Both humans and dogs can suffer from a neurological disorder that would result in seizures, commonly referred to as epileptic seizures. These seizures may be an ongoing problem for your dog and could result in unconsciousness, although not all dogs that experience epileptic seizures are going to lose consciousness. Recognizing the types of seizures that your dog is experiencing and getting the proper help from a veterinarian can go a long way in helping your dog to be healthy and comfortable.
Seizures may occur in dogs for a number of different reasons. These issues are often determined by a veterinarian if at all possible. In some dogs, it may be because of exposure to various toxins in the environment or because of trauma. Genetic issues, brain tumors and problems with the organs or blood in the dog are also common reasons why your dog may be experiencing epileptic seizures. If it is not able to be determined why your dog is experiencing the seizures, they are known as idiopathic.
Epileptic seizures in dogs can be broken down into two basic types. One type is known as a focal (partial) seizure, and the other is a generalized (grand mal) seizure. If your dog suffers from a grand mal seizure, the entire body and both hemispheres of the brain are affected. This type of seizure looks like a twitching or jerking in all of the limbs of the dog and the dog will lose consciousness. If your dog is suffering from a partial seizure, it only affects a small part of the brain and body. More than likely, however, a dog that suffers from partial seizures will eventually suffer from grand mal seizures.
Sometimes, it is possible to determine if a dog is going to have a seizure prior to the time that they have one. They may seem dislocated from the world around them and appear to be stressed out, worried or perhaps frightened. Some dogs may experience visual disturbances and may either run to you for assistance or may hide. They may have a problem holding their urination or bowel movements. It is more likely to happen while the dog is sleeping and, since a seizure only typically lasts up to 90 seconds, they will likely recover before you get them to the veterinarian.
The veterinarian will make a determination as to the type of seizures your dog is experiencing. He may ask information about the seizures, including how often they occur and what type of symptoms your dog exhibited. Various tests may be done to determine if they are experiencing any internal problems, including diseases, problems with the major organs or low blood sugar levels.
If a dog is experiencing seizures, the veterinarian can provide information to help limit the issue and to make the dog as comfortable as possible. In some cases, a specific treatment may be necessary but in other cases, it is just important to keep the dog comfortable and to stay on top of any treatments that may be recommended.