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Posted on 01-11-2018

What Can Cause Seizures in Dogs?

One moment, your dog is happily going about its day. The next moment, your canine companion has an unsteady gain and seems confused. Your pooch then falls to the floor and starts moving its legs like it is swimming. Even though your pet’s eyes are open, it is clear that your pup does not know what is happening.

Beagle puppy sad from having seizures.

As with humans, dogs can have grand mal seizures and focal seizures. Grand mal seizures are the result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Focal seizures happen when there is abnormal electrical activity in only one part of the brain.

But why is this happening? Our East Islip veterinarian can shed some light on the causes of seizures in dogs.

East Islip Veterinarian Discusses Causes of Seizures in Dogs

If your dog has seizures often, it may have a seizure disorder, known as idiopathic epilepsy. The word “idiopathic” means the exact cause is unknown, although it is likely that dogs inherit the condition. About 0.5 to 5 percent of dogs have idiopathic epilepsy.

Any breed or mixed-breed dog may have idiopathic epilepsy. The condition is more common in some breeds, especially Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Beagles, Border Collies, Border Terriers, Dachshunds, English Springer Spaniels, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Irish Wolfhounds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Standard Poodles and certain other breeds. Check with our veterinarian to learn if your dog belongs to a breed at higher risk of idiopathic seizures.

Other seizures may be symptomatic, which means the seizure is a symptom of another problem. Symptomatic seizures occur as the result of a variety of problems, including:

  • Eating something poisonous
  • Liver disease
  • Low or high blood sugar
  • Kidney disease
  • Electrolyte problems
  • Anemia – a condition where the dog’s blood does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen
  • Head injury
  • Encephalitis – a condition featuring swelling of the brain, often caused by a viral infection
  • Stroke
  • Brain cancer

If your dog has seizures, or if you would like more information about the cause of seizures in dogs, make an appointment with All Friends Veterinary Hospital. Our veterinary professionals can provide information, diagnosis, and treatment of seizures in dogs. All Friends Veterinary Hospital is conveniently located at 84 East Main Street in East Islip, NY. Make your appointment by calling (631) 277-8700.

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