Why Is My Older Dog Suddenly Having Seizures?

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Old Dog Seizures - Grey faced lab looking to the right.Old Dog Seizures - Grey faced lab looking to the right.
Why Is My Older Canine Instantly Having Seizures

It is vitally worrying when your older canine all of a sudden begins having seizures. You’re left to wonder if they’re sick or if it’s a signal that your canine is in its remaining days.

You’re proper to be involved, as seizures are usually not widespread amongst canine, whilst they enter their older years. If they begin having seizures, it’s a signal that one thing is unsuitable.

All kinds of issues may trigger your older canine to have seizures, some minor and a few critical.

With out you realizing, they may have eaten one thing that they shouldn’t have,  which is one thing that’s comparatively straightforward to deal with.

Nonetheless, they may even be affected by a critical sickness reminiscent of kidney or liver illness.

The one method to know for sure, and the one method to get your canine the remedy that they want, is to go to the vet.

The vet clinic can run a battery of exams to determine what precisely is going on together with your canine, and what must be executed for them.

However that can assist you higher perceive and handle this scary course of, in at this time’s article we are going to undergo what precisely a seizure is and what it seems to be like at its numerous phases. 

We may also undergo what you must do in case your canine is having a seizure, to present them the very best probability of being correctly recognized and to get better.

We are going to end off by having a look at a few of the most typical causes of seizures in senior canine.

Contents & Fast Navigation

What Are Canine Seizures?

A seizure is an involuntary electrical disturbance within the mind that’s usually accompanied by uncontrollable physique actions and adjustments in conduct and consciousness ranges.

What it really seems to be like when your canine is having a seizure varies significantly relying on the kind of seizure and its trigger.

It may additionally range considerably in how lengthy it lasts. A seizure may final a number of seconds, or it may final a number of minutes. The longer the seizure lasts, the extra harmful it’s to your canine.

Nonetheless, you could be reassured that the seizure itself isn’t painful to your canine, until they by chance fall towards one thing or hit one thing whereas they aren’t in command of their physique actions.

Nonetheless, it’s usually very disorienting, so they could really feel fearful after the actual fact.

There are 4 various kinds of seizures in canine.

Grand Mal Seizure, or Generalized Seizure — This impacts either side of the mind and can trigger your canine to lose consciousness, and all of their limbs to maneuver and twitch spasmodically.

Focus Seizure — Such a seizure solely impacts a single space of the mind, and can usually create irregular actions on one facet of the physique or in a single limb solely.

In case your canine continues to have seizures, fairly often focus seizures will progress into generalized seizures.

Psychomotor Seizures — These are probably the most troublesome seizures to determine, as somewhat than dropping consciousness, your canine will behave surprisingly reminiscent of attacking an object that isn’t actually there.

Since canine do this sort of factor on a regular basis, it’s onerous to know whether or not that is simply them being crazy or one thing extra critical.

Nonetheless, in case your canine is doing this throughout a recurring seizure, they are going to repeat the identical unusual conduct every time.

Idiopathic Epilepsy — When the reason for repeating seizures in a canine is unknown, this is called idiopathic epilepsy.

That is an inherited situation that’s extra widespread in some breeds than others, together with Labrador retrievers.

Nonetheless, it is extremely uncommon for an older canine to all of a sudden begin displaying idiopathic epilepsy. It’s virtually at all times recognized throughout the first six years of a canine’s life.

The Three Levels Of Canine Seizures?

Whereas the principle convulsion stage of a seizure is the one which we’re most conscious of, seizures even have three distinct phases.

Pre-Ictal Stage

The pre-ictal stage is the lead as much as the seizure. It could begin only a few minutes earlier than the principle section of the seizure or a number of hours earlier than.

It occurs first as a result of your canine is conscious that one thing is unsuitable and can begin to behave otherwise. Secondly, the mind is already starting to misfire, which may trigger your canine to behave surprisingly.

What precisely the pre-ictal stage seems to be like varies considerably however you’ll be able to count on your canine to appear distressed.

They might disguise from you, or quite the opposite they could stick very near you, relying on their temperament. They may additionally cry or in any other case attempt to point out to you that they’re in misery.

You may additionally discover that your canine is wandering round aimlessly, or is experiencing short-term blindness.

They might tend to have interaction in compulsive conduct right now. It is usually not unusual for them to really feel elevated starvation or thirst at this stage of a seizure.

Ictal Stage

Subsequent is the seizure itself, which as we have now already mentioned will look totally different relying on the kind of seizure they’re having.

