Seizures are a frightening medical issue for everyone to experience. It can be traumatic for pets who are comfortable one moment, then convulsing the next; and traumatic for pet parents to see their beloved child having muscle spasms on the floor without any knowledge of why or what to do. However, with proper knowledge and understanding, we can be ready when a seizure comes.
What is a seizure and epilepsy?
A seizure is a manifestation of signs due to abnormal, excess activity of neurons in the brain. These temporary, involuntary disruptions of brain function are generally accompanied by uncontrollable muscle movements that range from small twitches to whole body shakes; and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Compared to epilepsy, a seizure is a single occurrence, while epilepsy is a pattern of seizures. It is important to note, that a seizure is not a disease, but the symptom of something else happening in the body.
What are the signs/symptoms of a seizure?
Collapsing on the ground
Involuntary muscle movements (twitching, jerking, convulsions)
Foaming at the mouth
Different types of seizures:
General- affects the entire brain; pet may lose consciousness and convulse and affects the whole body.
Focal- affects a specific area of the brain, causes twitching or muscle spasms in specific parts of the body.
Psychomotor- affects the pets’ senses where they may bite or attack imaginary objects.
Idiopathic- term used when there is an unknown cause for the seizure.
What causes seizures?
Eating poisonous foods/materials
Low Blood Sugar
What YOU can do to help:
- Stay calm and start timing how long the seizure lasts for.
- Stay away from pets’ mouth as they are not in control of their actions and could accidentally bite. Animals (humans included) cannot swallow their tongues and choke.
- Carefully move pet away from any dangerous objects (stairs, walls, hard furniture, etc.)
- If seizure lasts for more than a few minutes, find a fan or cold wash cloth to cool pet down as they run the risk of overheating.
- Call your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic if seizures last longer than 2-3 minutes.
- Record how often the seizures are occurring throughout the day/week.
- Comfort your pet once the seizure ends as they will be disoriented and scared. Talk in a soothing and calm tone, light petting and move slowly to reassure them you are there to help them and they are safe.
- Avoid using flea or tick medications
- Minimize toxins at home and in water by providing clean water in glass or ceramic bowls. Avoid disposable plastics
What WE can do for you and your pet:
All seizure incidents can happen for a multitude of reasons, so we need a physical exam to determine what is causing the seizures in the first place. However, until we find the root of the cause, we can certainly help mitigate the seizure as they come.
- Diet Change: improving what your pet eats will improve their overall health to combat any and all issues.
- Chiropractic adjustments: support the immune system, speed up the body’s natural ability to heal and recover, aligns the body’s spinal chord to allow less energy for neurons to relay messages to body – thus reducing neuron activity.
- Acupuncture: supports immune and muscular systems, reduces stress on the body or focal area of seizures, speeds up body’s natural healing ability, reduces energy to fire neurons to afflicted area.
- CBD oils: quickly calms the muscles and brain activity to reduce seizures.
- Essential Oils: supports immune system and relaxes muscles at home to keep the body in a calm state, minimizes the chances of a seizure.
- Herbal Supplements: natural supplements for whole body, immune system, musculo-skeletal support.