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Understanding seizures

Although no two dogs are the same, seizures often have three phases. During these phases you may notice some, or all of the following changes in your dog.

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Phase One: Before a seizure

  • Unsettled movements: pacing or licking of the lips
  • Excessive bodily functions: salivating or urinating
  • Heightened anxiety levels: whining, barking or hiding
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Phase Two: During a seizure

  • Muscle stiffening: Your dog may fall to the floor on one side, with their head back
  • Leg movements: stretched out with rigid, jerking or paddling movements
  • Breathing: can become faster and heavier
  • Vocalisation
  • Excessive bodily functions: passing urine or faeces
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Phase Three: After a seizure

  • Immediately afterwards: dogs may lie motionless on the floor for a while before attempting to stand
  • In the following minutes to days: disorientation and staggered walking; temporary loss of sight; excessive hunger and thirst; uncontrolled bowel and/or bladder activity


Every dog and every seizure is different – so you might not be able
to distinguish all three phases, every time, in your dog.

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