a dog laying down

Canine Epilepsy Symptoms

What are the canine epilepsy symptoms?

There is two type’s of Epilepsy, Grand Mal & Petit Mal. A brain disorder that can cause sudden, uncontrolled, recurring physical attacks, with or without loss of consciousness.

I have suffered from Epilepsy since I was 7yrs old. For me to write this came from a true understanding of this particular illness. Over the years we have seen a serious increase in Canine Epilepsy and much like humans once it has manifested itself it can be very hard to control.

Less than half a century ago Human Epilepsy was classified as a mental illness and we would have been sectioned and institutionalised.

For our Canine Companions there would have been just one route unfortunately. Luckily this has all changed and with the modern approach to this life time illness we can both now live a fairly normal life.

When seizures occur they can be scary for a human, however for a dog this can be a really frightening.

When these seizures occur the dog can fall on its side, become still and stiff, clamp its jaw, salivate, become incontinent, vocalize, or aggressively throw all four legs around.These type seizures generally occur while resting or asleep and in many cases at night or in the morning.

Epilepsy can be genetic but can also be caused by trauma, stress or anxiety. Dogs with established genetic epilepsy are more likely to have cluster seizures which mean’s the seizure will occur at close intervals.

Breeds most prone to genetic epilepsy include the Belgian Shepherd and Tervuren Shepard, Golden Retrivers, LabradorsBoxers , Vizsla, and the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Also the English Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel have been known to suffer, but is often diagnosed as Rage Syndrome which is form of epilepsy causing Idiopathic aggression type episodes.

Treatment does not mean cure as antiepileptics drugs do not cure epilepsy.

Vet checking a dog

In humans there is no cure for Grand Mal seizure’s. However many who suffer from Petit Mal seizure can see a reduction in the episodes over time with or without treatment.

We do have to accept that as owners of a dog with epilepsy we are simply controlling the seizures rather than eliminating them and this may have to be a life-long therapy.

In Canine Epilepsy there are limited treatments but the objective is the same as in Human which is to balance the brain patterns. The most commonly used drugs in the UK are Epiphany and diazepam.

Beware though like all drugs antiepileptics drugs will have side effects such as sedation and appetite stimulation.

There are many alternative medicines and remedies freely available online but my own thoughts and suggestions are for your dog’s sake please consult your Vet before you try to reduce your dogs drugs.

Anti-epileptic drugs keeps the seizures level but they are generally just below the surface. Any reduction in the prescribed drugs then you could see an increase in the seizures once again, putting your dog at serious risk of permanent brain damage.

A dog with Epilepsy can lead a perfectly normal life and with your help and understanding hopefully a long a happy one as well.