All That You Ought To Know About Seizures In Dogs

For Dogs, seizures are the most common neurological disorder that they can face. It usually happens when the cerebral cortex of his brain starts showing abnormal functioning. Sometimes it is quite tough to find why your dog is having a seizure. We bring to you detail about all that you should know about seizures in dogs.


Also known as a convulsion or fit the seizures are a temporary disturbance of normal functioning of the brain. Normally, a fit happens due to idiopathic epilepsy a condition whose cause is yet unknown. Apart from that, there are some other causes like brain tumors, trauma, liver disease, liver failure or a response to something toxic. Though seizures can occur at any time mostly they happen at activity transition times. So, you will see an attack happening when the dog is excited, about to sleep, eating or going to wake up.

Phases of a Seizure

There are three phases in which a seizure can happen. Most seizures pass through all the three phases so if the owner has any idea of them he can decipher which stage he is at.

1. Pre-ictal phase- Your dog may show some signs of nervousness and it would likely try and look for you. He probably understands that something is wrong and wants to convey that to you.

2. Ictal phase- This is the main stage if the seizure and this is when the dog would completely lose control. He probably looks all stoned out and in case of a full seizure, he may become unconscious. During this phase, the dog may defecate, urinate and even salivate. This stage lasts from a few seconds to up to 5 minutes. If it goes beyond that then medical intervention is required.

3. Post Ictal phase- After the seizure is over your dog may take time to become normal. He may face confusion, disorientation, restlessness and even blindness.

What you can do

It is better if you leave the dog when he is having a seizure. If he is in a place where he can get hurt it is better if you pull him by his hind legs and move to a safe place. You can comfort him but make sure that you do not place your hands near his mouth as the seizure may cause his mouth to clamp on it. Rushing to the vet’s is important only if the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes or it is happening frequently. Otherwise, you can wait, fix up an appointment and go.


Treatment to the dog is given only if he has had more than one seizure in a month, prolonged seizures and cluster seizures that is more than one seizure in two days. Treatment involves administering an anticonvulsant medicine which needs to be continued even if the seizures stop. If you stop the medicine midway the seizure would start again.

Seizures in dogs do not need medical help in all cases. If they happen less than once a month then the vet may not suggest any treatments. Often such seizures are hereditary and that fact cannot be altered.