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What should I do if my dog has a seizure?

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First, try to stay calm. If your dog is near something that could hurt it, like a piece of furniture or the stairs, gently slide your dog away. Stay away from your dog’s mouth and head; it could bite you. Don’t put anything in its mouth. Dogs cannot choke on their tongues. If you can, time it. If the seizure lasts for more than a couple of minutes, your dog is at risk of overheating. Turn a fan on your dog and put cold water on its paws to cool it down. Talk to your dog softly. Avoid touching your dog -- it may unknowingly bite. Call your vet when the seizure ends. If your dog has a seizure that lasts more than five minutes or if it has several in a row while it's unconscious, take it to a vet as soon as possible. The longer a seizure goes on, the higher a dog’s body temperature can rise, and it may have problems breathing. This can raise its risk of brain damage.

SOURCES:

American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: “How to Handle a Seizure in Dogs.” 

American Veterinary Medical Association: “Pet First Aid - Basic Procedures."

Epilepsy Foundation of Delaware: “About Seizures.”

Stephen M. Hanson, D.V.M., M.S., D.I.P., ACVIM (neurology), veterinary neurologist, Veterinary Neurology Center in Irvine, Calif.

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: “Neurology Service: Information for Owners: Seizures.” 

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on July 23, 2017

SOURCES:

American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: “How to Handle a Seizure in Dogs.” 

American Veterinary Medical Association: “Pet First Aid - Basic Procedures."

Epilepsy Foundation of Delaware: “About Seizures.”

Stephen M. Hanson, D.V.M., M.S., D.I.P., ACVIM (neurology), veterinary neurologist, Veterinary Neurology Center in Irvine, Calif.

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: “Neurology Service: Information for Owners: Seizures.” 

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on July 23, 2017

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