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Causes of Seizures in Dogs

As a pet owner, seeing your dog have a seizure for the first time can be a terrifying experience for you. You might think they are dying, and this can cause anyone to panic. Not to mention, your dogs probably not having a fun time either. It’s good for you to know that, typically, seizures are not fatal, and it may help you to get through such an experience if you know why seizures in dogs can occur.

Three Broad Categories of Causes for Seizures

The two general sources of seizures in your dog are known as extracranial and intracranial. Basically, they can be caused by functional or structural changes within your dog’s brain (intracranial) or causes elsewhere in your dog’s body that are negatively impacting the brain (extracranial). There is, however, a third category as well, which has to do with not being able to find the cause of your dog’s seizures.

Intracranial Causes

These are causes within their brain, so it would take a diagnosis by veterinary neurologists to ascertain the exact cause. This category can include things such as degenerative brain conditions, lack of blood flow to the brain, congenital diseases, a brain tumor or some head trauma experienced by your dog causing injury to the brain.

Extracranial Causes

Since these are causes that are external to your dog’s brain, they may be easier to discover and, therefore, remedy. They can be conditions in other parts of their body that affect their brain such as hypoglycemia, hyperthermia, hypothyroidism, kidney disease or liver disease. You should know that extracranial causes can also include things in your dog’s environment that find their way inside them. This is the case if your dog eats something poisonous or if they catch some veterinary parasite.

Extracranial causes of seizures can be a little more comforting for you in some cases. If you are aware that your dog has some medical condition that may precipitate seizures, then they won’t be as big a shock to you. This would also be the case if you see them eat something bad and know they may have some adverse reaction to it.

Unknown Causes

Sometimes, when your dog has a seizure, the cause is not easy to categorize. In fact, sometimes it’s impossible to determine a specific cause. When this occurs, it is called Idiopathic epilepsy. This is, in fact, the most common type of seizures in dogs.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has a Seizure?

If you see your dog having a seizure, you need to go to the veterinarian immediately. At Southeast Veterinary Neurology, we have the only team of board-certified veterinary neurologists in South Florida. We have the knowledge, experience and cutting-edge equipment to quickly and accurately diagnose your dog’s seizures. We are also aware that there are certain diseases that can mimic seizures, and we bring our full array of diagnostic tools to bear in getting to the root of the problem. Contact our team at Southeast Veterinary Neurology, so you’ll know your four-legged friend will be getting the best care available in South Florida.

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