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Seizures in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $500 to $6,000 

What are Seizures in Dogs?

Canine seizures are a neurological disorder that has several possible causes. In some cases, seizures have been correlated with exposure to toxins, traumatic events, brain tumors, and infectious diseases. Sometimes it is not possible to identify the exact causes of seizures in dogs, in which case, the condition is known as “idiopathic”.

Seizures are the result of an abnormal level of neuronal activity in the brain, which results in brief episodes of uncontrolled movements and a short period of unconsciousness.

Which Dog Breeds Are Most Commonly Affected by Seizures?

Seizures can occur in all dog breeds, but the following breeds present seizures with a higher frequency:

Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs

Three stages can be identified during a seizure in dogs; the prodrome and aura stages (before the actual seizure) and the ictal stage (the actual seizure)

Signs observed during the prodrome and aura stages of a seizure:

  • Confusion
  • Startled or panic behavior
  • Hiding
  • Clinging to owner

Signs observed during the ictal stage of a seizure:

  • Collapse
  • Drooling/foaming saliva
  • Kicking/paddling limbs
  • Shivering movements
  • Stiffness
  • Teeth grinding
  • Urination and defecation
  • Vocalization

Treatment of Seizures in Dogs

Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate treatment once the cause is identified. If this is your pet’s first seizure, and no cause of the seizure was identified, the veterinarian will likely ask you to continue to monitor your pet for future seizures and report back if one occurs.

To help pay for the cost of treatments, you should consider buying a dog pet insurance policy. These are like a normal health insurance plan, but to help cover vet bills.

Resources for Seizures in Dogs

1. What should I do if my pet has a seizure?

2. Dog Seizures Information Sheet by VCA Hospitals

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

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