Dealing With Canine Epilepsy What Is It And What To Do
Canine epilepsy also known as canine seizures or K9 seizures can be very frightening for you as the dog owner if you were not aware that dogs could suffer from this condition.
If you’ve ever seen your best friend falling to the ground, stretching its legs and tilting its head back before drooling or losing bladder control, you may have been witnessing this disorder. There may be additional signs as well such as bowel loss, jerking muscles, jaw clamping, or even legs moving and ‘running’ in the air. It is both heartbreaking and scary to see.
These involuntary actions are caused by an electrical storm in the dog’s brain. Just as in humans you have two (2) types of seizures. The first one is called Generalized, which means all skeletal muscles are involved. The second is a Partial Seizure, formerly called Petit Mal and only part of the brain is involved. A Generalized seizure formerly called Grand Mal seizure, and will produce a loss of consciousness in the dog. Normally, but not always the case, a Partial seizure will not alter the dog’s state of consciousness.
Most dogs will suffer their first seizure between the ages of one and five years of age. There are many causes of chronic recurrent seizures in dogs so canine epilepsy is not a specific disease, but instead, a broad variety of disorders. That broad range is divided into Idiopathic and symptomatic disorders. idiopathic epilepsy is also called primary epilepsy which means there is no identifiable brain abnormality, other than the seizures. Symptomatic epilepsy, also called secondary epilepsy, is the result of identifiable lesions on the dog’s brain.
Belgian Tervurens, Beagles, Keeshonds as well as several other breeds are genetically prone to carry the genes that cause canine epilepsy.
The majority of dogs’ seizures can be controlled by medications provided by the veterinarian. These drugs are costly and can cost as much as $250.00 per month, however, since these seizures can be life threatening you do want to have your pet checked out after you have noticed symptoms of a seizure.
For some, diet is just as important a remedy as medicine. There are lots of perservative, fillers and questionable dyes put into some store bought dog chows. If you have the option choosing something you would actually eat, or sharing your own home cooked dog meals might be better for your pooch and help you manage their seizures.
Don’t be afraid of Canine Epilepsy with your dog. Generally, treatment is advised for dogs who have regular seizures, more than one a month, but you may be more comfortable on checking with your vet after you have seen the first one. Stay calm until it is over and remember, in most cases, the dog is feeling no pain during the seizure.
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