Whereas that is the scariest a part of the seizure for pet mother and father, your canine isn’t in ache throughout this stage of the seizure.

The most important danger to them is by chance knocking into one thing or falling down stairs when they aren’t in command of their physique.

This a part of the seizure can final for anyplace from a number of seconds to a number of minutes, however someplace between 30 seconds and two minutes is most typical.

If the seizure lasts for greater than two minutes, your canine’s physique can overheat and they are often vulnerable to hyperthermia.

Put up-Ictal Stage

That is the restoration stage of the seizure, which once more varies significantly. Some canine bounce again shortly, whereas others should still really feel disoriented 24 hours after the principle episode.

Your canine might really feel disoriented and distressed, as they don’t perceive what has occurred to them.

They’ll additionally proceed to expertise a scarcity of coordination, because the mind continues to be misfiring and disrupting their motor management.

What To Do When Your Canine Has A Seizure

A part of the rationale it may possibly really feel so distressing when your canine is having a seizure is that you’ll most likely really feel powerless to assist them.

However, whereas they might want to get by means of the seizure themselves, there are a number of issues you are able to do to help them earlier than, throughout, and after a seizure.

Keep Calm

A very powerful factor you are able to do to your canine is to remain calm. You already know that your canine picks up in your feelings, so for those who panic, they may panic as effectively. For those who preserve calm, they are going to be reassured that every part is OK. 

Seizures could be very disorienting for canine, as they don’t perceive what is going on to them.

Having a well-known, calm, and loving presence close to them throughout and after the seizure will assist them higher reply to the scenario.

Take away Hazards

One of many largest risks to canine throughout a seizure is that they may by chance harm themselves whereas they don’t have management of their our bodies.

So, whereas they’re having a seizure, transfer something probably harmful exterior of their attain.

Your canine may also have diminished motor perform throughout the pre- and post-ictal phases of the seizure. So right now, it may be a good suggestion to guard your canine from hazards.

This might embody placing limitations over stairwells to stop them falling, and protecting sharp corners on furnishings in order that they don’t by chance bang into any of them.

Time The Seizure

Whenever you communicate to your vet concerning the seizure, they are going to need to know particulars about what precisely the seizure appeared like and the way lengthy it lasted, and if they’d a number of seizures, the time between them. 

So, whereas the very last thing you may need to be doing whereas your pup is in misery is to be trying on the clock, ensure that to take a word of those particulars so as to support in prognosis.

Cool Them Down 

In case your canine’s seizure lasts greater than two or three minutes, their physique temperature will most likely rise dramatically, and so they can expertise hyperthermia.

You’ll be able to attempt to stop this by cooling them down. Apply chilly, moist towels to their neck, paws, and groin areas.

Don’t Fear About Their Tongue

It’s a widespread misbelief that each canine and people are vulnerable to swallowing their tongue when they’re having a seizure, however this doesn’t occur.

For those who do attempt to stick your hand in your canine’s mouth throughout a seizure to maneuver their tongue, the most probably final result will probably be that they inadvertently chunk you.

Converse To Your Vet

Even when your canine appears wonderful after the seizure, communicate to your vet. Canines don’t simply have seizures for no motive—will probably be a symptom of one thing else that most likely requires remedy.

In case your canine has a seizure that lasts for greater than two minutes, or has multiple seizure throughout the house of 24 hours, don’t wait. Instantly take your canine to an emergency vet.

The Most Frequent Causes Of Seizures In Senior Canines

There are a number of various underlying issues that may trigger seizures in older canine.

Some are extra critical than others, and a few are extra treatable than others, so you will want to talk to your vet to seek out the very best course ahead.

The one main seizure situation that your canine isn’t prone to have in the event that they all of a sudden begin having seizures when they’re older is epilepsy.

That is an inherited situation and is sort of at all times recognized throughout the first six years of a canine’s life.

Listed here are a few of the most typical situations prone to be affecting your canine.


In case your canine ingests one thing poisonous, their physique may reply with seizures. This could embody drugs, meals, or family cleaners.

Your vet will most likely have questions on what they may have ingested, and a few of the first exams that they are going to run will probably be to rule out poisoning.

A number of the most typical poisons that may trigger seizures embody a wide range of drugs, reminiscent of ibuprofen and penicillin, poisonous vegetation reminiscent of mushrooms, widespread human meals which are toxic to canine reminiscent of caffeine, chocolate, and the sugar substitute xylitol, and family cleaners and poisons.

You’ll be able to learn a extra complete list of the foods that are toxic for dogs here.

