Skip to content

    Healthy Dogs

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Seizures in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, & What to Do

    Your usually happy-go-lucky pooch seems unsteady and confused. Then he flops to the floor. Even though he’s unconscious, he looks like he’s treading water. He’s having a seizure. Why is this happening, and what can you do?

    If your dog has them often, he may have a seizure disorder. Another name for that is epilepsy. Abnormal, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in your dog’s brain cause seizures, affecting how he looks and how he behaves. Seizures can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking and can last from less than a minute to several minutes.

    Recommended Related to Dogs

    Urine Marking in Dogs

    Some dogs scent mark by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces, usually while raising a leg. Both female and male dogs can urine mark. Dogs who urine mark might do so in a number of situations, including while on walks, when in their own homes and yards, and during visits to other locations. A dog must be at least three months of age to urine mark.

    Read the Urine Marking in Dogs article > >

    What Can Cause Seizures in Dogs?

    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.

    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. He might have a lot of drool on his chin and could be bleeding in his mouth if he bit himself. He may try to hide.

    What Are the Types of Seizures?

    The most common kind is the generalized seizure, also called a grand mal seizure. A dog can lose consciousness and convulse. The abnormal electrical activity happens throughout the brain. Generalized seizures usually last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

    With a focal seizure, abnormal electrical activity happens in only part of the brain. Focal seizures can cause unusual movements in one limb or one side of the body.

    Sometimes they last only a couple of seconds. They may start as focal and then become generalized.

    A psychomotor seizure involves strange behavior that only lasts a couple of minutes. Your dog may suddenly start attacking an imaginary object or chasing his tail. It can be tricky to tell psychomotor seizures from odd behavior, but a dog that has them will always do the same thing every time he has a seizure.

    Seizures from unknown causes are called idiopathic epilepsy. They usually happen in dogs between 6 months and 6 years old. Although any dog can have a seizure, idiopathic epilepsy is more common in border collies, Australian shepherds, Labrador retrievers, beagles, Belgian Tervurens, collies, and German shepherds.

    Today on WebMD

    boxer dog
    Track Flea and Tick Activity
    bulldog in party hat
    Breeds with longevity
     
    Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
    The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
    dog with duck in mouth
    Which are considered smartest?
     
    Pit bull looking up
    Article
    Pets: Is My Dog Normal
    Slideshow
     
    Dog scratching behind ear
    Slideshow
    dog catching frisbee
    Slideshow
     
    Dog Breed RMQ
    Quiz
    Lady owner feeding dog
    Slideshow
     
    pooldle
    Slideshow
    bulldog in party hat
    Slideshow