Hello everyone, CEO Olivia here. I know many who follow this blog already know what to do if your good dog seizures but there are always those who are new to living with canine epilepsy. Today I want to touch on what to do during an epileptic event.
First, remain calm. Witnessing a seizure is never easy, but you need to stay focused. If your good dog is in a kennel, under a table or a bed, gently pull him/her out to the middle of the room. If possible grab the scruff of the neck, if you can’t reach, gently pull a back leg or the tail. It’s important not to get near the dog’s face as it may unintentionally bite you. Try your best to keep the dog away from anything it could thrash into such as furniture or walls.
Try to reduce stimuli such as noise or bright lighting; we know this can be difficult if you are alone with your epi dog. Although we don’t do this, some will put a blanket over the dog. The weight of the blanket can have a calming effect. There are special coats called, “Thunder shirts” which are for calming dogs. I’m going to talk about them in a future blog post.
Although it’s never happened to me, should your good dog vomit during the seizure, do not try to clear the airway with your fingers. Again, you may get a nasty bite. Instead, if possible, tilt the dog’s back end up so it’s head is down & let it drain out. I’m sure this may be difficult with a larger dog but it needs to be done.
An ice pack applied on the spine above the back hips can help. Cooling seems to reduce the chance of clustering. If you can’t get the ice pack applied during the seizure, do so as soon as you can.
A seizure may seem to last hours & some dogs do cluster & have several seizures back to back. If your good dog goes into a second seizure that’s manageable but should a third hit, you need to get to the vet or emergency right away. Every seizure carves out a pathway in the brain making the next seizure easier to take hold, so stopping clusters is very important.
After the event, it’s a good idea to record the details in a seizure journal. The information may be useful to your vet. I’m going to share an example in a future post.
Canine epilepsy is a frightening disease. It’s never easy watching your good dog suffer through an event. But knowledge is power. Understanding what’s happening & what to do will make things less stressful. Read up & reach out.
CEO Olivia ❤