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What Causes Dogs to Have Seizures

This article describes some of the ways that canine epilepsy can be treated. You'll learn that there ARE things you can do to help make your dog comfortable, recover faster from seizures, and bring peace of mind to you and your dog.

Fits, as they are referred to in England, occur when the body is not properly controlled by the brain. In the U.S. these fits are more often called seizures. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief summary as to some of the many causes of dog seizures.

EPILEPSY. Epilepsy is a main cause of seizures in dogs, but it is not the only reason and not all seizures mean a dog has epilepsy. The definition of epilepsy was discovered by some people who were on a walk in the woods and happened upon a wolf that was throwing fits, looking as if he were doing some odd dance on a path in the woods. They reported this unusual sighting to the forest rangers and the term “idiopathic epilepsy” was coined. So this story is not completely true, but it sure is more exciting than the real scientific story about how the term was created. In short, the term “idiopathic epilepsy” is a catch-all for when the experts just don’t know what is causing a dog to have seizures.

TOXINS. There are a lot of different types of toxins that dogs can become in contact with or ingest that will cause them to have seizures. Toxins can be anything from a household cleaning product, somethings used to kill pests or even things like flea medication that is meant to be used on a dog. Other products that can induce seizures as well as kill the poor dog that ingests them include paint products, antifreeze and some types of insecticide. If a dog is exposed to such toxins, early and fast treatment is important because in many cases the dog can be saved and make a recovery if the poisoning is caught early.

BRAIN TUMORS. Obviously, one of the easiest things to rule out, as a cause of dog seizures, is whether there is an abnormal growth in the dog’s brain. A tumor can put pressure on the brain which can lead to seizures and other symptoms that the brain is not working properly. Fortunately, there are diagnostic tests (MRI or CAT scans) that can determine if that is the problem; however, only a very small percentage of dog seizures are caused by tumors or head injuries. A tumor or a head injury that causes seizures cannot be treated with medications, so that is why it is important to rule these causes out.

TICK INDUCED DISEASES. Aside from inflicting a painful bite on your dog, ticks can cause a dog or human to contract Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme disease, both of which can cause a dog to have seizures. If the tick is discovered within the first 24 hours after it has attached itself to the dog, the chance of infection is greatly reduced. There are antibiotics that can kill Lyme Disease, and most dogs respond quite well in general to antibiotics.

DISTEMPER. This condition is generally marked by symptoms such as a fever, diarrhea and dehydration, all of which can lead to seizures in dogs, and is seen most commonly in puppies once they reach the age of 3 months and lose the antibodies they received from their mother. Only through the use of vaccinations can this debilitating disease be prevented, and once a dog has acquired itBusiness Management Articles, they have a fight ahead for their very lives.

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