Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Different Types of Seizures in Dogs

If you have a dog that has had a seizure, you?re probably worried about what it means for his long term health and functionality. Despite how alarming seizures are when they happen, in most cases seizures in dogs are not an indicator of a lifetime of poor health. With proper care and attention, dogs that are prone to seizures can live a normal and happy life.

No one really knows what causes seizures in dogs, although there are some factors that have been identified that help. There are some dogs that have brain tumors and these tumors cause them to have seizures. There are also some breeds that have a tendency to have more seizures than other breeds, although all breeds have some dogs that will have seizures.

There are two basic categories of seizures for dogs. There are focalized-which can be thought of as localized-seizures and generalized seizures. Generalized seizures tend to be the more severe and damaging of the two because they affect the entire brain and can cause the dog to be in recovery for hours or days after a seizure.

Focalized seizures affect a portion of the brain instead of the entire brain. This means that the affect on the brain is less severe than it would be in a generalized seizure, which makes recovery faster. Focalized seizures, for this reason, are sometimes harder to diagnose but they still require medical treatment.

There are some cases where a referral to a veterinary neurologist is in order. For example, if you have a dog with a brain tumor that you need to treat, a veterinary neurologist is the best person to handle the care of that situation.

Generalized seizures can be either major motor seizures or absence seizures. In absence seizures, the dog becomes still and unresponsive, with a fixed stare. It is incredibly disconcerting to experience, but not as overtly traumatic as a major motor seizure which consists of twitching, muscle rigidness and involuntary motor reactions.

On the other end, there are dogs that suffer from focalized seizures, of which there are also two types. The dog can suffer from simple focalized seizures, which are motor seizures that are localized to a specific part of the dog’s body. The other focalized seizure is a complex focalized seizure with affects the behavioral centers of the brain causing personality and psychological changes in the dog, which can be alarming and occasionally dangerous to experience.

Seizures in dogs require careful monitoring of the dog’s health and behavior and regular medical intervention, but with this extra effort, your seizure prone dog can live a happy and fulfilled life and be a good companion for you and your family.

I’m a veterinarian’s assistant with a special passion for educating others about seizures in dogs.

Different Types of Seizures in Dogs is a guest post by Celine Europa.

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