Some of our special Power Paws family require a bit more attention and our Walkers are trained to take this into account when walking them.
One of the most common special needs that we come across in our dogs is epilepsy, which presents in a very similar way to that of humans. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder has been estimated to affect approximately 0.75% of the canine population and is characterised by seizures that occur without warning, and with no discernible trigger factor, resulting from a brain abnormality.
What do you do if your dog has a seizure?
If your dog’s seizures begin before the age of 2, they tend to respond very well to treatment, but without proper treatment, seizures will get worse.
Any seizure of more than 3 minutes puts your dog at significant risk, and uncontrolled seizures can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
If your dog has a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes or has several in a row while unconscious, it is imperative to get to a Vet as soon as possible. Seizures cause a dog’s body temperature to rise which will cause breathing problems and increase the risk of brain damage – the longer a seizure continues, the higher the temperature can rise and the greater the risk to your dog. Your Vet will have the necessary equipment and medication on hand to administer emergency treatment.
Once a seizure starts, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. If your dog is near something that could hurt him, like a piece of furniture or stairs, gently move him away. Be careful to stay away from your dog’s mouth and head as he could unintentionally bite you, but if possible, turn a fan on and put cold water on his paws to cool him down.
Talk to your dog gently and softly to reassure him, and don’t put anything in his mouth – your dog cannot choke on their tongue. If you are able to, time the seizure so you are able to give this information to the Vet.
Call your Vet as soon the seizure ends, but should your dog have a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes or if he has several in a row while he’s unconscious, get him to a Vet as soon as possible.
Although seizures cannot be eliminated completely, the good news is that with the correct medication – just like with human epilepsy – the frequency and severity of seizures can be controlled so that your dog can live a happy, comfortable and full life.