The Four Stages of a Seizure

Health, News


We have covered the topic of the various types of seizures in a previous post. Today I want to discuss the four stages of a seizure.



Stage 1 is called the prodome or pre-ictal phase.  The prodome may precede a grand mal seizure by hours or even days. It is characterized by a change in mood or behavior. In my case I may become sassy, hyper & playful. Also my huMom has noticed if I show my belly it’s often a warning sign.

The second stage is called the aura, which is where the pre-ictal symptoms increase in intensity. Signs may include restlessness, nervousness, whining, trembling, salivation, affection, wandering, hiding or running. This is the point just before a grand mal.

Stage 3 is the Iktal stage. This is when the seizure hits. I have grand mal seizures which are what people think of when they think of epilepsy. This stage can last from a few seconds to several minutes. If it last more than five minutes, medical attention should be sought out immediately. Grand mal seizures can come in clusters, which I have experienced but fortunately I can take a “cluster buster”, which is medication that breaks the cluster by forcing brain activity to slow.

The final stage can last from several minutes to several days. This is known as the post-ictal phase. A dog may be disoriented & appear to be drugged or drunk, it may be lethargic or pace frantically. Some dogs, like myself may become temporarily blind & will bump into walls & furniture.  Recovery time varies for each dog & we would like to remind people that it can be weeks before your good dog will feel like her/his self again.

Although we feel Canine Epilepsy Awareness should be every day, we are coming to a close with only 9 more days left of ‘November Epilepsy Awareness Month’.  If there is something you would like us to focus on let us know by emailing us at

Further reading

CEO Olivia


2 thoughts on “The Four Stages of a Seizure

  1. Thanks for the explanation of the stages. Having just had Elsa for a couple weeks before she started with the clusters, we didn’t get to know what her routine was having come from a puppy mill environment. We will definitely keep our eyes open for the signs in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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