There are several moments in life that are scarier than a moment of your dog having a seizure. You are scared for your pet’s well-being, as just moments ago he was completely normal and happy, and the next he is drooling, twitching, with glazed eyes, and even losing control over his bowels and bladder. Sometimes, seizures last only a few seconds, but whenever they happen those seconds feel like hours.
In these situations, you may feel helpless, but nothing can be further from the truth. You are your dog’s primary caretaker and the one who can make him go through the whole experience easier and safer. So, what should you do when your pet is having a seizure?
- Don’t panic. Giving away to your own anxiety and having a panic attack will not help your dog at all, and it will only make it harder for you to do the right thing for him/her. Breathe in and out and try to calm yourself down, because only then will you be able to come to your best friend’s aid properly.
- Focus on your dog and his needs. Seizures are rarely life-threatening and they do not cause pain to your dog, so freaking out about that is completely unnecessary.
- Let your pet handle the seizure. Your dog will probably become unaware of its surroundings and can get quite anxious and even blind.
- Do not hold your dog during the seizure. Since dogs cannot control their behavior during a seizure, avoid holding them and hugging them when this happens, as even the smallest and harmless of dogs can injure you quite seriously, even if the only thing you are trying to do is comfort them.
- Remove all harmful objects away from your dog. Instead of moving the dog, try to move all the objects away from him, especially those around his mouth, as he may try to bite you or those objects as he loses control over his movement and muscles. Your dog may stumble uncontrollably around the room, so it is better to move a chair or a lamp than to attempt to move your dog in this situation.
- Make notes or take a video. It is important to know when the seizure started and how long it lasted, so take a notepad and write all of that down, or even better, take a video that you can later show to the vet. This way, you won’t miss any details and you won’t have to describe what happened. Most likely you won’t even remember everything, so taking a video is the best option in this case.
- Do not grab your dog’s tongue. It rarely happens that a dog swallows its tongue during a seizure, so do not try to grab it. You can get injured because your dog loses control over its muscles. It can sometimes happen that a dog bites its own tongue during a seizure, but those injuries are minor and nothing to worry about.
- Make the fall comfortable. If your dog falls over and lands on a hard surface, put a pillow under its head to lower the risks of head trauma.
- Do not wrap your dog in a blanket. Since dogs tend to generate a lot of heat during seizures, it is not advisable to wrap them in blankets even when it seems like they are cold due to shivering.
- Contact the vet. Once the seizure is over, contact your dog’s vet and show him or her the video you took off the seizure. The vet will advise you on the next steps you should take to prevent future seizures.
- Change your dog’s diet. Since the vet will probably prescribe certain medications for seizures, they will most likely cause your dog to gain weight. Therefore, it is essential to follow a specific diet that the vet will recommend.
- Keep your dog away from water. Stay away from pools and rivers. If your dog is epileptic, he may drown if he gets a seizure when swimming.
- Cut out salty treats. If your dog is on potassium bromide, salty treats can cause further seizures, therefore it is best to cut them out of your dog’s diet.
- Keep your dog cool. Since they tend to overheat during a seizure, put some cold water on your dog’s paws and even turn on a fan to lower the temperature, but avoid putting water on your dog’s back.