Seizures In Older Dogs

What YOU need to know about seizures in old dogs

You might have had to bear the frightening sight of your dog trembling uncontrollably and convulsing excessively. Dogs face a variety of health challenges are they grow older—and seizures, uncommon though they are, are one of them. Helplessly watching your dog have a seizure is one of the most traumatic things you would have to suffer as a pet owner. This is why you have to have knowledge and understanding of the complete nature of seizures in old dogs, so you will know exactly what to do when your dog comes around with another seizure attack.

Make no mistake: your dog is by no means in an untreatable condition, as there is available help for this condition. You probably have loads of questions, from the causes to the medical options available, for which reason I’ve carefully outlined some of the most pressing questions about seizure in old dogs.

How do you know that your dog is about to have a seizure?

The seizure of your beloved canine member is usually preceded by what is called a pre-ictal phase, which lasts for as short as a few minutes to as long drawn out as a few hours. At this stage, your dog will look more anxious and agitated than usual. The dog will either seek your presence for support or will hide away. And just before they have a seizure, you will notice a glazed appearance about their eyes and will become non-responsive.

What will the seizure look like?

It can be frightening to see your beloved dog having a seizure...but stay calm

It can be frightening to see your beloved dog having a seizure…but stay calm

Otherwise called the ictal phase, the actual seizure is hard to miss. The dog will stiffen on the side and will start convulsing, often characterized by the uncontrollably padding of their legs. Their mouth will excessively produce saliva and even begin to foam, while their jaws may be clenched tight as they bite their tongue.

What steps will you take as your dog has a seizure?

First of all, do not go anywhere near your dog. More importantly, just remain calm and composed. You might be tempted to put a spoon or keep your dog from biting its tongue; do not do this, as you or your dog might get injured. Keep your children or other dogs away from the area and into other rooms. You might want to clear the area, if you can sense that your dog is about to have a seizure, given the symptoms in the pre-ictal phase. Also, and this is very important, measure the span of time of your dog’s seizure and keenly observe what is going on with your dog—this is information that your veterinarian will want to know.

Afterwards, your dog will feel sluggish and even temporarily blind for around an hour to as long as two days. By this time, your dog is slowly recovering—but the battle is by no means over. Let them rest for a while, and you should immediately seek medical help.

What should you do next?

A seizure might’ve been one of the most stressful episodes you’ve had to go through with your dog, but panic won’t do any good. Seizure in old dogs can be caused by a variety of causes—epilepsy, genetic predisposition, diabetes, and kidney disease to name a few. Whatever the cause of the seizure is, it’s best to leave it your trusted veterinarian. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-medications, because they may aggravate the situation further.

This may be a dark time for you and your senior dog, but with the proper help, both of you will get through it!