The last time we met here in our Blog, our emergency vet discussed some vital information on how to help your dog if they have a seizure at home. Some key points to carry on from that discussion are:
- Seizures are usually the result of neurological complications and other physiological health problems.
- Your pet’s recovery time may vary significantly from another pet’s.
- If the seizures last longer than 5 minutes, you should contact your trusted emergency vet to receive professional help.
- You can try to help your dog by sitting close to them, lowering their temperature, and keeping calm to soothe them after the seizures have passed.
However, one crucial point we mentioned was trying to time your pet’s seizures and keeping track of the episode’s duration. The idea is to gather as much information as possible to keep your emergency vet and primary veterinarian as well-informed as possible.
Here at BrightCare Veterinary Group, our emergency vets know how to deal with these cases and would like to share more information on the nature of your pet’s emergencies to keep pet owners as informed as possible.
What Does an Emergency Vet Mean by “Types of Seizures”?
That’s right; we can categorize seizures into different denominations. We do not mean to say we categorize them on subjective criteria but rather on how aware your dog remains during the episode’s duration.
You have to understand that, considering how seizures affect your pet’s central nervous system, your dog’s response may vary a lot depending on tiny details. Just as with any other imbalances of your pet’s neurological system, your dog’s reaction will be different depending on the brain regions affected by the emergency.
If only parts of your dog’s brain suffer during the episode, your dog will be more aware than if their entire brain is under the effects of a seizure. We classify seizures as Focal Seizures and Generalized Seizures.
Typically, the more complex your emergency, the greater the need for an emergency vet and specialized veterinarian help. Still, we would like our readers to know more about these complications to be ready and know what to do for their pets. You could review this 2018 study to check which dog breeds are more susceptible to suffering seizures.
This type of seizure, also known as “partial seizures,” only affects a region within one of your pet’s brain’s hemispheres. You could further determine if your pet is suffering from a simple or complex focal seizure by their awareness level during the episode.
During a simple focal seizure, dogs usually remain conscious; in contrast, dogs will typically lose consciousness during a complex focal seizure.
In our previous blog, we briefly touched on some behavioral changes that could indicate a seizure, and we would like to mention some of the signs that should alert pet owners to a possible seizure episode. Please be attentive to any such behavioral changes so you can act accordingly and get help from an emergency vet if needed.
Focal seizures are challenging to spot, but keep an eye out for any of these changes. Your pet may display one of these behaviors or several at a time:
- Hallucinations. Your dog may growl or dog at nothing, try to bite the air, or seem fearful for no apparent reason.
- Apparent changes to their vision or hearing.
- Dilated Pupils.
- Problems maintaining their balance.
- Involuntary movements or muscle spasms.
- Fur standing up.
This other type of seizure affects all of your dog’s brain. Keep in mind that most generalized seizures start instead as a focal one affecting only a small region of your pet’s brain and then become a more severe complication.
We will emphasize again how important it is you are mindful of any behavioral changes like described above. Focal seizures result in very slight changes, and they usually slip by undetected. But we hope this information will help you spot any such changes and do what’s best for your pet.
Dogs undergoing generalized seizures will lose consciousness and may also lose bladder and bowel control.
If your dog suffers a generalized seizure where they are unconscious, follow the steps we discussed in our previous blog post, and make a note of what your pet did just before the episode. Try to remember any unusual behaviors before the seizure, and keep track of the seizure length.
A word of caution: if your pet is suffering from any seizures, you should take them to an emergency vet as soon as possible.
Getting in Contact With an Emergency Vet
We know you want to give your pet the best care you can at home, but please do not hesitate to contact an emergency vet during these episodes. It is vital you gather as much information as you can about the episode’s length and what your pet was doing moments before the seizures started.
The team here at BrightCare has considerable experience helping pet owners and their pets overcome complex emergencies. Make sure you give us a call at 949-716-9270 to let us know you are coming with your pet.