Would you recognize a seizure in a dog? Did you know that there are specific treatments for canine epilepsy?#Paws4Purple offers information about canine epilepsy from the mom of a beautiful Siberian Husky who has dedicated her many talents to supporting other pups with epilepsy. Learn some important facts and helpful information here! To learn about caring for a SENIOR DOG check this article.
Canine Epilepsy…Get the Facts!
By Dorothy Wills-Raftery Author, Founder of FiveSibes™ #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign & Purple Day® Ambassador Since 2012 www.FiveSibes.com
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What To Do If Your Dog Has A Seizure?
Remain Calm. Watching your dog go into a seizure is very alarming. As hard as this is, it’s important, for both you and your dog that you remain calm before, during, and after a seizure.
Secure Other Pets. When a dog goes into a seizure, keep other family dogs safely secured in another room to prevent confusion and possibly attacking the seizing dog out of fear.
Use Caution. Keep hands and objects away from a seizing dog’s mouth, as s/he may clamp down with his teeth and cause injury.
Cool Down Your Dog. Post-seizure activity can drive up a dog’s temperature dangerously high. Place instant ice packs behind your dog’s neck, under the “arm pits” of his legs, base of neck, and belly. A cooler collar or wet bandana around neck helps, and cool the paw pads with water. Normal body temperature is 102°F and often during a seizure it will go over 105° or 106°. It is vet recommended to do ice packs until temperature drops to 103°, then remove ice packs and keep dog in a dry blanket. If it drops too quickly, the dog can go into shock. Take temperature every few minutes and if seizure persists, go to vet immediately.
Give a Small Snack. When a dog comes out of a seizure, give a little all-natural vanilla ice cream, or honey, maple or corn syrup, to help raise low blood sugar levels. Follow up with a protein such as chicken, tuna, stick of cheese, spoonful of cottage cheese, etc. to help stabilize hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Water. Let your dog slowly drink some water.
Safety Precautions. Post-seizure, a dog may experience temporary blindness. Be sure your dog is safely away from stairs and any other potential hazards.
Calm Reassurance. Your dog won’t remember the seizure, but s/he most likely will come out of one confused and scared. Love, gentle touch, and hugs will help reassure your dog that s/he is safe.
Keep A Journal. Take notes, either in a notebook or on a smartphone app*, of the date, time, and length of the seizure, symptoms, as well as other details such as what your dog was doing, eating, where s/he was, what the weather was like, was the TV on, etc. Use these notes to help create a seizure log to share with your vet.
Go to the Vet. When the seizure is over, it is important to be sure there is no underlying health issue as the cause. Depending on the test results, your vet will make a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment.
Get Informed. Research all you can on Canine Epilepsy, seizures, medications, possible triggers, and alternative treatments so you can have well-informed conversations about your dog’s care with your veterinarian.
Network. Connect with other Epi-dog parents for support and informational exchange. There are some excellent Canine Epilepsy online resources, social media pages, support groups, and Email lists.
Create an Epilepsy First Aid Kit. If you don’t already have a First Aid Kit for your dog, now is a good time to create one.
*The Royal Veterinary College has a free downloadable app called RVC Pet Epilepsy Tracker for Apple and Android devices to track seizure activity, as well as info on your Epi-dog, medication reminders, vet appointments, and other important seizure information. For more info, visit http://www.rvc.ac.uk
What’s In Your Dog’s Epi First Aid Kit?
If you have an epileptic dog (Epi-dog)—a dog that has been diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy—it is important to have an Epi First Aid Kit, marked specifically, so in case of an emergency, all family members or dog sitters can locate it.
Important items to include in an Epi-dog’s First Aid Kit are:
Anti-seizure drugs (AEDs) as prescribed by your vet, and dosing instructions.
A journal (to note episodes, dates, length of seizure, reactions, meds, etc.)
Instant ice packs (to bring the body temperature down).
Emergency contact numbers (vet, ER hospital, family member, friend).
Natural anti-anxiety calming spray.
Calming pheromone diffuser.
Lavender essential oil.**
Herbal anti-anxiety calming collar.
Ear or rectal thermometer.
Portable water bowl.
Pet bath wipes (for post-seizure clean up).
Disinfectant wipes (for area clean up).
**Caution:some essential oils may trigger seizures, such as spike lavender, eucalyptus, hyssop, rosemary, sage, camphor, tea tree, et al. Always check with your veterinarian before using.
For Post-Seizure Care (Keep on Hand):
Natural vanilla ice cream (post-seizure, give the dog a spoonful or two to help raise lowered sugar levels).
No ice cream? Keep honey, maple, or corn syrup on hand.
Low-fat protein treats, such as mozzarella sticks, organic creamy peanut butter, organic fat-free plain yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, tuna, etc., to give after the ice cream or honey/syrup to help stabilize sugar levels. (If your dog is lactose-intolerant, skip the dairy items).
Fresh water. • Cooling collar (kept in freezer).
Harness, collar, and leash (for vet visit).
A car ramp or blanket (for a makeshift stretcher) for transporting dog.
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The latest article penned by our Paws4Purple partner Dorothy Wills-Raftery for K9epilepsy, “Purple Day® for K9 Epilepsy Awareness – Show Us Your Purple!” is a must read. You will find a host of important information, including things you can do this Purple Day to share K9 epilepsy awareness with other dog owners, dog walkers and your local veterinarian. Remember to make K9 Epilepsy Awareness every day! .