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article by uday kadali

20 Dog Breeds Prone to Seizures : Unveiling Vulnerability

Our pups can encounter many unpredictable events, from accidents to health problems. In order to provide our beloved dogs with the best possible care, it is our duty to be prepared for any demanding situation that may arise.

Every dog ​​has the potential to experience seizures, which several factors can influence. However, some breeds have a genetic predisposition to idiopathic epilepsy. Dogs with this type of epilepsy often experience seizures from young to middle-aged, and there is no known cause. In this blog, we will highlight dog breeds prone to seizures

What are the Types of Seizures in Dogs?

What are the Types of Seizures in Dogs?

Dogs often experience three forms of seizures. 

  • The electrical activity in the brain is disrupted during a grand mal seizure, which is the first type. These long seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They can cause the animal to convulse and lose consciousness quickly.
  • The second type of seizure affects only a certain area of ​​the brain, known as a focal seizure. Unlike generalized seizures, these seizures can affect only one area of ​​the body. It is important to remember that while a focal seizure may only last a moment, it can eventually become generalized. 
  • Last but not least, a psychomotor attack does not lead to a physical manifestation in a dog; rather, it affects the dog's behavior. During a psychomotor seizure, the dog's behavior repeatedly becomes unusual or aberrant. One example of such behavior is when a dog chases its tail.

What are the Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs?

What are the Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs?

Here are the tell-tale signs of canine seizures:

  • Seizures often involve uncontrollable muscle jerks, jerks, or contractions.
  • During and after a seizure episode, dogs may experience loss of consciousness or show signs of confusion.
  • Some dogs can have muscle stiffness, making their body stiff and immobile.
  • Dogs experiencing seizures were unable to respond to their owners or their surroundings. They may come off as distant or indifferent to their surroundings.
  • During or after a seizure, dogs may drool too much.
  • Some dogs may show signs of chomping or chewing as if they were attempting to chew on something.
  • Some dogs may exhibit changed behavior following a seizure, including bewilderment, agitation, or brief blindness.
  • Dogs occasionally display certain behaviors before having a seizure, such as agitation, whining, pacing, or hiding. The "aura" phase is another name for this.
  • Dogs have been observed to paddle with their legs as if they were swimming.
  • A seizure may cause uncontrollable urination or feces.

What Can You Do If You Suspect Seizure in Your Dog?

What Can You Do If You Suspect Seizure in Your Dog?

Medical professionals recommend stopping any potential injury when a dog has a seizure. Remove all nearby objects that may endanger the animal's safety. It is important to remain calm and avoid trying to stop the seizure. If necessary, gently guide the dog away from hazards such as stairs or water features and into a safer area.

Despite any vocalizations, you must remember that your canine companion is unlikely to be in pain during a seizure. Dogs do not swallow their tongues during seizures, so there is no need to try to force them to hold their tongues. Although foam might appear around the dog's mouth, take note that this is not a sign of rabies.

You should use your phone to record your dog's seizure. You can give your vet access to this recording to help with diagnosis. It is also a good idea to record the occurrence in a journal. In this regard, make sure to note the following facts:

  • Time and date of seizure
  • Seizure duration
  • Any history of recent trauma or injury
  • Possible toxic exposure
  • Details of what happened during the seizure
  • Seizure frequency

This data will help your veterinarian identify the primary cause of the dog's seizures.

What Can You Do After Your Dog Had a Seizure?

What Can You Do After Your Dog Had a Seizure?

If your dog has a seizure for the first time or has several seizures in one day, you should not neglect the issue and seek vet care immediately. Remember that your dog might not show confusion or disorientation for a while after a seizure. 

If your furry friend has a seizure, your vet can advise you on the best course of action. Your vet will also give you information on managing further seizures if your dog has a condition that regularly causes seizures.

What is the Treatment for Dog Breeds Prone to Seizures?

What is the Treatment for Dog Breeds Prone to Seizures?

The key to dog seizure treatment is addressing the issues' crux. Experts recommend visiting a vet in cases of a single seizure. However, medication or other types of treatment might not be necessary during such a circumstance.

If the seizure lasts longer than two minutes or increases frequency, your dog might be given anticonvulsant medication. These drugs control the occurrence and severity of seizure events.

Prominent examples are the widely used anticonvulsants phenobarbital and levetiracetam (Keppra). It can take up to two weeks for phenobarbital to take effect. To speed up the drug's effectiveness at first, your vet may initially prescribe larger doses for the first 24 hours. The length of time your dog will require treatment depends on the specific situation and the medication used.

Surgery to remove a brain tumor may be able to stop your dog's seizures if it is causing them. Addressing the underlying problem can prevent seizures if they are caused by low blood sugar or liver or kidney failure.

Your vet will suggest the best course of action if toxins cause the seizure. Removing any poison or toxins from the area around your dog is also important.

What are the Dog Breeds Prone to Seizures?

What are the Dog Breeds Prone to Seizures?

The following 20 dog breeds may experience seizures:

  • Dachshunds

  • Rough Collies

  • Irish Wolfhounds

  • Irish Setters

  • Golden Retriever

  • Keeshonds

  • Labrador Retriever

  • Poodles

  • St. Bernard

  • Cocker Spaniels

  • Boxers

  • Border Collies

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs

  • Beagles

  • English Springer Spaniel

  • German Shepherds

  • Shetland Sheepdog

  • Siberian Husky

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis

  • Wire-Haired Fox Terriers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dog epilepsy?

An abnormal brain injury or recurrent seizures without a known cause characterize epilepsy as a brain disease. Basically, the brain looks normal but functions strangely. In contrast, a seizure manifests as a sudden increase in electrical activity in the brain that causes symptoms such as twitching, tremors, tremors, convulsions, and/or convulsions.

Can dog seizures be prevented?

Prevention of seizures is difficult and not always possible. Although the underlying causes are often beyond the owners' control, some steps can be taken to reduce the risk of seizures in dogs.

Can seizures be fatal for dogs?

The dog may die or suffer permanent brain damage if rapid intravenous anticonvulsant treatment does not stop the seizure activity. If status epilepticus happens, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

How can you diagnose seizures in dogs?

Your veterinarian may suggest a cerebrospinal fluid collection if initial blood and urine tests are ineffective in identifying the cause of your dog's seizures. This method makes removing the fluid surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord easier.

How to help a dog during a seizure?

Move your dog away from the stairs, support his head, and comfort him until he regains consciousness to prevent him from harming himself during a seizure. Some dogs may urinate or poop.

Can dog breeds prone to seizures live a normal life?

Your canine friend can lead a regular life with the right care. However, seizures are a serious health problem because even brief occurrences can cause brain damage.


Now that you know the dog breeds prone to seizures, remember that just because a breed may be more prone to seizures does not mean that the breed will always have seizures. Contact your vet immediately if you think your dog is having a seizure. If you're considering a particular breed, consider getting pet insurance covering illnesses like seizures to ensure you're covered if it becomes a problem.

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