What to do if your dog has a seizure
Hi furrriends - this past weekend Roman had a mini seizure & was convulsing for what seemed like forever. Witnessing my dog (my baby) convulsing like that was not only heartbreaking but, so scary. It broke my heart to see him like that, and in the moment, I was lost on what to do. I'm writing this blog to help bring awareness to other pet owners so they know what to do in the event. I pray Roman never has another one, but if he does, I now know what to do.
I have to give a special thank you to my friend GinaMarie for guiding me on what to do/look for/expect, and for constantly checking to see how Roman was doing. GinaMarie's pup, Zeus, has seizures every few months. GinaMarie is an amazing momma who takes such great care of him, and knows how to make sure he's okay when this is happening.
Thank you to my friend Becca for also helping me, and giving me guidance when my heart was racing.
Finally, thank you to Roman & Chief's amazing vet at 516 Animal Hospital in Old Bridge, NJ. They got us in the same day we called, checked Roman out, and gave us the best information and care.
Roman's seizure/convulsions lasted for about 7 seconds around 12:10pm on Saturday 7/24/21. He was tired after it and wanted to relax. He started to act like himself again around 5pm and wanted to eat his dinner around 5:30pm. It's now Tuesday, 7/27/21 and thankfully he is acting normal and he is doing well.
*I also want to note to stay calm (as calm as possible because it is not a nice thing to see), and try to record it on your phone so you can show your vet. If you're unable to record it remember to write down all the details so you do not forget to tell your vet.*
What to expect when a dog is having a seizure...
- usually falls down on the floor
- may hold his/her legs straight out from his/her body
- may paddle their legs
- may run around in a panicked circle for a few minutes before falling over
- stiff muscles
- not looking at you or anything else
- there may be drooling or froth at the mouth
- urinating or defecating (uncontrollably)
- staring blankly
- going completely unconscious
What can YOU do to help your dog if he/she is having a seizure...
- First things first, stay calm. If you go by your dog crying or screaming/panicking, he/she is going to be even more scared of the situation.
- Stay near you dog to ensure he/she is in a safe location and not near the stairs.
- If your pup has a seizure near the edge of the bed/couch or the steps: carefully push him/her to a safer location OR put something in front/behind him/her to prevent from falling without hurting him/her.
- Be cautious about petting your pup. In some cases, very carefully, you can pet his/her back. Be aware that dogs may uncontrollably bite during a seizure. Also, your dog may be confused and bite you out of fear or pain.
- If possible, time your dogs seizure. Whether it's a video, stopwatch, looking at the time, counting in your head. Be sure to know how long it lasted for.
- Be sure to speak in low, comforting tones.
- Gently place cool washcloths over his/her paws after a seizure, when your dog is alert.
- Once your dog is alert after his/her seizure, they may be very tired. It's okay for them to rest and sleep. Stay by them and monitor.
- Call your vet. Be sure to let them know exactly what happened. They will give you the next steps on what to do.
- If the seizure is long (at the 2-minute mark), rush your dog to the vet/emergency animal hospital. Bring wet cold towels to place around their groin, neck, paws and head.
- If your dog is alert and is able to stand on his own without being confused or wobbling, and wants to eat or drink, that is fine. However, do not force your dog to eat or drink after.
- Keep a journal of the information with your dogs records so your vet can be aware of any patterns.
- Monitor your dog and stay with him/her for 24-48 hours. If your dog has more than 1 seizure in a 24-hour period, this requires immediate vet attention.
Although, it isn't a happy situation to think of, it is important to know what to do. If you want to know more information, please give your vet a call and ask them any questions you may have. They are here to help you!