Seizures can be a very terrifying prospect for pet owners especially since they are a common neurological problem in dogs . It is usually quite an alarming situation marked by panic and stress. However, there are a few things that you can do to control the situation and help your dog.

Also referred to as convulsions or fits, seizures are caused by liver disorder, renal failure, trauma to the brain, tumor(s) in the brain, and / or toxins in the body. However, idiopathic epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. Although the exact cause of idiopathic epilepsy remains unclear, research suggests a genetic link.

There are times when it is hard to tell if your pet is having a seizure as dogs can also look completely normal while they are experiencing it. However, there are other times when they suffer Grand Mal seizures which cause the entire body to be wracked by shudders and jerks. Sometimes seizures are localised which makes them harder to notice, for example, facial tremors and atypical barks. Although it can be rather disturbing to witness, seizures are rarely dangerous and the majority of dogs recover quickly.

Seizures can be treated although medical care is usually given only if your dog has had more than one seizure in a particular month, has experienced a series of recurrent seizures, and / or a Grand Mal seizure. Phenobarbital and potassium bromide are two common medications administered to dogs suffering from seizures.

If your dog is experiencing a seizure, it is very important to remain calm in order for you to be able to effectively help them. Check the exact time your dog started seizing as seizures that go on for more than 2-3 minutes can overheat your dog (hyperthermia). In such cases, make sure to cool them using cold water and wet towels. However, you must take them to the veterinarian immediately afterwards. It is important to remember that cluster seizures (having more than one seizure within 24 hours) are serious and require immediate medical attention. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not swallow their tongues when they go into seizure. So refrain from grabbing their tongue as it can lead you to getting bitten. Make sure to keep your dog away from the stairs and cushion their head when they experience a seizure. Holding and comforting them in a gentle manner can also help. You must also notify your veterinarian every time your dog experiences a seizure.

While it can be quite scary, you can help your pet through seizures effectively. Your veterinarian can guide you and provide additional information for any other questions you may have.