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When a medical event as sudden, worrying, and dramatic as a seizure strikes your pet, you may be as shocked and confused as you are frightened. Many pet owners don't know how to respond in the event of a seizure, especially since these incidents may stem from a variety of possible causes. Fortunately, your pet can get the care he needs, including emergency treatment for severe seizure attacks, right here at our Colorado Springs veterinary clinic.
Recurring or occasional cat and dog seizures may be caused by a genetic tendency toward epilepsy, especially in certain dog breeds such as Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, and German Shepherd Dogs. But seizures can also stem from such diverse other causes as poison ingestion, brain tumors, kidney or liver disorders, medications, or previous brain injuries.
A seizure typically occurs in three stages. In the pre-ictal stage, your pet may appear highly agitated or confused. The actual seizure, or ictus, may cause your pet to lose consciousness, with his limbs moving in jerky or swimming motions. Animals may vomit, urinate or defecate during a seizure. Finally, in the post-ictal stage, your pet may once again experience anxiety, a pace in circles, acting disoriented or even experience temporary blindness.
The most important factor to watch for in a seizure is the seizure's duration. If the actual seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, your pet is experiencing a potentially dangerous situation called status epilepticus that requires immediate veterinary care. For less severe seizures, your immediate goal is to make sure your pet doesn't hurt himself.
Even if your pet has experienced only a mild, isolated seizure, it's important to bring him to Faithful Friends Animal Hospital. We can stop a case of status epilepticus in its tracks by administering a strong anti-seizure drug such as phenobarbitol. We can also diagnose and treat any underlying triggers such as poison, systemic diseases, or medication ingestion.
Epileptic pets may benefit from a regular program of anti-seizure medication. Once we start this program, your pet needs to stay on it for life to prevent the seizures from recurring or possibly even getting worse. But this medication should only be necessary for pets that have more than one seizure per month.
Our skilled Colorado Springs veterinarian, Dr. Puryear, is ready to help. Call our Faithful Friends Animal Hospital at 719-596-8544 to learn more or schedule an appointment. If your pet is suffering a status epilepticus seizure, be sure to call the Animal Emergency Care Center at 719-596-8544 immediately!