Canine epilepsy is very harmful not only to the animal's health, but also to its owner. During an epilepsy, the dog suffers consecutive seizures, which occur due to abnormal electrical activity in brain cells. Some dogs will only have one seizure in their lifetime. It is crucial that your pet goes to a veterinarian if he suffers from this symptom, as they can get worse without proper intervention. To help a dog with epilepsy, you can do a number of things, such as providing the support he needs to survive the episode, bringing help after the epilepsy, and taking steps to prevent further seizures.
Method 1 of 3: Helping the Dog During a Seizure
Step 1. Comfort the dog
He will be scared and confused during and after the epilepsy crisis, so it's very important to do everything you can to help him feel calmer. If seizures are frequent, it is essential that the owner recognize the signs that a crisis is on the way, and prepare in advance. Here are some simple steps that can be used to calm the dog:
- Put a pillow or pillow under his head. This will help protect you from serious impact during a seizure.
- Speak to the animal using a low, reassuring voice. Say “It's okay, buddy. Good boy." and "Be calm, I'm here to help you."
- Caress it slowly so that it calms down. If you like, place it on your lap or hold it if it is small.
Step 2. Keep your hands away from the dog's mouth
It's been said that dogs can choke on their tongues during seizures, but that's a myth. The owner should avoid putting the hand or fingers in the animal's mouth during the crisis, or it will be bitten. Objects should also not be placed in his mouth or there is a risk of choking or breaking a tooth.
Step 3. Calm the dog after the seizure
It is important to leave the animal very calm before making any other decisions. Sometimes the seizure can reoccur if the dog tries to get up or remains very nervous before fully recovering. Keep calming him down and stay close to him for a while after the crisis is over.
To help you relax, keep the environment quiet. Turn off the TV and do not allow more than two people in the room. Remove other animals from the location
Step 4. Pay attention to the duration of the puppy's seizures
Try to time the duration of seizures; if your cell phone is nearby, filming the event can also help your veterinarian make a diagnosis.
If the seizure continues for more than five minutes, take the dog to a veterinary emergency room as soon as possible. Long-term seizures can affect the respiratory muscles, interfering with the animal's ability to breathe
Method 2 of 3: Treating the Dog After a Seizure
Step 1. Take him to a veterinarian
After the seizure is over, it is important to transport the dog to the vet for examination. Several tests will be done to rule out other causes that led to the seizure, helping the professional to determine the best treatment option for the animal. If tests are negative, the dog may be suffering from a primary seizure disorder, which will be treated with medications prescribed by your veterinarian.
Step 2. Ask about the remedies
There are several medications that reduce the number and severity of seizure episodes in dogs. Most of them need to be administered daily and for the rest of the dog's life. Among the main options are:
- Phenobarbital: is the most common remedy for dogs with epilepsy. It suppresses brain activity.
- Potassium bromide: This medication will be used if phenobarbital causes health problems. Sodium bromide can be used as an alternative to potassium bromide. Both reduce the activity of brain cells.
- Gabapentin: This antiepileptic is often combined with another medication to help control generalized seizures.
- Diazepam: medication that is generally used as a sedative and not as a remedy to control seizures, but may be an option if the dog's seizures are frequent and last a long time.
Step 3. Be prepared to observe sedative effects
Most anti-epileptic drugs will cause a little drowsiness at first, but dogs usually get used to the effect. In some cases, the combination of medications can help to reduce the sedative effects if the animal appears to experience them in excess.
Remember that medications can affect the dog's liver and kidney, so consider carefully the cost-effectiveness of treatment versus medical care for occasional seizures
Step 4. Talk to your veterinarian about applying a sedative during high-stress situations
If the dog is very nervous, sedatives can be helpful to prevent seizures in times of pressure. Talk to your veterinarian to find out if there is a possibility of administering this type of medication in times of great stress.
- If you want, the sedative can be applied in situations in which you already know the animal will be scared, such as New Year, where many fireworks are set off.
- Sedating your dog on days with many visitors is also a good idea if he is nervous about strangers.
- Even during thunderstorms it may be necessary to reassure the dog until the lights and noises go out.
Step 5. Monitor the animal's condition
Canine epilepsy, although treatable in most dogs, is a progressive problem. Even with medication, some animals continue to have seizures from time to time. If attacks become more frequent or severe, take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Remember that as a dog ages, seizures and seizures can become more frequent and more severe
Method 3 of 3: Knowing More About Canine Epilepsy
Step 1. Understand the types of epilepsy that exist
Dogs suffer from two main types of epilepsy: primary and secondary. The primary usually affects younger people (under two years old), as it is a genetic disorder. Still, it can only manifest at the age of six. This condition is also known as idiopathic epilepsy. The secondary can occur at any age, usually due to another problem affecting the neurological system, such as an infection, illness, brain damage, stroke, or brain tumor.
Step 2. Know how to identify a partial seizure
In this type of seizure, the dog lies on its side and keeps its body rigid while vigorously shaking its limbs. He may howl, salivate, bite, urinate or defecate during the attack, which lasts from 30 seconds to two minutes. Remember that not all dogs have this type of seizure; some will have less severe or noticeable seizures.
Step 3. Identify a generalized seizure
Certain dogs may suffer from seizures that cause the animals to move in an awkward way or to exhaustively repeat a behavior, such as licking or walking in circles. Pay attention to any abnormal attitude the dog exhibits. If you're not sure if it represents a seizure or not, talk to a veterinarian.
Step 4. Keep an eye out for signs that a seizure is about to happen
Before a crisis, the dog may notice that something is not right and will start to react. The owner will notice that he is different, presenting the following behaviors:
- It will be “glued” to the owner.
- It will walk at a steady pace.
- You will whine.
- Will vomit.
- You will appear to be stunned or confused.
- Look for external “triggers”. Pesticides or cleaning products can cause epileptic seizures in dogs.
- The most important thing is to be present to help the animal during the seizure. These episodes can be extremely frightening for dogs, so it is essential that the owner be around to calm down and make the situation less frightening.
- It's a great idea to keep an old towel around during your pet's seizure. In many cases, dogs give “signals” that they are going to excrete urine or feces. When you notice that he is choking, urinating or defecating, the towel can help to clean the environment.
- Seizures that last longer than five minutes are life threatening to the dog. Take him to the vet immediately.
- Never stop using prescription medications suddenly and without talking to a veterinarian.