Senior Dogs and Seizures

  • 15/10/2011

Senior dogs are prone to seizures & when these occur both owners and animals can become frightened. These episodes are called a grand mal seizure, and people can get them also. Dogs who are in the middle of an episode can fall onto their side and become unconscious. Shaking can occur when the seizure is happening.

When an animal's brain strays from the norm and starts to fire off randomly, than these seizures can occur. Dogs can foam at the mouth and breathe rapidly. Seizures may last for a few minutes, but it can seem like an eternity. Always check that there's nothing close to the dog which can hurt it and do support their head gently. Avoid trying to control the dog's movements because this could really cause an injury.

Seizures in senior dogs aren't usually from a genetic or an environmental cause. Episodes may be occasional and occur only once every few weeks or so, or on occasion they can happen several times a day. Any seizures are always worrisome and can weaken the animal. If owners learn how the dog will behave when a seizure occurs, it will be of help to the animal. After a seizure, dogs may seem to be partially paralysed.

Paralysis can last from 10 min. to 15 minutes on the average. Dogs will be wobbly as they try and stand up, and they may also fall down again a few times after the seizure. Keep them inside until you're sure that any symptoms have passed. Let the dog rest, but know that they may be restless and quite anxious after a seizure. Sometimes the dog will pace back and forth, but this is normal. This will usually stop after a couple of hours. Your dog can seem to be stiff or will limp when it's had a seizure.

Seizures can be thought of as one giant whole body muscle cramp. After seizures, an older dog may simply pull a muscle and that's why they may limp. Keep a close watch on your dog if they have a seizure, and try to maintain a calm as well as a quiet atmosphere in your home. If you're hyper after your dog has a seizure, then this will only serve to make the dog even more anxious.

When you learn the process of the seizure and what happens before, during, and after it, then you'll be able to handle the situation if your older dog has an episode. Providing comfort during this stressful time, will help you to calm your dog.

Jenny is passionate about helping people train their dog successfully and gives helpful hints and tips on health and nutrition. For anyone looking to work closely with dogs she gives people suggestions on how to become a dog trainer. She writes about seizures in older dogs, travel, fitness, and many other things she's has experience with.


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