Fits In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Medication of Seizures in Canines

February 1, 2011 | Healthy Dog | Leave a Comment |

A fit may be occur rarely in a dog or can occur in succession in several occasions. The cause of fits in dogs is generally unknown but continuous fits can cause brain damage.

Fits in Dogs

  • Fits is also known as a seizure.
  • Epilepsy is known as a seizure that recurs.
  • Status epilepticus is a condition wherein the dog experiences continuous fitting.

Dog Fits Causes

  • A fit results from abnormal brain neuron activity.
  • The cause may be intracranial or extracranial such as liver failure, poisoning, end-stage kidney failure, and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • Common breeds reported to be susceptible to fits include the Bernese Mountain Dog, Miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, Miniature Schnauzer, St. Bernard, and Keeshond among others.
  • Dogs that have experienced fits should not be used for breeding as it has been studied that the condition has a genetic trait.

Fits in Dogs Symptoms

Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 6 months to 3 years. There are four phases to a fit.

  • Phase 1 (Prodromal Phase) – the dog manifests abnormal behavior that can last for a few hours.
  • Phase 2 (Aura) – a short period wherein the dog manifests unusual behavior. In humans, this is where they can tell they are about to experience a seizure.
  • Phase 3 (Ictus or Fit) – this period is characterized by uncontrolled limb movements, hyperextended head, increased salivation, vocalization, chomping of the jaws, loss of bowel and urinary control.
  • Phase 4 (Post Ictus) – the dog seems to be disoriented and dazed for several hours after the fit.

Dog Fits Medication

  • Dogs that experience fits rarely are not recommended for medication.
  • Dogs on medication must be carefully evaluated pre, intra, and post medication.
  • Medications used are those that have the ability to control epilepsy such as Phenobarbital, diazepam, and potassium bromide.
  • These drugs may be used in combination.
  • Dogs on medication should be clearly monitored for development of any side effects.

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