Would you know if your dog was about to have, or was having a seizure?
It’s so important to your dog’s health to be able to recognize dog seizure symptoms. They may or may not be cured or prevented, but if you see the signs and understand what your dog is going through, you’ll be able to care for them as they go through and come out of this traumatic experience.
Seizures don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how old or how well-bred your four-legged companion might be. All dogs can experience painful, distressing seizures. You want to stay informed so you can help your loyal friend though this hard time.
The dogs I work with talk about the confusion, pain, and distress they experience. Part of their distress is not being able to tell you what’s going on or what is happening to them, or in being able to ask you questions or give you information.
So let’s talk about dog seizures and how you can best identify and handle them.
The difference between epilepsy and seizures.
People often confuse epilepsy with seizures. It’s true that dogs with epilepsy suffer seizures, but not all dogs who suffer seizures are epileptic.
Epilepsy is the result of unpredictable brain activity and has other symptoms and side effects. While it’s the most common neurological disease among dogs, less than 1% are diagnosed with epilepsy.
Seizures – also known as convulsions – are very common and affect a greater number of dogs. They’re caused by an abnormal burst of electrical activity in the dog’s cortex, which is responsible for sensation, movement, thought, and memory. Occasionally it spreads to other parts of the brain.
Learning dog seizure symptoms.
Your dog may have been experiencing seizures…you just didn’t recognize them, and you didn’t understand the messages they were trying to send you. Here’s the cycle of a typical seizure:
1. Restlessness or anxiety. Your dog will appear to be agitated. They might wander into a room and seem to be “zoning out”, or appear confused about why they are where they are. This can last as little as 2 seconds or as long as several minutes.
2. Loss of vision, instability. At this stage, your dog is wobbly, confused, and is having difficulty seeing clearly. Some dogs I’ve worked with tell me they experience headaches, even feel like they’ve been run over with various body aches and pains.
3. Loss of memory. Many dogs won’t remember the time leading up to their seizure, or the seizure itself.
The three phases of dog seizures.
There are three components to a seizure, whether it’s epileptic or not.
1. Pre-ictal phase
Also known as the “aura”, this is the time when your dog’s behavior will change noticeably. Often they’ll hide… or they’ll become “Velcro Dog”, clinging to you wherever you are. They’ll seem nervous or anxious.
This phase can pass in seconds or last for hours.
2. Ictal phase
This is the seizure itself, and it can occur in seconds or last for five minutes. If they last longer than five minutes seek medical attention.
Here are the most common dog seizure symptoms during the Ictal phase. Your dog may:
- Fall over
- Appear paralyzed
- Lose consciousness
- Make jerky or odd movements
- Urinate, defecate or drool excessively
- Arch their head back
3. Post-ictal phase
This phase varies from dog to dog. Some will get up and continue on normally as though nothing happened. Others may struggle to get up, will pant heavily, seem confused and disoriented.
In the worst cases, you’ll notice a change in your dog’s personality – they’ll be withdrawn or aloof. They may even show some aggression. You’ll want to keep a close watch on your dog’s state of mind after their seizure, especially if they seem to be wary or tense around you or other people. They are frightened. They don’t understand what happened or why they feel the way they do. Communicating with them about the experience will help dramatically to help them feel safe, and for you to better understand how they feel and what they’re thinking too.
Can dog seizures be prevented…or cured?
Unfortunately, seizures can’t be prevented, and there may not be a cure. But once the condition is properly identified you can start down a path that includes medication, energetic healing (for instance, the BodyTalk System of Healing for Pets and People can be incredibly helpful!) and some needed lifestyle changes for you and your dog.
It’s really important that you get an accurate diagnosis from your veterinarian – some disorders can be misdiagnosed because the seizures point to one condition but it’s masking another.
This is when a professional animal communicator can be so valuable. Only the dog can tell us exactly what triggers their seizures, and the seizure symptoms they are experiencing.
Once you know, you can take action. If they’re getting severe headaches, then there are natural and medicinal methods for easing them. They might be losing their vision, in which case you’ll want to keep them someplace safe where they can’t wander into traffic, or tumble down a set of stairs, for example.
When you have an understanding of your dog’s specific triggers and symptoms you can ease the pain and anxiety, find ways to reverse or possibly eliminate them and give your dog a happier, healthier, safer life.
Getting the most from your veterinarian could mean getting the help of an animal communicator.
How many times have you thought, “If only they could talk to me!”
They can! You just need to learn how to speak their language. Not every veterinarian has taken the time to learn how to communicate with animals. If you’re observing dog seizure symptoms that last more than five minutes, or seem to occur on a regular basis, by all means, consult a vet.
Also take time to talk to them by consulting an expert communicator who can talk to your pet, or learn how to communicate with them yourself. They know exactly what’s going on in their body and what’s on their mind… the more you know, the more you can tell your vet, the better equipped they’ll be to help your dog.
Animal communicators don’t just reveal the experiences your dog is having. They can also reassure your dog during procedures and therapies so they know they’re safe and well cared for. You don’t want your dog feeling alone and confused when all you’re trying to do is help them, do you?
Would you like to find out what your pet is trying to tell you? Contact me and we’ll just figure out if I’m the right practitioner to work with you and your dog and solve some of the problems you’re both facing. It will be an interesting journey of discovery.