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This video will focus on how to diagnose and the next course of action for treating seizures in dogs.
Tags:How to Treat Seizures in Dogs,diagnose dog problems,dog health,dog health problems,dog health treatments,dog seizures,doghealthproblems,seizures in dogs
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My name is Sam Meisler and I’m a small animal veterinarian. In this segment, let’s talk about dog seizures.
Now, if your dog has had a seizure for the first time, it can be a very frightening experience. Usually, if seizure starts out with a repetitive movement of one muscle on the body and then progresses to a generalized seizure where the whole body is convulsing. Sometimes at the end, a dog will lose control of its paws and go ahead and urinate. Some of them will even be noxious afterwards and vomit. When a dog comes into our office with a history of having a seizure, the first thing we want to do is to have blood work up.
Now, the reason we do a blood work up, we’re looking for causes outside the brain that might lower the seizure threshold and cause your dog to have a seizure like kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, that sort of thing. We want to roll that out first. If that blood work is normal then the seizure has originated inside the brain. Causes of seizures that originated inside the brain, most common cause is epilepsy either inherited epilepsy which usually occurs at about age two to three or acquired epilepsy which can happen at any date and any age.
Other causes are different viral diseases, some inflammatory diseases and rarely even a brain tumor. If the blood work is normal, we can narrow it down to the brain. The next step is if finances can afford it is do a CAT scan or MRI. That test will rule out a brain tumor. I mean that’s the only test we can use to actually just determine whether your dog has a brain tumor. A lot of people cannot afford the step and at that point we usually stop diagnostics if they can't afford that step and decide whether to put the dog on anticonvulsants to control the seizures or not.
If the dog is just having a seizure in every month or so then I’m less likely to put it on an anticonvulsant and if it’s having seizures every week then I’ll put it on an anticonvulsants. If it's the first time it had a seizure then usually if the dogs otherwise normal, blood works normal, everything is looking good, I’m going to wait and see what happens. And if it again starts having seizures very frequently, we’ll put it on an anticonvulsant.
Another indication for putting your dog on an anticonvulsant is if it's having seizure clusters or seizure storms. You dog may go on for a week or two without any seizure at all and then one afternoon have six or seven, if that happens then we’re going to go ahead and put your dog on an anticonvulsant to prevent that exhausting series of seizures occurring. This gives you a basic idea of we look at in seizures. There’s a lot more to it but at least that gives basic introduction to the causes and what we do about dogs that have seizures.