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Dog Seizures

In this video segment, Dr Sam Meisler, discusses dog
and their causes.  He also reviews how he works
them up diagnostically and the rationale for each test.
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Seizures in Dogs

When a dog has a seizure for the first time it can be a
frightening experience for both the dog and the owner.  
seizure in dogs
sometimes starts out with a particular part
of the body starting to have repetitive motions.  This may
be in the form of a leg jerking or eye twitching for example.  
Most dog seizures then progress to the full generalized
version where the whole body shakes or convulses.  During
your seizuring dog does not swallow it is a myth and not
necessary.  Some dogs will even lose control of their bowels
and bladder.  In the period after the seizure, your dog may
appear disoriented and some even vomit.

Dog seizures can be caused by several conditions, the most
common of which is dog epilepsy.  Dog epilepsy simply
means that your dog has a focus in the brain that
periodically fires off the neurons nearby in an abnormal
fashion.  This progresses to a complete uncoordinated
excitation of neurons in the brain causing a generalized
seizure.  Dog epilepsy may be inherited (shows up when
your dog is 2-3 years of age) or acquired (can show up at
any age).  Other conditions within the brain that can cause
seizures in dogs include brain tumors, infectious agents or
inflammatory conditions.  There are even diseases external
to the brain like kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease or
electrolyte imbalances that can lower the seizure threshold
and cause a dog without a problem in the brain to have a

Diagnostically, when I am presented with a dog with a
seizure, after my physical examination, I perform basic blood
work to rule out external causes of seizures.   If the blood
work is normal then the next step is to rule out a brain
tumor or other brain condition; a cat scan or MRI is the best
tool to do this.  A cerebrospinal tap and analysis is also
indicated in some dogs to test for infectious or inflammatory
conditions.  Dog epilepsy is most often determined by not
finding anything abnormal in any of our testing.

- Sam Meisler DVM

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been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.