top of page

Seizures in Dogs: Trigger Factors, Cluster Seizures, Breed Predispositions and More

Did you know that seizures are one of the dogs' most common neurological disorders? In fact, according to the Epilepsy Foundation, one in every 26 dogs will have a seizure in their lives. Seizures in dogs can be caused by many different things, including trauma, toxins, and certain diseases. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of seizures that dogs can experience and the various trigger factors. We will also talk about cluster seizures and breed predispositions.




Cluster seizures

Cluster seizures are defined as two or more seizures that occur within 24 hours. This type of seizure activity is often seen in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, the most common type of seizure disorder. Cluster seizures can be frightening for dog owners, but it is essential to remember that they are not necessarily more dangerous than a single seizure. However, if your dog is experiencing cluster seizures, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.


What are the different types of seizures that dogs can experience?

There are two main types of seizures that dogs can experience: generalized and focal/partial. Generalized seizures involve the entire body, while partial seizures only affect a particular area. Seizures can also be clonic or atonic. Clonic seizures are characterized by muscle spasms, while atonic seizures involve a loss of muscle tone.


What's the difference between cluster seizures and status epilepticus?

Status epilepticus is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary care. It is defined as a single seizure that lasts for more than five minutes or two or more seizures that occur without adequate time to recover. Status epilepticus can be life-threatening and lead to brain damage if not treated promptly. Cluster seizures, on the other hand, are defined as two or more seizures that occur within 24 hours. While cluster seizures can be frightening, they are not necessarily more dangerous than a single seizure. However, if your dog is experiencing cluster seizures, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.


What do I do if my dog has cluster seizures?

If your dog is experiencing a seizure, move objects from their environment and make sure they are in a safe place. Do not try to put your hand in their mouth or restrain them. Once the seizure has passed, give them time to recover and then take them to the vet as soon as the seizure has passed. If your dog is experiencing cluster seizures, it is critical to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and order some diagnostic tests, such as a complete blood count, biochemistry panel, and urinalysis. They may also recommend imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan. Treatment for cluster seizures will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if your dog has idiopathic epilepsy, they may be prescribed anticonvulsant medication. If a toxin is the suspected cause, your dog will receive supportive care and treatment to remove the toxin from its system.


What are some of the trigger factors for seizures in dogs?

There are many different trigger factors that can cause seizures in dogs, including:

  • trauma

  • toxins

  • certain diseases - urinary tract infections

  • low blood sugar

  • high fever

  • brain tumours

  • stroke

  • head injury

  • over-exercising

  • heat stress


What dogs are likely to have cluster seizures?

Dogs that are predisposed to cluster seizures include:

- Male Intact dogs

- Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds and Boxers

- Dogs with a history of cluster seizures


What dog breeds develop epilepsy?

- Australian Shepherds

- Beagles

- Belgian Malinois

- Boxers

- Border Collies

- Cocker Spaniels

- Dachshunds

- German Shepherds

- Golden Retrievers

- Labrador Retrievers


What is seizure remission in dogs?

Seizure remission is defined as the absence of seizures for a period of time. The time required for seizure remission varies from dog to dog but is typically at least six months. Dogs that experience seizure remission often needs lifelong anticonvulsant medication to prevent future seizures.


What is the likelihood my dog will achieve seizure remission?

The likelihood of seizure remission depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. For example, dogs with idiopathic epilepsy are more likely to achieve seizure remission than dogs with a brain tumour. Around 10-15% of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy will achieve seizure remission.



What's the life expectancy for a dog with idiopathic epilepsy?


The life expectancy for a dog with idiopathic epilepsy is close to normal. One study found the average lifespan for dogs with IE to be 13.5 years or around 10.4 years post-diagnosis. However, some dogs may be more prone to developing secondary health problems like kidney or liver disease. These secondary health problems can shorten a dog's life span.




Commenti


bottom of page