Dog Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a serious ailment that affects not only people, but also animals. Epilepsy is also found in dogs. And suffer epilepsy can be representatives of any breed, without a clearly defined depending on the pedigree and age. In the total number of calls to a veterinarian with a dog disease epilepsy is 5%.


  • 1 Types of epilepsy
  • 2 causes
  • 3 Symptoms
  • 4 Diagnostics
  • 5 Treatment
  • 6 Attack
    • 6.1 Symptoms
    • 6.2 How to stop
    • 6.3 Behavior of the animal after an attack
  • 7 Possible complications
  • 8 How many dogs live with this disease

Types of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic brain disease neurological pathology, manifested by paroxysmal cramps. Seizures are provoked by temporary malfunctions brain that arise due to excessive activity brain neurons and the imbalance between the processes of excitation and braking.

There are 4 types of epilepsy:

  • Idiopathic or true epilepsy. The most incomprehensible and insidious. The causes of its occurrence are not amenable to definition and are not characterized by the presence of any pathologies, structural or related. This type of epilepsy is absent also an infectious onset. Why seizures develop idiopathic epilepsy veterinarian neurologists say find it difficult. But a hereditary predisposition is revealed some breeds for this type of disease: retrievers, labradors, terriers, saint bernards, poodles, dachshunds, german shepherd, collie, setters, cocker spaniel. Idiopathic epilepsy has been observed. more common in dogs between the ages of one and 5 years. Seizures usually occur at night or during a day’s rest.
  • Symptomatic Associated with pathologies brain that are worn as congenital (e.g. hydrocephalus), and acquired character – injuries, hemorrhage, neuroinfection. Attacks of symptomatic epilepsy occur in young dogs under the age of one year or in those who crossed the 5-year milestone.
  • Cryptogenic. Also related to damage. brain, but not identifiable on MRI. Reason the occurrence of this type of epilepsy can be due to birth trauma, prolonged hypoxia with anesthesia. More often develops or up to a year, or after 5 years of age;
  • Reactive epilepsy. The view that has the most favorable prognosis of healing. Occurs with toxic or metabolic effects on the brain, without its structural damage. Reactive epilepsy is a concomitant factor of the main disease and disappears after its cure.

Sick Dog

Idiopathic epilepsy between attacks does not manifests itself

Cryptogenic epilepsy may be immune to drug therapy with anticonvulsants. In this case, she falls under refractory epilepsy, that is, this form of the disease, when medication does not help to cope with epileptic seizures. About 15% of dogs with epilepsy Unfortunately, they have its refractory appearance.

Causes of occurrence

The causes of the disease can be many and they are quite various:

  • genetic predisposition – in thoroughbred dogs the disease is diagnosed more often than half-blood;
  • tumors, brain injuries – blows to the head, birth injuries
  • infections – encephalitis, plague, tetanus;
  • prolonged metabolic disturbances;
  • chronic diseases of the liver and kidneys;
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system, arrhythmia;
  • low glucose concentration;
  • lack of vitamin B1 or B6;
  • poisoning with lead, arsenic, strychnine;
  • poison of insects or snakes due to bites;
  • helminths intoxication.

Often the appearance of epilepsy is provoked by stressful situations that the animal is experiencing, physical and emotional overwork, hormonal disruptions. Because it the disease is more characteristic of bitches than males, and also neutered dogs.


An epileptic seizure is the most severe and characteristic. manifestation of the disease. But not all attacks are the same.

There are 3 types of epileptic seizures:

  • generalized convulsions – such an attack in the form of convulsions / convulsions occurs with the head tipping back, muscular tension, dilated pupils and rapid, noisy breathing. On peak of the attack observed: rolling eyes, foam from the mouth, pawing and spontaneous urination or defecation, possible violation of coordination, manege movements (in a circle), loss of consciousness, hallucinations, aggression. Such attacks are characteristic for idiopathic and reactive epilepsy;
  • scarlet epileptic seizures or absences (from fr. “abser” – “absent”). They are characterized by a short loss. consciousness without convulsions;
  • partial seizures – not all seizures are characteristic for them body, and individual muscles, with twitching of limbs, jaws, a strange turn of the head. Such attacks are usually accompany secondary epilepsy and portend a transition to severe form – to generalized convulsions.

