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Epilepsy in dogs: causes and symptoms


Epilepsy in dogs is a disease of the central nervous system in which temporary disorders of normal brain function lead to seizures. Below we describe possible causes and symptoms of the disease. Epilepsy in dogs: The symptoms appear more frequently in certain breeds such as golden retrievers - Image: Shutterstock / Malija

About 1-2% of all dogs are affected by epilepsy. The disease manifests itself as seizures caused by overly excited nerve cells in the brain. There is primary and secondary epilepsy.

Primary epilepsy in dogs: causes

Primary epilepsy is inheritable. The cause of the seizures in this type of epilepsy is the fast and highly irritable nerve cells of the dog's brain. Primary epilepsy as an inherited disease is particularly common in the following breeds:

● Golden Retriever
● Cocker Spaniel
● German shepherd
● Collie
● Beagle
● Boxers
● Vizsla
● Labrador retriever

The causes of secondary epilepsy in dogs

Secondary epilepsy is not congenital, but is triggered by other factors such as poisoning, liver, kidney or brain diseases. In addition, the seizures can be triggered when the dog's salt or water balance is heavily out of balance.

Which diet is suitable for dogs with epilepsy

The diet of dogs with epilepsy depends on whether it is the primary or secondary ...

Symptoms of epilepsy before an attack

Some symptoms may indicate in advance that your dog is about to have an attack of epilepsy. These include:

● restlessness, anxiety and extraordinary attachment.
● Another movement behavior of your dog, such as increased licking of the lips.
● Changes in bodily functions such as increased salivation, vomiting or urination.
● The excessive attempt to attract attention by barking or howling.
● Your dog withdraws or hides.

Symptoms of an epilepsy attack

In the event of a seizure, the dog falls on its side. Violent muscle twitches appear as symptoms, the animal's eyes are twisted, the legs stretch it stiffly and make rowing movements.

Some dogs salivate heavily during a seizure, wetting themselves or dropping feces. The four-legged friends are not conscious during an attack and do not respond to speech. The seizures that manifest epilepsy can vary in severity and can last for several minutes.

Partial seizures, in which only individual muscle areas of the dog are affected, also occur. Keep in mind: treating a dog with epilepsy should definitely be done by a veterinarian, even if you may not make it to the practice in time during the seizure. He can also determine the causes.