WHAT CAUSES SEIZURES
There are a wide range of potential causes for seizures, with varying degrees of prognosis. Below is a list of common causes; but, this list is not exclusive.
- Severe Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Brain Tumor
- Traumatic Injury
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- High/Low Blood Sugar
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SEIZURES
Before a seizure, pets may look disoriented, seem unsteady or confused, or stare off into space.
Signs and Symptoms of seizures include:
- Muscle Twitching
- Loss of Consciousness
- Foaming at the Mouth
Dogs and cats can fall to the side and make paddling motions with their legs. They may urinate or defecate during the seizure as well. Please do not place anything in your pet’s mouth if they are having a seizure as this can injure their mouth or jaw or they can accidentally inhale or swallow the item.
After a seizure, your pet may be disoriented, wobbly or temporarily blind. They may also walk in circles, bump into walls or furniture, or hide.
TYPES OF SEIZURES
These types of seizures are most common and usually involve the entire body.
Focal seizures are limited to a specific part of the body. Twitching of facial muscles or limbs are a common way to identify focal seizures.
These types of seizures are characterized by odd behavior that only lasts a minute or two.
Cluster seizures are two or more seizures that occur over a 24 hour period.
PHASES OF A SEIZURE
- Period of altered behavior where patients may hide, appear nervous, or seek out the owner.
- Signs of Pre-Ictal Phase include: restlessness, nervousness, whining, shaking or hypersalivation.
- This may last anywhere from seconds to hours.
- The Ictal Phase is considered the “seizure”. This is where pets have a range of symptoms from mild changes in mentation to a complete loss of consciousness and body function.
- If pets experience a “Generalized”, they will lose consciousness and all of the muscles in the body move spastically or erratically.
- The period immediately after the end of a seizure. This phase may include: confusion, disorientation, salivation, pacing, restlessness, or even temporary blindness.
- This can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours.
DIAGNOSIS OF SEIZURES
Allure Integrated Pet Specialists Neurology Department works alongside Primary Care Veterinarians to review treatment options based on your pet’s history and medical needs. If your pet is newly diagnosed or not responding as expected with treatment, then your pet may need a consultation with our neurologist.
Additional diagnostics not available at your primary care veterinarian’s office include:
- Complete Patient History
- Physical Exam
- Blood and Urine Tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Cerebrospinal Fluid Test (CSF)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SEIZURES
Treatment options for seizures vary with anticonvulsant medications used as a foundation. The goal of therapy is to reduce the frequency, length and severity of seizure activity as much as possible while still providing the patient with a high quality of life. Additional modalities may be available depending on underlying cause and can be discussed with our staff neurologist.