A seizure is the result of excessive stimulation to parts of the brain that control muscle activity. All people and animals have the potential to seizure. We all have a threshold of stimulation over which we would experience a seizure. For healthy people and animals, it might take trauma to the head to induce this activity. For others, like epileptics (who have lower "thresholds"), it may be sudden noises, the stress of company, or other mild stimulations.
Pressures from brain tumors, hemorrhage or infection can also contribute to a jump over the normal threshold, resulting in seizure activity. So can being deprived of oxygen, as can happen with heart conditions where there is sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain. Exposure to toxic chemicals can also result in seizures.
Any dog that has a seizure should have a complete examination. Your veterinarian will evaluate heart function and general body condition. A complete history is also taken to rule out trauma and toxic exposure.
If the physical examination is normal, blood profiles are generally administered to rule out diseases of the kidneys and liver. If the profile and exam are normal and the dog is under four years of age, epilepsy is generally the diagnosis. Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. Medications may be prescribed for these cases.
Older dogs that have normal lab and exam findings may be referred to a neurologist for a second opinion, as these dogs can have brain tumors and other conditions.
If your dog has a seizure, make sure to schedule an examination with your veterinarian to keep your pet in good health.
Note: All content provided on HealthyPet.com, is meant for educational purposes only on health care and medical issues that may affect pets and should never be used to replace professional veterinary care from a licensed veterinarian. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of any veterinary medical health care advice, diagnosis or treatment.