Dog Seizure Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Seizures, also called epilepsy, are dogs’ most common neurological conditions. This can affect how they look and behave. Most dog owners find it terrifying to see their beloved companion having seizures, and you might be wondering what you can do to help your scared furry friend. This article will discuss the signs of seizures, different types, and causes, what to do if your dog has one, and how to treat them.

Learn more about the warning signs that your dog may have a seizure and what to do if you suspect one in this section.

Types of Seizures

There are different types of seizures. Each type may present different signs and require different treatment options.

Generalized Seizures

A generalized seizure or grand mal seizure is the most common type of seizure. These might last for a few seconds to a few minutes and are typically caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Dogs usually lose consciousness, fall to the side, have involuntary urination or defecation, excessively drool, and have rhythmic muscle contractions like jerking limbs, paddling, and chewing jaw movements.

Partial Seizures

Partial seizures, also known as focal seizures, only affect one side of the dog’s brain or one specific area of the brain. There are two types of focal seizures: focal motor and psychomotor. Sometimes a focal seizure can turn into a grand mal.

Focal motors are caused by neurons in one brain hemisphere firing abnormally and often present as repetitive facial muscle movements or involuntary limb jerking.

Psychomotor seizures can be challenging to recognize for pet owners and veterinarians as they usually don’t cause a dog to fall to the ground. Instead, the dog could act strangely during this seizure, such as running around and biting at inanimate objects or overly chasing its tail.

Causes of Dog Seizures

Seizures can have many potential causes, some more serious than others. One or more of the following can result in seizures or convulsions:

  • Poisoning
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Brain cancer
  • Anemia
  • High or low blood sugar
  • Brain infection or inflammation
  • Stroke
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Encephalitis
  • Vascular disease/Embolism

These are only a few main reasons why seizures occur in dogs. A diagnostic test at a pet clinic with your veterinarian is the only approach to identifying the cause of a seizure.

Symptoms of Seizures

Many symptoms can help you detect whether your dog is having a seizure or convulsion, such as:

  • Collapsing
  • Jerking bodily movements
  • Stiffening
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drooling
  • Chomping or tongue chewing
  • Mouth foaming
  • Involuntary defecating or urinating

If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, do not panic. However, if your dog experiences multiple seizures within a few minutes and does not wake up between each one, you must take it to Airport Pet Emergency Clinic immediately.

Seizure Treatments

When it comes to treating seizures, your vet may recommend some medications. Depending on your pet’s situation, you should also consider some holistic options, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Herbal Formulas
  • CBD Oil
  • Food Therapy

To properly treat seizures and rule out any underlying problems, your dog will have a comprehensive physical examination from your veterinarian, including complete lab work. Visit this link to learn more about vet lab tests.

Be sure to tell your vet about your dog’s medications or supplements. This will help your vet determine the best way to treat your pet based on their specific needs and reduce the chance of a drug interaction.


It’s never fun to watch your dog have a seizure, regardless of how it happens. You might be wondering what you can do to comfort your scared pet; when this happens, try to remain composed before tending to your pet. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop your dog from having a seizure. However, routine veterinary exams, including vaccinations and blood tests, might help find underlying illnesses that cause seizures.