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Canine seizures: Types, causes and treatment
What kinds of seizures can a dog have?
Epilepsy in dogs is common, with three main types similar to those found in humans. Primary epilepsy afflict young dogs and do not have an obvious cause. Secondary epilepsy is caused by trauma of some kind, including injury or stroke. Reactive epilepsy is caused by another condition such as diabetes or kidney failure.
What other factors are involved in canine seizures?
Many factors can be at play when dealing with canine seizures. These include genetics, which is the most common cause of epilepsy in dogs. Breeds that most commonly exhibit tendencies to dog seizures include poodles, collies, retrievers and Dachsunds. Distemper is a viral disease that affects the nervous system and can cause dog seizures. Distemper is easily transferred between dogs, not even needing direct contact. Other diseases may also affect the nervous system, causing dog seizures, including Lyme disease.
What are the most common kinds of dog seizures?
As with humans, different kinds of seizures are witnessed depending on the illness and particular situation. These include partial seizures, petit mal seizures, and complex seizures. Partial dog seizures affect only specific parts of the body, such as the legs. In petit mal seizures, which are extremely rare in dogs, cause temporary unconsciousness and rotation of the eyes. Strange or unusual behavior, such as hysteria, aggression or smacking of lips, are typical of complex partial seizures.
How can I tell if my dog is having a seizure?
Long term effects of epilepsy in dogs include confusion, hearing loss, blindness, increased appetite, and disorientation. However, the seizures themselves may be difficult to recognize, as they can look like a variety of other issues. Common canine epilepsy symptoms include unresponsiveness, trembling, biting, restlessness, thrashing, excessive salivation, eye rolling and paralysis.
What treatments are available for dog seizures?
Treatment of dog seizures is expanding giving dog owners many more options in treating epilepsy in their dogs. Take time to find an experienced veterinarian who has successfully treated epileptic dogs in the past. Common medications to treat canine seizures include Clorazepate, Zonisamide, phenobarbital, and potassium bromide. As often dog seizures are brought on by specific triggers, owners should be aware of these particular triggers and take care to avoid these situations. Sudden excitement, extensive exercise, aggressive animals or ongoing medical conditions can be causes of seizures in beloved pets.
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