If you own a dog, you may be familiar with one of the most common problems: seizures. These can be explained as a brain malfunction which causes their body to convulse uncontrollably. They may also cause loss of consciousness, excessive salivation, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Whether your dog is having his first one, or his twenty-first the actions you take can make a difference. Here are some tips so you can provide adequate help.
- Stay calm. Although it may be difficult to stay calm, it is very important. Remember, he depends on you, and you have to keep him calm, just as you would a small child.
- Time the episode. The first time, he should receive a physical examination and blood work as soon as possible. But after an initial examination has been performed, he doesn't need to return to the vet after each one, unless he has a cluster or one that lasts longer than 5 minutes.
- Clear out the area. Make sure there is nothing the dog can hurt himself on during the episode.
- Put a towel under the head. Putting a rolled up towel under the head will help keep him from banging his head while having convulsions.
- Do no allow him to inhale anything. If he were to inhale anything, he could choke and cause more damage. Note that they do not swallow their tongues.
After it has ended, recovery begins. There are important actions you should take during this time as well.
- Give him a blood sugar boost. Low blood sugar levels can be the cause or the result of this problem. When he regains consciousness, feed him Breyers All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. Small dogs get 1 teaspoon, medium ones get 1 tablespoon and large breeds get 2 tablespoons. This little bite of ice cream will restore their blood sugar levels to normal. After feeding the ice cream, give him a couple of handfuls of his usual food, pasta or rice with butter, to keep the blood sugar levels stable. Make sure he does not eat his food too fast.
- Stay with them for a while. You will make him feel safe and secure, which he may need. A little reassurance will go a long way.
- Make a log of the event. Write down date, time and any observations you made. These effects may range from confusion to blindness. These details will help the veterinarian with his diagnosis.
- Make a trip to the vet. Not every one warrants a trip to the vet. The ones that do are:
- If the dog is a healthy adult and this is his first time.
- If the dog has more than one per day.
- If it continues longer than 5 minutes.
- Follow through on treatment. Depending on his diagnosis, the veterinarian will make recommendations which could include administering anticonvulsants. The goal is to keep them to a minimum, while avoiding serious side effects. Follow your veterinarian's advice on how best to treat this problem.
This information should help you, but be sure to also take the time to learn about the causes as prevention is always the best policy.