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Understanding canine epilepsy

 

Most owners are unaware that dogs can have epilepsy until they experience their dog having a seizure (or ‘fit’). This leaflet will help you understand what epilepsy is, what happens during an epileptic seizure, and what you can do to help your dog.

 
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What is epilepsy?

The word epilepsy simply means ‘repeated seizures’. A seizure occurs when there is a burst of excessive electrical activity in the brain.

 
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How can you tell if your dog is having a seizure?

Seizures can affect dogs in different ways. They can be as mild as lip twitching on one side of the face, or as severe as a dog falling to the floor and thrashing around.

It is important to note that although your dog’s eyes may remain open during a more severe seizure, they are unconscious and are not aware of what is happening. A seizure can be distressing to watch, but remember that your dog is not in any pain.

 

Canine epilepsy is common as it affects up to 5 in every 100 dogs2

1 in 5 dogs

References

2. Monteiro R et al. J Small Anim Pract 2012; 53: 526–530.

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