why dogs have seizures

why dogs have seizures


Why Dogs Have Seizures

Understanding Seizures in Dogs

You may have seen it in movies or in real life – a dog suddenly falls to the ground, legs twitching uncontrollably. It’s a heart-wrenching sight for any caregiver. Seizures in dogs are caused by an abnormal burst of electrical activity in your dog’s brain, similar to a tiny electrical storm.

Common Causes of Seizures in Dogs

Just as there are many different types of seizures, there are also a number of causes. Some of these include:

  1. Epilepsy: This is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. Epilepsy is a chronic condition which causes recurring seizures.
  2. Brain tumors: Unfortunately, brain tumors can also lead to seizures.
  3. Ingestion of toxins: If your dog has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, it can lead to seizures.

Here’s a quick chart to help you understand more.

Cause Description
Epilepsy Chronic condition, often genetic
Brain Tumors Can be caused by cancer, often more common in older dogs
Toxins From ingestion of harmful substances

How to Handle a Dog Having a Seizure

As a caregiver, it’s important to know how to handle a seizure. Remember, your calm presence can help make the situation less stressful for your dog.

  • Stay calm. Your dog can sense your panic.
  • Keep your dog safe by moving them away from stairs or furniture.
  • Time the seizure. If it lasts more than five minutes, it’s time to call your vet.

Preventing Seizures in Dogs

Preventing seizures in your dog relies heavily on understanding the underlying cause. If your dog has epilepsy, anti-seizure medication may be prescribed. If your dog has had a seizure due to toxin ingestion, making sure your home is free of harmful substances is vital.

When to Seek Veterinarian Assistance

If your dog has a seizure, it’s important to seek veterinarian assistance as soon as possible. Your vet can perform tests to determine the cause of the seizure and suggest a course of treatment.


  1. Are seizures painful for dogs?
  2. No, seizures are not usually painful, but they can be confusing and frightening for your dog.

  3. Can a dog live a normal life with seizures?

  4. Yes, with proper management and treatment, a dog with seizures can lead a normal life.

  5. How often do dogs with epilepsy have seizures?

  6. It varies, some dogs may have seizures infrequently, while others may have them several times a month.

  7. Can a dog die from a seizure?

  8. While it’s rare, a prolonged seizure (more than 5 minutes) could potentially be life-threatening. Always seek veterinary assistance if a seizure occurs.