What Causes Seizures in Dogs

What Causes Seizures in Dogs

If you’re a pet parent, witnessing your dog having a seizure can be a truly harrowing experience. Understanding the reasons behind seizures can help you manage your pet’s condition better and provide them the best possible care.

1. Epilepsy: The Most Common Cause

Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. Much like in humans, this neurological disorder can cause your beloved pet to have sudden, uncontrolled seizures. The types of seizures vary, and they can be anything from a momentary disruption of the senses to severe convulsions.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy: This is a hereditary condition and is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. It usually occurs between the ages of 6 months to 6 years.
  • Structural epilepsy: This is caused by a physical abnormality in the brain, which could be due to trauma, cancer, stroke, or inflammation.

2. Toxins: A Hidden Danger

Toxins that your dog might ingest or come into contact with are another common cause of seizures. Some common toxins include:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Xylitol (a sweetener often used in candy and gum)
  3. Antifreeze
  4. Certain plants or flowers

Remember to keep these items out of your pet’s reach and immediately consult your vet if you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful.

3. Liver or Kidney Disease

Seizures can also be a symptom of liver or kidney disease. These are the organs responsible for removing toxins from your dog’s body. If they aren’t working properly, toxins can build up in your dog’s system and cause seizures.

Here is a table that lists some signs of liver or kidney disease in dogs:

Signs of Liver Disease Signs of Kidney Disease
Loss of appetite Increased thirst
Vomiting Frequent urination
Jaundice Loss of appetite
Weight loss Weight loss

4. Brain Tumors

Brain tumors can also cause seizures in dogs. While this is a less common cause, it’s crucial to get your pet checked if they have recurrent seizures. Early detection can significantly improve the prognosis.

5. Low or High Blood Sugar

Dogs with diabetes may experience seizures due to low blood sugar. On the other hand, a condition called hyperglycemia, which is high blood sugar, can also lead to seizures.


Q: What should I do if my dog has a seizure?

A: Stay calm, keep your dog away from any objects that could harm them, and call your vet immediately.

Q: Can a dog recover from a seizure?

A: Yes, most dogs recover from a seizure within a few minutes to a few hours. If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, seek emergency veterinary care.

Q: Can seizures in dogs be prevented?

A: While you can’t prevent all seizures, you can manage them with appropriate medication and by minimizing exposure to known triggers.

Remember, your vet is the best resource for information about your pet’s health. If your dog has a seizure, it’s important to seek professional help immediately.