A majority of phone calls I receive late at night are from frantic pet owners wondering what to do as they watch their fur babies having a seizure. It is very unnerving to see our pets in pain, and I would like to help.
A seizure could be as mild as facial twitching or as violent as your pet falling over and urinating or defacting uncontrollably. First, stay calm as best as you can. Let your pet handle the seizure. Your cat or dog won’t likely know what is occurring at the time. Please do not try to hold pets during the seizure. Even the nicest animal can injure you when they are not acting like themselves. They often become agitated or even blind immediately following an episode, so it truly is best to give them space.
Speaking of space, clear the area. Quickly check to ensure your pet cannot fall down any staircases or run outside its fence. Next, if you feel comfortable, try to take a video of the actual episode. Often, the veterinarian can observe the behavior in the video to help determine the diagnosis and treatment.
In many cases, you do not have to rush to the animal clinic, but the situation does need to be monitored. Take note of the time and date of the first seizure. Seizures that last longer than five minutes need to be reported promptly to your veterinarian.
The most common cause of seizures is epilepsy. Other reasons could be an infectious disease, stroke, or other brain condition. Take note of your pet’s behavior to see if it is constantly circling or pacing, having trouble walking, sulking in corners or acting overly lethargic.
Some causes of seizures can be ruled in or out with a good physical exam, blood work and a urine analysis. We treat seizures with various medications, and we are here to help you navigate what is best for you and your pet.