Dog Seizure Symptoms – What You Need to Know

What are common dog seizure symptoms? Let’s first define what a dog seizure is.  Seizures, also known as convulsions, are one of the most common dog disorders. It is caused by an abnormal burst of electrical activity inside the dog’s brain, specifically the cortex, which is responsible for sensation, movement, thought and memory. It can sometimes spread out to other areas of the brain.

A seizure is sometimes called “epilepsy”.  However, that is incorrect. The difference is that epileptic dogs have unpredictable brain activity that can cause them to have seizures, but not all dogs with seizures have epilepsy. Seizures may last less anywhere from a few seconds to more than 2 minutes.  Before a seizure happens, most dogs experience restlessness and anxiety for a short period of time. After which, they will typically feel wobbly, disoriented, confused and may also have trouble seeing. When I work with dogs who have been through this experience, sometimes they tell me they also have headaches or feel like they’ve been run over, and sometimes, they don’t remember anything about the actual seizure itself. 

Common Dog Seizure Symptoms and Three Seizure Phases

A seizure consists of three components. They are the Pre-ictal Phase, the Ictal Phase and the Post-ictal Phase. The Pre-ictal Phase or aura, is the period of altered behavior where dogs may hide.  Alternately, they may seek out their owner, cling like a Velcro dog, and may appear nervous. This may last for a few seconds up to a few hours.

The Ictal Phase is the seizure itself. This can take anywhere from a few seconds to five minutes or so. During this period, dogs may lose consciousness.  The experience may change their mental awareness of what is around them. The dog may fall over on its side while seeming to be otherwise paralyzed. Sometimes they will make jerky or odd movements that seem to be out of the dog’s conscious control.  The head will often be drawn back.  The dog may urinate or defecate, and they may also salivate heavily. If the seizure does not stop within five minutes, the dog will be considered to be in a prolonged seizure state. If this occurs, then you should seek immediate medical attention. 

Lastly, the Postictal Phase, or the last period of seizure, typically consists of confusion, disorientation, restlessness or even temporary blindness. Often the dog will be not be able to get up easily and could stay in place panting, resting and taking time to recover their senses.  Sometimes they are able to get up and may walk away like nothing happened. In bad cases, they may seem withdrawn, be reluctant to stand up or walk, and behave out of character for them.  Some aggressive behavior in dogs can be attributed to seizures as well.

Can Dog Seizures Be Prevented or Cured?

Seizures can’t be prevented.  However, once it is diagnosed, many of these disorders can be managed through medications, energetic healing and lifestyle changes. If the dog has seizures, or is suspected to have had one, then it should not be bred, because this condition could be passed down to the pups. All seizures should be taken seriously. Most dogs with primary seizure disorders require lifelong treatment.  Although, I have experienced cases where they have gone away after a period of time, never to return. Sometimes other medical disorders or conditions can be mistakenly diagnosed as seizures because of their clinical signs and symptoms. It is important that your veterinarian diagnose the condition accurately.  It is always best to consult with your veterinarian if you feel your dog has any of these symptoms.

As a leading animal communication expert, I can often pinpoint symptoms that are not easily seen.  After all, who knows best what they are actually experiencing?  Only the dog can tell us for sure what their experience is like.  Sometimes the dog can tell us what triggers the seizure, if it causes them a great deal of pain, and what helps or makes them worse.  For example, a dog may have a severe headache, but you may not see or recognize any outward signs of their pain.  Their vision may become blurred, fuzzy, or the images seem distorted like in a carnival fun house of mirrors.  Headaches are common as are body aches, tension, and a pending sense that something is wrong.  Having a conversation directly with your dog asking them if they are experiencing any pain or discomfort can mean early detection of not only seizures, but of other serious illnesses as well.

What You Can Do if You Think Your Dog is Suffering From Seizures

A veterinarian can misdiagnose an illness because they don’t know or aren’t trained in how to communicate directly with the dog.  By all means, take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.  It’s also incredibly important to take the time to consult a professional animal communicator who can get the direct feedback that’s needed from the dog.  This is vital so that all of the symptoms the dog is experiencing can be known, and the vet is getting the right information needed to properly address the condition(s).  The animal communicator will also be able to explain what is about to happen and reassure the dog about what is being done to help them.  This one step, often missed in animal caretaking, can make all the difference in the world between suffering in the dark feeling alone versus the experience of knowing they are lovingly being cared for, and that their opinions are respected.

If you feel your dog is experiencing an undiagnosed illness, and you want to work with an animal communicator, then I invite you to fill out an application to speak to me about your situation.  There is no cost for this initial Pet Assessment Discovery and Strategy meeting.  This meeting will be to determine if I am the right practitioner to work with your dog, and to formulate a plan for alleviating and/or resolving your dog’s issues.  Click here to fill out an application now.

Author: Val Heart is a leading animal communication expert, speaker, bestselling author & master healer. Val is often called The Real Life Dr Doolittle™ and Animal Communicator to the Stars.  Founder of The HEART System™ for solving problems with pets and the Heart Catalyst for underperforming show horses to achieve their true potential. Learn how to talk to animals yourself!  Get your free Quickstart to Animal Talk Course

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I did not know that hiding could be considered a symptom for a dog seizure. It is good to know that professional help can be reached through pet communicators. Another thing to consider would be to be observant towards one’s dog to notice abnormal behavoir.

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