Epilepsy in dogs: causes and symptoms

Epilepsy in dogs is a central nervous system disorder in which seizures occur due to temporary disturbances in normal brain function. Below we describe the possible causes and symptoms of the disease.

About 1-2% of all dogs are affected by epilepsy. The disease is manifested by seizures caused by over-excited nerve cells in the brain. There is primary and secondary epilepsy.

Primary epilepsy in dogs: causes
Primary epilepsy is hereditary. The cause of the seizures in this type of epilepsy is in the quickly and strongly irritable nerve cells in the dog’s brain. Primary epilepsy as a hereditary disease is particularly common in the following breeds:

● Golden Retrievers
● Cocker Spaniels
● German shepherd
● Collie
● Beagles
● boxers
● Vizsla
● Labrador Retrievers

The causes of secondary epilepsy in dogs
Secondary epilepsy is not congenital but is triggered by other factors such as poisoning, liver, kidney or brain diseases. The seizures can also be triggered when the dog’s severely imbalanced salt or water balance.

Symptoms of epilepsy before an attack
Some symptoms may already indicate that your dog is about to suffer an epilepsy attack. These include:

● Restlessness, anxiety and excessive attachment.
● Different movement behaviour of your dog, such as increased licking of the lips.
● Altered bodily functions such as increased salivation, vomiting or urinating.
● Excessive attempts to attract attention by barking or yelping.
● Your dog withdraws or hides.

Symptoms of an epilepsy attack
During a seizure, the dog falls on its side. Symptoms include violent muscle spasms, the animal’s eyes are rolled up, its legs stretched out stiffly, and it makes rowing movements.

Some dogs drool heavily, wet themselves, or defecate during an attack. The four-legged friends are unconscious during a seizure and do not react when spoken to. The episodes that manifest epilepsy can vary in severity and last for several minutes.

Partial seizures, in which only individual muscle areas of the dog are affected, also occur. Note: Treating a dog with epilepsy should be done by a veterinarian, even if you may not be able to get to the doctor’s office in time during the seizure. He can also determine the causes.

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