The dog in the arms of man

During attacks, the dog howls and fears


If the dog has had at least one such attack, it must be to survey. The ideal option is a visit to a neurologist or epileptologist.

The diagnosis of epilepsy is possible only after comprehensive examination of the dog. It includes full history and neurological examination of the animal:

  • fundus examination;
  • laboratory diagnostics: general and biochemical analysis of blood, blood test for determining glucose levels, general analysis of urine, feces (for helminthiasis), analysis of thyroid hormone, analysis cerebrospinal fluid;
  • blood pressure measurement;
  • X-ray / MRI of the skull;
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen;
  • electroencephalogram.

Dog analysis fence

On examination of the dog, it is important to describe the seizures in detail to the veterinarian, and also previous and subsequent sensations indicating the date and time

In addition, the dog’s pedigree is examined for identification hereditary predisposition to epilepsy. This is done for determining the form of the disease – congenital (primary) or acquired (secondary) – and for differentiating provocative factors.

A comprehensive examination will separate epilepsy from others diseases with similar symptoms – vestibular pathologies apparatus, cerebellar diseases and problems with the auditory nerve.


Epilepsy is a disease that is completely eliminated. impossible, but it can be controlled. Proper therapy reduces the number of seizures and significantly improves dog quality of life. The competent appointment of a treatment regimen and its meticulous adherence to long-term (up to 6 years) remission. The tactics of treatment depend on the type of epilepsy.

With symptomatic and reactive epilepsy, the main the goal of treatment is to control the underlying disease and eliminate the causes of its occurrence. If the disease triggered by a brain tumor, hydrocephalus or craniocerebral trauma, surgery is indicated. If the disease arose against the background of poisoning or intoxication with parasites, then elimination of toxin and destruction of the source of poisoning lead to recovery of the animal. As a rule, such a treatment is comprehensive and is performed on an outpatient basis.

With idiopathic epilepsy, when a provocateur of attacks not obvious, treatment comes down to therapeutic control. If seizures occur once a month or more often, the appointment of anticonvulsants with a sedative effect is prescribed (phenobarbital, diazepam, primidone and bromides).

When selecting an anticonvulsant, sedative focus on the presence of other pathologies, in addition to epilepsy. For example, phenobarbital is not prescribed for liver diseases.

Taking anticonvulsants is always strictly dosed and controlled by. Once a quarter, blood is given for analysis to determine the level of drug in it.

Veterinarian examines a dog

Permanent and prolonged use of medications from epilepsy leads to the development of renal failure, in particular risk zone – older dogs

With intensive care, when the animal is in status epileptic seizure, relief of seizures is achieved by the introduction of anticonvulsants by injection. In this case are shown hexamidine, tazepam and sibazon. In acute conditions, apply also corvalol or valocordin. They are dripping a dog under the tongue, this helps relax muscles.

Prescribing magnesia is possible only after establishing the exact diagnosis, otherwise the drug may worsen the condition of the dog.

Self-administration of medication to the dog and dosage selection can do much more harm than not being treated.

Most sedatives have side effects, and therefore, alternative medicine methods are also used for treatment:

  • acupuncture – exposure to 10 points. Treatment is carried out courses for a month. Duration of one session – 20 minutes
  • homeopathy – taking Aconitum and Belladonna in homeopathic doses between series of seizures. The result is observed after taking 3-4 doses. Effective in acute conditions, convulsions;
  • the use of semi-saturated omega-3 fatty acids allows reduce the frequency of seizures (e.g. fish oil);
  • B vitamins in the form of injections;
  • folk remedies – charcoal solution (cleaning effect) or tincture of valerian (1 teaspoon per glass of boiling water, insist 2 hours) – a calming effect.

All these methods have more preventative action and do not guarantee relief of the dog’s condition, especially when she has an attack.

