Seizures are abnormal surge of electricity or nerve signal burst from the brain. It is one of the neurological problems that often found in most dogs.

The seizures symptoms such as drool, collapse, thrash and uncontrollable legs can be frightening and shocking but dog feel no pain at all. They will only show signs of confusion.

During seizures period dog do not swallow their tongue and don’t try to put their tongue in their mouth because there is a high risk of being bitten badly. It is very important that every dog owner must keep their pet down on the floor to prevent them from further harms such as injuries, falling and hurting themself.
Be aware that dog body temperature will rise if the seizures continue to happen for longer that few minutes which can lead to the development of heat stroke (hyperthermia) causing the situation to be even more worst.

The 4 Stages of Dog Seizures Symptoms


There will be change in mood and behaviour and this period last from hours to days.


This is the initial signs that your dog will start to have seizures. This period may last for about few second to hours and the symptoms are as follow:

  • finding a hiding place
  • appear nervous
  • seek out the guardian
  • shaking
  • whining
  • trembling
  • salivation
  • affection
  • wandering
  • restlessness
  • apprehension


Dogs will show sign of intense physical activity during this period and last for few seconds to five minutes. All of the body muscles will contract strongly and the apparent symptoms are:

  • lose consciousness
  • falling to the ground
  • paralyzed, reluctant to move or can’t stand up
  • shaking
  • excessive drooling
  • head drawn backward
  • teeth gnashing
  • frantic thrashing of limbs
  • vocalizing
  • paddling of feet
  • salivation
  • uncontrollable urination and defecation

Dog will be in prolonged seizure or status epilepticus (SE) if the seizures is not over within five minutes.

Post Ictal

After the seizure ended your dog will have the following symptoms:

  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • temporary appear to be blind or deaf
  • eat or drink excessively
  • pacing
  • salivation
  • restlessness

Status Epilepticus (SE)

A very dangerous and life threatening situation that occur when a seizure last for more than five minutes. This can damage the brain if the period last for more than 20 minutes due to no rest or muscle relaxation inside the brain.
Emergency treatments and injectable medications must be given by your veterinarian if seizure continue to last for more than five minutes and your dog doesnot recover to full consciousness.

Causes of Dog Seizures

  • brain tumor
  • head injury
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • tick bites
  • heart block
  • excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy)
  • insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
  • overactive tissue within the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • disability involving damage to the joints (arthritis)
  • acute inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • chronic neurological disorder (epilepsy)
  • low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood (hypoglycemia)
  • low serum calcium levels in the blood (hypocalcemia)
  • a qualitative or quantitative deficiency of hemoglobin, a molecule found inside red blood cells (anemia)
  • shortage of oxygen in the body (hypoxia)
  • deficiency in the concentration of dissolved oxygen in arterial blood (hypoxemia)
  • elevated blood level of the electrolyte potassium (hyperkalemia)
  • abnormal raise of lipids and/or lipoproteins level in the blood (hyperlipoproteinemia)
  • rocky mountain spotted fever
  • viral disease (distemper)
  • lyme disease or borreliosis
  • liver disease or hepatic encephalopathy
  • renal failure or kidney disease
  • gastrointestinal disease or garbage poisoning
  • parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii (toxoplasmosis)


  • Dr. Winnie, Veterinarian

    Dr. Winnie earned a Master in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria's Veterinary School. She is a full-time Veterinarian specializing in internal medicine for companion animals.