Epilepsy is a serious and so far incurable disease. However, most affected dogs can lead an almost normal, happy canine life with regular therapy with appropriate medications and nurturing care.
The first attack is usually completely unexpected: the dog suddenly loses consciousness and loses control of its body. The animal salivates, twitches and convulsions. The dog may even lose urine and feces. The gruesome sight usually only lasts a few minutes – but to the shocked owners, they seem like hours.
“This type of seizure suggests epilepsy,” says the veterinarian. “With epilepsy, there is increased excitability of the nerves in the dog’s brain. The exact cause of the nerve dysfunction is not yet known. But we know that hereditary predisposition plays a role in development.
No Canine Epilepsy Test
Unfortunately, there is still no epilepsy test that a veterinarian can use to determine the disease without a doubt. Rather, in order to diagnose epilepsy, the veterinarian must rule out all other causes of seizures, such as poisoning, injury, or metabolic disorders.
If no other cause of the seizure is found, it is called idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy must be treated with medication for life. The drugs suppress seizures.
Not All Medications are Suitable for Every Dog
Since not all antiepileptic drugs work the same for every dog, the vet will sometimes have to try different active ingredients and dosages until the dog gets used to it. Since the drugs only suppress seizures, they must be given regularly. If you forget a gift, you may have a seizure.
The therapy sometimes stops working after a while. In these cases, it needs to be adjusted. In principle, dogs diagnosed with epilepsy should be checked regularly by a veterinarian.
What to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure
Unfortunately, even dogs that actually benefit from the therapy can have an epileptic seizure. Veterinarian Suzanne Werner explains how to best behave during a seizure:
- If possible, keep your cool and leave your dog alone during an epileptic seizure. The animal does not know what it is doing during a seizure and can harm itself or the person.
- To protect your dog from injury, you must remove potentially hazardous items out of reach and soften the environment.
- Once the epileptic seizures have subsided, you should take your dog to the vet.
- Since animals are often frightened and frightened after an epileptic seizure, they should be handled with care. In this state, they may suddenly bite.
Have Emergency Medications Ready
In severe cases, persistent or a series of seizures occur over a short period of time (status epilepticus). This condition is dangerous for the life of four-legged friends. Dogs with this diagnosis should get emergency medications from their veterinarian. This drug is not administered by mouth but administered anally through an enema.
It is best if the application in veterinary practice is explained and demonstrated to you in detail. The drug interrupts a severe attack. The dog must then be taken to the veterinarian for further treatment.