can often be difficult to identify, but in order for something to qualify as a trigger, it has to have happened within 30 hours of your dogs seizure. The only exception to this is vaccinations, which can trigger a seizure up to 45 days after administration.
In an effort to reduce the chances of your dog having a seizure, you can try to avoid the things mentioned below.
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Causes Of Idiopathic Epilepsy In Dogs
Many different factors, including the pattern of seizures, can influence the development of future seizures. For example, how old a dog is when it first develops a seizure may determine the likelihood that it will develop future seizures, recurrent seizures, and the frequency and outcome of those seizures.
Idiopathic epilepsy is genetic in many dog breeds and is also familial meaning that it runs in certain families or lines of animals. These breeds of dog should be tested for epilepsy and if diagnosed, should not be used for breeding. Breeds most prone to idiopathic epilepsy include the:
Multiple genes and recessive modes of inheritance are suggested in the Bernese Mountain Dog and Labrador Retriever, while non-gender hormone recessive traits has been proposed in the Vizsla and Irish Wolfhound. There are also recessive traits in the English Springer Spaniel, which can lead to epilepsy, but it does not appear to affect all members of the family. Seizures are mainly focal in the Finnish Spitz.
The characteristics associated with genetic epilepsy usually manifest from10-months to 3-years of age, but has been reported as early as six months and as late as five years.
At What Point Should I Take My Dog To The Vet If My Dog Is Having A Seizure
Isolated seizures are rarely life-threatening and are usually self-limiting. If your dog has a first-time seizure, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the cause and discuss treatment options. If your dog has a pre-existing seizure disorder, such as idiopathic epilepsy, then he or she may already be taking daily anticonvulsant medication in this case, notify your veterinarian when a seizure occurs to see if adjustments to your dogs treatment plan are recommended.
Exceptions which are considered true emergencies include:
Cluster seizures: This is when two or more seizures occur within a 24-hour time period.
Status epilepticus: This refers to continuous seizure activity lasting longer than five minutes.
In these instances, a seizure may not be self-limiting without veterinary intervention which is life threatening seek urgent care at an emergency veterinary hospital. Treatment involves intravenous valium to stop an active seizure, often followed by injections of long-acting anticonvulsant medications to prevent additional seizures from occurring.
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