What do you do when your dog is having a focal seizure? The Ultimate Guide

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    What causes seizures in dogs?

    Excessive excitation in the brain resulting in a seizure can happen due to the following causes:

    Reactive seizures occur secondary to metabolic disease or toxin exposure (that affect a dog’s otherwise healthy brain). Diagnosis is made via tests like bloodwork and history information.

    Symptomatic seizures result from structural brain disease and include conditions like tumors, strokes, malformations, inflammation, or infections in the brain. These are diagnosed via imaging of the brain (usually MRI examination) and sometimes spinal fluid analysis.

    Unknown/Idiopathic seizures do not have an identifiable cause. This category encompasses genetic epilepsy, which is the most common cause of seizures in dogs. This diagnosis is made via exclusion of the above two categories, as all diagnostic tests return normally.

    The most practical way to group causes of seizures is by age of onset. In puppies younger than six months, brain infections, toxin exposure, metabolic conditions like liver shunts, and congenital brain malformations are most common. In dogs between six months and five years, idiopathic (genetic) epilepsy is most common; in at least 25 dog breeds, a heritable basis for epilepsy has been documented thus far. In animals older than five years, structural brain disease, specifically tumors and strokes, are most common. However, exceptions to these ‘rules of thumb’ occur; the only way to determine the cause of a seizure is via a diagnostic workup with your veterinarian.

    How to Spot Canine Focal Seizure Symptoms

    “Doc, I think my dog is hallucinating,” began the call of one of my clients when I was in veterinary practice. After collecting details about the dog’s unusual behavior and examining her in my clinic, I confirmed focal seizures. In this article, we’ll discuss focal seizures, their signs, treatment, and recovery.

    We’ll also go over what you can do for your pooch if he has a focal seizure and when you should take him to the vet.

    To help you prepare for the appointment, we’ll explain what to expect when you visit the vet and how focal seizures are treated. Finally, we’ll give you tips to help prevent focal episodes in your furbaby.

    Seizures involve abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Usually, seizures occur unexpectedly and have no known trigger. When dogs have a focal seizure, the atypical activity is isolated to a part of the brain. As a result, there are limited effects on the body. The signs of the seizure will depend on where the unusual impulses occur in the brain.