The dog should be protected from emotional and physical stress. The animal must be treated under the strict supervision of a veterinarian. Shown peace, no exhibitions, competitions, mating and intense workouts! A special diet is also recommended. Restriction in dog’s diet of meat, salt and an increase in foods containing magnesium, manganese and vitamin B6 will help alleviate the condition animal. Food is given in a warm form and according to the established schedule.

Products useful for epileptic dogs:

  • legumes;
  • millet porridge;
  • boiled carrots;
  • cabbage;
  • fatty sea fish (boiled and boneless).

Dog next to the bowl

The best option is to transfer the dog to the finished high-quality feeds with fast-breaking proteins in composition


The attack is unpredictable and duration. It can last seconds or minutes, flow with and without loss of consciousness, occur in a dog located in state of wakefulness and sleep.

And yet, all epileptic seizures have something in common – certain stages of development by which an attentive host can to see the impending danger and prepare your own for it pet.


The owner of a sick animal needs to know the signs an onset of epilepsy in a dog.

Harbinger of an epileptic seizure (prodromal stage) It has a different duration – from an hour to several days. Accompanied by the general weakness of the animal, lethargy.

Then comes the next stage – the aura. She always short. Her time is measured in seconds and minutes. The dog seeks shelter or, conversely, the owner, worries, trembles, whines. May be vomiting. Profuse salivation begins twitching of the muzzle.

Then comes the seizure attack – iktus.

Dog epilepsy requires treatment, how to stop the attacks, every owner of epileptic animals needs to know.

How to stop

During an epileptic seizure in a dog, its owner needs do not worry yourself and calm a sick animal, observing following algorithm of actions:

  • find a cool and quiet darkened place;
  • remove from the animal objects that it might hurt convulsions;
  • place a soft litter under the dog. Turn your head to the side so that the animal does not choke in case of vomiting;
  • Do not try to unclench the jaw of the dog. Can injure both the animal and itself;
  • measure the exact time the seizure begins. It will help control the duration of the attack. Seizure duration more than 10 minutes is deadly. In this case, immediately take the dog to a veterinary clinic or call a veterinary aid on house.

An attack of epilepsy in a dog

If there is no syringe at hand, diphenin can be poured directly into fall

The anatomical feature of fastening the tongue in a dog is such that during convulsions, he does not sink and cannot cause asphyxiation.

If an attack catches a dog on a walk, the diphenin ampoule will help in the form of an injection.

If the seizure happened to a sleeping animal, then enter chloracone or phenobarbital.

If the dog is awake, then the cramps stop with benzene or hexamidine.

If cramps recur regularly and continuously, it should use an enema with chloral hydrate. This will simplify the convulsive readiness of the animal.

Behavior of the animal after an attack

After a seizure, the dog remains disturbed for some time coordination, concentration. Disorientation and slight salivation. The animal is very weak. Everything, that he needs at the post -ictal stage of the attack – rest and silence. It may take several days to recover if the attack was severe.

Possible complications

Physical injuries of a dog during an epileptic seizure very likely if you let it go and don’t take action precautions.

Excessive nervous irritation during a seizure may provoke a malfunction of the digestive tract, other organs and systems.

Man stroking a dog

Abrupt withdrawal of one drug may cause new symptoms pathology, and in some cases becomes the cause of seizure

During an attack, nerve cells spend a huge supply of food, leading to a subsequent decrease in brain activity dogs.

But the most terrible and irreversible consequence of epileptic a seizure is that the animal may die of asphyxiation.

How many dogs live with this disease

A dog diagnosed with epilepsy can live long if she regularly and on time receives the medicine prescribed to her in the right dosage. Sometimes you can even completely stop seizures. But it should be remembered that this disease requires lifelong therapeutic measures.

Dogs with epilepsy are affected by lifespan a number of factors:

  • the time of the appearance of the first attacks;
  • causes of epileptic seizures and the type of epilepsy;
  • animal reaction to antispasmodic therapy;
  • severity of seizures.

Epilepsy is not a sentence, but a diagnosis. With him the dog is not doomed and can live a long and happy life under supervision attentive and caring owner.

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