Monday, November 29, 2010

My Pet Is Having A Seizure - What Do I Do?

It's been a busy holiday weekend for Central Veterinary Emergency Services.  When I asked one of the Technicians the most common condition among the cases her response was that we had seen all kinds of conditions without any common theme.  Then just an hour later we had three dogs come in for seizures all in a row. 

This sweet Rottweiler may look like she's ready or Christmas, but the bells are actually to alert us if she starts having more seizures. 

Seizures are an indication of something else going on in the body.  The cause can originate from a toxic exposure, epilepsy, too much calcium after having puppies, a tumor, a head injury, or multiple other disease conditions.  Your veterinarian can take a full history and do some diagnostic testing to rule out possible causes and narrow down the reason for the seizures.

Watching your cat or dog have a seizure can be frightening.  His body may tense up. He may have a far away look on his face along with body twitching or feet paddling. His whole body may shake and convulse. He may start drooling and seem unaware of your presence.  He may even stop breathing or urinate or defecate on himself.

The best thing you can do for your pet during a seizure is to keep both of you safe. Protect him from rolling off a bed or couch, or falling down stairs. Keep your hands and face away from his mouth so he doesn't unknowingly bite you. Place pillows or blankets under his head and between his body and sharp corners or furniture.  Remove other pets from the area.  Dim the lights and turn off load noises like TVs or radios to provide a quiet environment. Time and record the length and intensity of each seizure.  Call your veterinarian right away to determine if an immediate visit is advisable. Be sure to inform your veterinarian of any possible exposure to a poisonous substance.

Give your pet some time to recover.  He may be groggy or "out of it" for a while.  Once he has returned to normal (within about 10 to 20 minutes) he can resume regular activities.  Allow him to go outside for a potty break if he is stable on his feet and seems aware of his surroundings.  It may be advisable to keep him in close proximity for a while to see if another seizure develops.

A seizure can be an isolated incident or they can become recurrent.  Medications can be prescribed by your veterinarian to control seizure activity.  As always you know your pet the best ,so be an advocate for him to be sure he gets care if you are concerned or feel like something isn't right.

No comments: