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


Seizure Alert/Response Dogs


seizure response dog

While researching epilepsy I was surprised to learn that approximately fifteen percent of dogs are able to predict seizures before they occur. On average, these predictions or alerts are made 10-20 minutes before the seizure, giving the person with the seizure disorder an opportunity to move to a safe place, take medication, call for help, or notify friends or family of the impending seizure.

No one really knows how these dogs are able to detect when a seizure is about to occur. There are two theories. first, that the dog is able to smell minute changes in the person’s biochemistry, possibly in their blood chemistry or second, that they are able to detect fine motor changes imperceptible to humans. Regardless of how, this behavior naturally occurs in some dogs.

Other dogs, called seizure response dogs, are trained to perform tasks during or following a seizure to assist the owner. These tasks may include rolling the person to create an open airway, clearing vomit from the mouth, operating a call button or k9 phone, blocking the person with postictal disorientation from stairs & intersections, helping the person to rise, helping with postictal balance issues, or guiding the disoriented person to a preset location or person. Because these response tasks are so useful, most seizure alert dogs are also trained in response work. These dual seizure dogs are called “seizure alert/response dogs”.

I want to share a video with you of a seizure response dog named Poppy at work. Poppy gave her huMom Shannon a fifteen minute warning of this seizure starting. Shannon then got herself to a safe place & set up her camera. Poppy licks her mouth excessively for two reasons. First to help Shannon come around quicker and second to lick away excess saliva to help prevent her choking.

But I must warn you that some may find this upsetting to watch so please use discretion. Seeing someone have a seizure is never easy to witness.

CEO Olivia

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We are having our first giveaway in celebration of Purple Day. We will be awarding the winner with a Free Knotty Chaw-Chaw. Free shipping included!

The winner will be announced on March 27th. Just follow the link below. Good luck to all who enter.

Knotty Toys for Good Dogs’ Purple Day Giveaway



Epi-Warrior Baxter

Canine Culture, News

Baxter_Linda Meyers

Say hello to Baxter, another of the many who fight the epi-monster. Baxter is a Maltese who started having seizures when he was one & a half years old.

Baxter is fortunate in that he has responded well to his medications, however his family & Vet have had to change & adjust them on occasion. We are happy to say, at the time of writing this, he is 5-1/2 months seizure free.

His huMom Linda says, ” Loved him from the moment I saw him at 9 weeks old. He means the world to me & my husband. Wouldn’t give him up anything. Luv him SO much. We are blessed that his epilepsy is well controlled. Prayers to all dogs living with epilepsy.”

It’s clear to me that Baxter is much loved. Stay strong & seizure free my fellow Epi-Warrior.

My canine Epi-Warriors, this month in our lead up to Purple Day ( March 26th) we want to share your tale. Send us your picture & a short bio. We will share it here. Lets put a face on canine epilepsy. You can send it to us on our Facebook page or you can email us at

CEO Olivia

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