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The 4 Stages of a Seizure in a Dog (Part 2)

Good morning! Here’s part 2 of yesterday’s article:

The Aura. This is the period of intensity of the pre-ictal symptoms, just before the seizure starts.  The dog may be restless, apprehensive, begin pacing, or even try to hide.

The Ictal Phase, also known as the “Ictus.” Ick is the word indeed, as this is a period of intense neurological spasming resulting in a disruption of brain activity that explodes in a chaos of mixed signals flooding the dog’s body.  Most seizures last for 1 to 5 minutes.  Any longer than 5 minutes and you have a prolonged seizure that may require medical intervention.  During this phase most dogs fall onto their side and are either stiff-legged with rigidity, or paddling uncontrollably while convulsing.  Sometimes the dog will lose control of its bladder or bowels during this phase.  The best thing you can do for your dog is to act like you are remaining calm, turn off the lights and any noise, keep the dog from hitting his head on something, and perhaps ocular compression will help lessen the duration or intensity of the seizure.  If your dog has already been diagnosed as having epilepsy, your vet will probably have given you several syringes full of valium which you can use if the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, or if one seizure quickly follows another.

The Post-Ictal Phase. Once the seizure has ended, the dog may appear to be dazed for several minutes to several hours.  Many dogs pace frantically.  Some are temporarily blind and will bump into walls.  Your dog will most likely need to go outside to eliminate, and then you should help replace the glucose that will have been depleted by the seizure.  A spoonful of honey on top of some natural, preservative-free vanilla ice cream will help restore the blood sugar levels quickly, and your dog will appreciate lots of fresh, filtered water to drink.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! To see other resources I’ve written about dog seizures, visit the resources page. Stay tuned for more posts soon, including an update on the progress of the book!