Canine Epilepsy Is Seriously Scary.
Canine Epilepsy is the most frightening thing to witness happening to your dog, and if you are unaware of what exactly is happening it is even more so.
The first time that I witnessed a dog having an epileptic seizure, I was not prepared for it at all.
I flat out panicked, I had no idea what was happening or what to do about it. I have never felt so helpless and scared in my life.
No single event before or since can compare with it. My hope is that once you have read this page you will be better
equipped to survive the experience, and be of some help to your pet.
Firstly, although not all seizures are epileptic seizures, I will only be talking about those that are.
I will put links on this page, which will give you more technical answers than I am able to do.
My aim is to give you a head start on how to handle matters if and possibly when it happens.
There is no one cause for canine epilepsy. It is believed that it could be inherited from its parents.
It could also be the result of a head injury. This could happen years after the injury making it virtually impossible to tie the two together.
There might be some other cause, it is really almost impossible to tell.
A very basic description of what it is:- Canine epilepsy is a malfunction of the brain, where abnormal electrical impulses send uncoordinated signals to the nerves.
These uncoordinated signals cause conflicting and involuntary muscle activity to take place. Your dog will have absolutely no control over its own body.
These seizures can also vary greatly from dog to dog, as well as from seizure to seizure.
Watching your pet having a fit is as I have already stated, the most terrifying things that you can witness.
In a grand mal seizure, it normally starts with the muscles contracting.
The dog will lose consciousness, fall on its side with its legs rigid and its head thrown back.
Sometimes he will make sounds (this is part of the process and does not mean that he is in pain) and his face might twitch quite violently.
He might vent his bowels and bladder, or he could foam and drool.
This part is normally over fairly fast thank goodness.
Next would be running type jerky motions. the dogs jaw could clamp down hard.
Once the seizure is over. The dog will typically stay lying still for a while.
When he gets back to his feet, he will more than likely be completely disorientated. He may run around knocking things over, this could last for days.
What I have just described is probably a worst case scenario.
Your dog could also suffer a focal seizure (focusing on a specific section of the brain).
In this type of seizure the section affected is the part controlling movement (simple partial seizure).
Normally only one side of the body will be affected. You will probably see facial muscles twitching, or eyes blinking, or maybe legs on one side jerking.
Your dog will not lose consciousness during this type of seizure,he will know what is happening around him.
Next is a complex partial seizure. This one is a bit more scary. It affects the section of his brain that is in control of his behavior.
This is also called a psychomotor seizure. His behavior becomes weird. He could show aggression or appear to be unreasonably scared.
He may appear to have "lost it" running around uncontrollably, or do senseless things over and over.
Or he could have strange biting motions as if he is biting invisible flies buzzing around his head.
The four basic stages:-
1) The Prodome: could give warning of the impending seizure, this could be by hours or even days. It is characterized by changes in mood or behavior.
2) The Aura this is when it actually starts, the dog could show nervousness, it might start whining for no reason, it could be shivering uncontrollably, it could start drooling, it might try hiding away, it will show restlessness, It might look for a lot of affection.
3)The Ictus this is when it really gets going.
There will be a short physically active time lasting between 3/4 of a minute to about 3 minutes.
The dog may pass out and fall. There could be teeth grinding, violent uncoordinated movement, lots of drooling, whining noises, unintentional venting of the bowels.
4)The Post Ictus this happens after everything is over, the animal may appear restless, it might appear to have lost its sight, it might not respond to your voice and it might want to ingest more food and water than normal.
Unfortunately there is not a lot that you can do to stop a seizure once it has started, specially if you had no idea that there was a possibility that it would happen.
The main thing is to remain calm, make your dog as comfortable as you possibly can keep reassuring it and get your vets help as soon as you can.
There is a group of ladies spread across the United States who run a website dedicated to helping people with dogs who suffer from canine epilepsy.
All of them have dogs who suffer from this dreadful condition.
They are the Guardian Angels., you will get as much detailed information on their site, as you will anywhere on the web.
They are contactable and they will help.
I hope that I might have done a small bit to prepare you for this awful reality. Unfortunately this subject is such a wide ranging one that to do it any justice requires a whole website not just a page on one.
I have at best given you a shallow overview of Canine Epilepsy, and I can say with all my heart, I hope you never ever need to see this for yourself.
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