What to do if your dog has a seizure.
A dog, just like humans can experience a seizure. Any dog can have a seizure anytime and understanding what is going on can be crucial.
Seizures are also referred to as a fit or convulsion and is caused by a temporary disruption of brain function causing involuntary muscle spasms. Normal size chihuahuas are no more at risk of a seizure than other dogs, but tiny chihuahuas that have been miniaturised (sometimes referred to as teacups) will be more at risk as their skulls can be smaller than they should be.
What triggers a seizure?
Has your dog eaten something that is poisonous? Chihuahua puppies are extremely curious and happy to chew on anything they can reach. So,make sure that any medicines and discarded wrappers are out of reach. If you smoke cannabis, then make sure that any butts are disposed of as THC can kill a dog.
Injuries can happen out of nowhere. Minnie once ran full-pelt into the patio door thinking it was open! If you suspect either poison or injury may have caused your chihuahua’s seizure, then get your chihuahua to the vet as an emergency.
Some breeds are more prone to seizures than others; Irish wolfhounds, beagles, labrador retrievers and golden retrievers to list a few. Males are more likely to suffer than females. Chihuahuas are not on the list and do not seem to be genetically predisposed to seizures, but that doesn’t mean they will never suffer one.
Some illness such as; liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumours, epilepsy, anaemia, both high and low blood pressure and diabetes. Diabetic chihuahuas may experience hypoglycaemic seizures if their insulin is poorly controlled.
Chihuahuas and other breeds that have been miniaturised by the selective breeding of runts can suffer with hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You can read more about the health issues of tiny chihuahuas in the article.
If your chihuahua is having regular seizures this is know as epilepsy. If the epilepsy is the result of an illness, then it is called secondary epilepsy. However, if there is no known cause then you may hear the vet refer to it as idiopathic epilepsy or primary epilepsy.
Your vet will put a treatment plan in place for your dog. It can’t be cured but it can be controlled with medication.
Stages of a seizure
A seizure can be broken down into three stages:
The pre-ictal phase, also referred to as the aura. You may notice altered behaviour. You dog may become panicked, start to drool and want to stay close to you. He may become restless and whine.
The ictal phase is the seizure itself. This can last from a few seconds to five minutes. You dog may fall to the side, lose consciousness and paddle his legs. Depending on the severity of the seizure his muscles may go into spasm, he may lose control of his bladder and defecate.
Post icatal, or after the seizure has passed, you dog may be disorientated, restless and tired. In some cases, he may be temporarily blind.
The occasional seizure is unlikely to cause your dog any long-term harm, but it is always a good idea to discuss this with your vet. If you dog has a cluster of seizures or a single seizure that lasts more than five minutes,then you must take you dog to the vet asap.
What to do if you dog has a seizure
Seeing your dog have a seizure is very scary. Try and stay calm.
Make sure that your dog is not going to hurt himself around sharp objects or furniture.
Call the vet and get your dog checked out asap.