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Seizures are more common in dogs than in cats and can happen at any age. Injury to the brain short-circuits the normal electrical activity of the nerves, so the pet loses control of his body. Brain injury can happen from a thump on the head frmo a car accident or fall, from low blood sugar or low blood calcium, from some poisons, or from kidney or liver problems. Seizures that happen for the first time in a pet older than six are ususally due to a brain tumor.
Most of the time, nobody knows why a pet develops recurrent seizures, and that's called idiopathic epilepsy. Pets are born with the condition, which can be inherited, and they can start having seizures by the time they're six months old. Pets having seizures may fall over, cry out, paddle with their legs uncontrollably, lose consciousness, and urinate and defecate involuntarily.
Seizures look scary, but they usually only last seconds to minutes and aren't dangerous unless they go on for too long (longer than five minutes). If the dog has more than one seizure in a 24 hour period, or if he has one seizure or a serious of seizures that lasts longer than five minutes, get the dog to a vet immediately. When the cause of the seizures can be treated, they'll usually go away, and medication is available that helps control seizures so that pets can live comfortably with epilepsy.
If your pet is having a seizure, try to keep the pet away from stairways and objects that he could bump into. Don't try to touch the dog with your hands- try using a towel to move him the best you can. Dogs can easily bite you during a seizure since they don't know what they're doing or what is happening to them.
After the seizure, try to keep the dog cool. Turn on the air conditioner or a fan to keep the surroundings cool. A seizure burns a huge number of calories and can quickly overheat your dog.
If it's the first time your dog is having a seizure, your vet should know immediatly and be seen by the vet. If your dog has had seizures in the past, it's always smart to keep a record on your calander of the dates of the seizures and how long they lasted. This can help when it comes time to put your pet on medication for this, or to alert the vet that the medication needs adjusted.
A wide range of poisons can cause seizures in dogs. In most cases, the poison is swallowed, but sometimes it can be absorbed through the skin. If you suspect that your dogs seizure is caused by poison, take the container or plant with you to the vet's office, or take a sample of the vomit, if there is any. Some poisons have specific antidotes, and prompt treatment will stop the seizure and cure your dog.
In most cases, poisons absorbed through the skin should be washed off with plain water for 15 to 20 minutes. Seizures are commonly caused by flea treatments absorbed through the skin, Petroleum products ingested or absorbed (turpentine, gas, kerosene), Pest baits that contain strychnine, bromethalin or cholecalciferol, Plant materials like apple seads, peach pits, jimsonweed, or azalea, Household products like ingested match heads (phosphorus), antifreeze or chocolate.