Seizures are quite common in dogs. Estimates vary, with some going up to 4% of dogs being affected by seizures at some point in their lives.
- What Is A Seizure?
- Which Breeds Are More Likely To Have Seizures?
- Which Health Problems May Cause Seizures?
- Stages Of A Seizure
- What Are The Symptoms Of Seizures?
- What To Do If Your Dog Has A Seizure
- Treatment Of Dogs That Have Seizures
- Treatments for seizures where the cause can be determined
- Seizure medication (anticonvulsants)
- Potassium bromide (KBr)
- Other drugs used for canine seizures
- Drugs Rarely Used in Dogs
A seizure occurs when there is abnormal brain activity. Seizure activity can seem to affect all or most of the brain, called a generalized seizure, or can just affect part of the brain, called a focal seizure. Part of the classification of seizures is determined by the site or sites of origin of the abnormal activity.
A dog may have a single seizure, due to, for instance, eating certain poisons. Or a dog may, over time, have more than one seizure. If seizures recur this is termed epilepsy.
In common usage the word seizure is usually used to mean epileptic seizure. There are other types of seizure called non-epileptic or paroxysmal.
In a non-epileptic seizure there are symptoms that can be the same as an epileptic seizure but brain activity is not abnormal.
During a seizure, in part or all of the brain, cells (neurons) stop firing in a controlled manner. There can be excessive firing or improper patterns of firing.
Though any breed, mixed breed, or age of dog can potentially have a seizure, there is a higher risk for certain breeds and ages.
There is thought to be a genetic component(s) in some breeds and certain bloodlines making them at a higher risk for seizures.
One theory is that there is a threshold for triggering abnormal activity of the brain in any animal, called the seizure threshold. Currently, it is suggested that something in the genes of some dogs makes this seizure threshold lower, so that it easier for seizures to be triggered.
Breeds that may have a predisposition for seizures include German Shepherd (Alsatian), Beagle, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard and Miniature Schnauzer.
Next Page – Dog Seizures – Reasons, Stages of Epileptic Seizures