YOUNG DOG HAVING SEIZURES
Question: I have a 7 month old Border Collie who has started having seizures. The seizures happened twice, 15 days apart and lasted for a couple of minutes. Should I be concerned?
Answer: Let me explain about seizures. Seizures are caused by a burst of electrical activity within the brain, commonly in one of the cerebral hemispheres. The electrical focus spreads out and involves other parts, including the midbrain.
Grand Mal Seizures are generalized. Petit Mal Seizures are confined to one part of the body, this indicates an acquired disorder.
1. Seizures can be caused by a blow or past blow to the head, or by scars from healed brain injuries. Often the case without the owner ever knowing their dog received such a blow to the head now or in the past.
2. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hypocalcemia (low blood calcium) can produce seizures and even coma.
3. A condition in puppies called "Worm Fits" can be found in heavy infestations of internal parasites.
4. Kidney and Liver Failure are accompanied by the accumulation of toxins in the blood, which can cause seizures and even coma.
5. Bee and wasp stings can cause what appears to be a seizure but are not classed as a true seizure.
6. A foreign object in the larynx, which causes the dog to be unable to get enough air, may cause what appears to be a seizure.
7. Heart Arrhythmia's, with fainting are often thought to be seizures but are not.
8. Narcolepsy is the uncommon condition where the dog suddenly falls instantly asleep and this rare condition is often thought to be seizures but are not.
9. Anxiety Attacks, accompanied by over-breathing (hyperventilation), produces much the same symptoms as a seizure.
10. Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder that may be acquired or congenital. PLEASE SEE: EPILEPSY SEIZURES IN DOGS in "Our Archives" Myths and Facts (dog related) January 2002.
11. Post-encephalitic seizures occur three to four weeks after the onset of Encephalitis (Diseases of the brain) such as Distemper.
12. Common poisonings that induce seizures are Strychnine, Antifreeze (ethylene glycol), lead, rat/mouse poisons, and insecticides of all kinds, used on plants, insect control and even flea control products.
Any dog that has more than one seizure should be thoroughly examined by a Vet. The sooner the dog is seen by a Vet so that the Vet can determine what is causing the seizures, the better. Medication is available to control seizures although not cure true seizures. Most dogs live a long and happy life on medication.
Most true seizures surface around a year old and often far older. Some certain bloodlines (genetics) in Border Collies are known for Hereditary/Congenital seizures.