Mind Tumor

This is likely one of the most typical causes of seizures in senior canine, versus younger ones.

The accountable tumor could also be malignant or benign. In case your vet suspects a tumor, they are going to order a CT or MRI, and if a tumor is recognized, they are going to require a biopsy.

Head Trauma

Any trauma to the mind can also trigger seizures, and older canine are extra susceptible to this than youthful ones as they lose their coordination and eyesight as they age.

You could discover different disoriented conduct previous to the seizure in case your canine has had head trauma.

Liver or Kidney Illness

In case your canine has liver or kidney illness superior sufficient to trigger seizures, they are going to doubtless even be experiencing different signs reminiscent of lack of urge for food, digestive upsets, and darkening of the urine.


That is most typical in canine with undiagnosed diabetes, or which are being handled for diabetes and have acquired an excessive amount of insulin.


When one thing goes unsuitable with the thyroid, the entire physique is thrown into chaos on account of hormonal imbalances. Seizures are only one kind of many signs which you could count on, together with speedy weight acquire or loss.

You have to to talk to your vet to find out which of those situations, or the varied different situations that may trigger seizures, is affecting your pooch.

There are additionally another situations that may trigger signs that look a bit like a seizure however are in truth one thing else.

For instance, in case your canine has a extreme ear an infection, this could trigger a scarcity of steadiness and coordination, and may also have an effect on the nerves within the facial muscular tissues.

A extreme allergic response can also trigger a lack of steadiness, unusual conduct, and even a lack of consciousness.

A transient ischemic stroke is a mini-stroke attributable to diminished blood stream to the mind, normally attributable to a blood clot. Whereas this sounds critical, it normally passes shortly and causes no long-term issues to your canine.

If you wish to know extra about what could be affecting your Labrador’s well being, learn our round-up of the most common Labrador health conditions and how to prevent them.


Why Would An Older Canine Begin Having Seizures?

There are a number of the explanation why your canine may begin having seizures later in life. It’s a widespread symptom of a wide range of medical situations, from poisoning to kidney illness.

The one method to uncover the reason for your canine’s seizures is to seek the advice of together with your vet. They’ll run a wide range of exams to find out the reason for the seizures and to counsel remedy.

How Frequent Are Seizures In Senior Canines?

Seizures are usually not widespread in older canine. They’re a symptom of a wide range of potential medical situations, so you must take your canine to the vet instantly if they start to have seizures.

Ought to I Put My Canine Down If They Have Seizures?

You don’t instantly must put your canine down if they begin having seizures. These could be a sign of a wide range of medical situations, a few of that are straightforward to deal with.

Others, although, might lead to your canine needing to be put down. However you will want to hunt a correct prognosis of your canine’s situation earlier than making any sort of determination.

What Meals Set off Seizures In Canines?

A wide range of meals which are poisonous to canine can lead to seizures.

A number of the mostly ingested meals that trigger seizures in canine embody mushrooms, xylitol (a sugar alternative widespread in human meals), caffeine, and darkish chocolate.

This is likely one of the causes that you must by no means feed your pet food off your plate.

How Do You Calm A Canine Down After A Seizure?

Seizures are usually not painful to your canine whereas they’re occurring, however they are often disorienting and scary after the actual fact.

One of the best factor you are able to do to your canine throughout a seizure is to make sure that they aren’t near something on which they can harm themselves when they aren’t in command of their physique.

After the seizure, you must stay near your canine and provides them affection in a relaxed method. This may reassure them that every part is OK.

The Verdict

As canine grow old, their well being deteriorates, and also you may discover quite a lot of adjustments in them. It may be difficult to know which of those try to be apprehensive about, and that are only a regular a part of ageing.

In case your canine does begin having seizures as they grow old, that is trigger for concern.

This isn’t a standard a part of the ageing course of and might be a symptom of a lot of totally different medical situations, some treatable and others extra critical.

In case your older canine begins having seizures, schedule a vet go to and be sure to file all of the details about the incident to assist with a prognosis.

You additionally must help your pup by means of the seizure by being a relaxed and reassuring presence amongst all of the stress and confusion, and by making certain they don’t harm themselves whereas they aren’t in command of their our bodies.

Have you ever handled an older canine having seizures? Share your experiences with the neighborhood within the feedback part under.

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Why Is My Old Dog Having Seizures? - grey faced lab staring to the right.Why Is My Old Dog Having Seizures? - grey faced lab staring to the right.
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Why Is My Older Canine Instantly Having Seizures? was final modified: February nineteenth, 2021 by LTHQ

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