First Aid for Dogs – Dog Seizure

There can be many causes of seizures. Possibilities include a seizure disorder or epilepsy, toxicity, head injury, liver or kidney disease or strokes.

Symptoms of a dog seizure include collapsing, jerking movements, stiffening, twitching and drooling or foaming at the mouth. Dogs may wee or poop during a seizure due to the loss of muscle control. A seizure may last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

First Aid for Dogs suffering a seizure will prevent them causing any further harm and may reduce the stress and uncertainty that your dog is feeling.

First Aid for Dogs - Seizure | on Puppy Tales

In the event of your dog seizuring:

  1. Stay calm. It can be confusing or alarming to see your dog in a seizure.
  2. Eliminate all noise, as any form of stimulation in the way of touch or sound can make the seizure worse.
  3. It can be a good idea to dim the lights and ensure there are no objects in the vicinity that the pet may damage itself on.
  4. If your dog is near something that may hurt him or be knocked over during a seizure and you can, move it out their proximity.
  5. If possible and safe to do so, check the pet’s airway to ensure that tongue is straight. Ideally wait until the seizure has ended to do this (as a dog may unknowingly bite during a seizure) and even then, only if you trust the dog.

When your dog is having a seizure it is best to just leave them. The usual touch/sound that comforts them is best left until after the seizure has finished.  Once the seizure has ended, get the pet to the vet as soon as safe to do so, as any cause of a seizure should be investigated.Before you leave, check for any possible toxic substances your pet may have ingested and take any suspicious packaging with you. Continue to stay calm enroute to the vet and make as little fuss as possible around your dog.

If the seizure is continuous, then you will need to try to move them safely to the car and get them to the vet for medication that can help to stop the seizuring. Continuous seizuring can be damaging to the brain and muscles and requires urgent veterinary treatment.

Dr Abbie Tipler, BVSc, MACVS (Surgery) Tipler, BVSc, MACVS (Surgery)

Dr Abbie is a Small Animal Veterinarian with 10 years full-time experience. Her passion is Small Animal Surgery and in 2011 she studied towards and obtained her Memberships in Small Animal Surgery from the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Although surgery is her special interest, she loves all aspects of General Practice, especially canine medicine. She lives with her family and two Ragdoll cats.