Your dog has a seizure… what do you do (or NOT do)?!
These Do’s and Don’ts are just suggestions. As always, what is best for you and your dog should be discussed in detail with your veterinarian. Also, these are not listed in any particular order.
- DO remain calm (as hard as it may seem). This can be difficult, but your dog’s health depends on your ability to focus.
- DO contact your vet or bring your dog to the ER if you are questioning in any way if the dog needs medical attention
- DO contact your vet and/or bring your dog to the ER if
- the seizure lasts more than 3 minutes
- your dog has 2 seizures within a day
- your dog is having difficulty coming out of a seizure
- your dog comes out of one seizure and goes immediately into another
- DO time how long your dog’s seizures last and record them in a seizure diary. Knowing when your dog’s seizure started and how long it lasted will give your veterinarian important information about your dog’s symptoms.
- DO film your dog’s seizures when safely possible and show the videos to your vet. This will help you time the seizure. It will also assist the doctor in identifying the type of seizure and better equip them to advise you.
- DO remove as many sensory stimuli as possible such as turning the television off and turning down the lights
- DO try and make sure that your dog is not in a position to injure themselves. Keep them away from stairs, cushion their head if needed (Be sure to keep hands away from the dog’s mouth), and move furniture or dangerous objects, etc. away from the dog
- DO monitor your pet closely so he doesn’t injure himself; he will be disoriented and unsure of what is happening.
- DON’T put your hand near your dog’s mouth while it is having a seizure. Do not put your hands near your dog’s mouth or put their tongue back in their mouth. Your dog is unconscious during this time and has no control. You could be badly bitten.
- DON’T give your dog additional medication without speaking to your vet first, unless this protocol was already set in place as an action plan by your dog’s medical team
- DON’T try to move the dog unless the dog’s safety is in danger (going to fall down stairs, etc)
- DON’T try to restrain the dog
- DON’T try to give the dog food or water until they are fully alert