The Dalmatian Club of America
Helpful Hints for Owners of Seizing Dogs

Safeguard your dogís space by providing a quiet, stable environment. When you go out, restrict your dogs access to stairways, pool or anything that might fall on your dog or become a danger to it during a seizure. An airline type kennel with generous padding is the safest way. At night time the use of a baby monitor may be useful if the dog sleeps in another room.

Post your veterinarianís number and phone numbers close to the phone for efficient assistance. In the event your dog is lost during the disorientation phase, proper identification is necessary. Microchips, tattoos and medical alert tags are helpful.

Handling a Seizure

Keep your hands away from the dogs mouth. The dog will not swallow itís tongue, but may unintentionally bite you. Gently pull the dog by the scruff of itís neck away from adjacent dangers (stairs, streets, pool, fireplace,and electrical wires). If your dog is on a hard surface, a blanket or something soft under the head my help to avoid injury. If the seizure last more than five minutes or if several shorter seizures occur consecutively, get a veterinarian or emergency assistance immediately.

Helping your dog after a Seizure

Following a seizure, your dog may be completely disoriented and will attempt to restore itís bodies needs, hunger, thirst deep sleep, barking and insecurity are all normal. Allow your dog to drink freely and eat small amounts of food; however avoid excessive food consumption because it could trigger vomiting. If your dog is pacing or seems disoriented, confine it to a comfortable crate or a small room to prevent injury until normal behavior returns. If overheating occurs due to prolonged or multiple seizures, a blowing fan, wet jacket, or cool cloths applied to the feet and abdomen will assist in the cool down. If you have multiple dogs, separation or protection may be necessary. A seizing dog can trigger the "pack" instinct in which an injured animal is attacked. Monitor your other dogs in this situation.

In summary, following the seizure, clinical signs include, bumping into walls and doors, restlessness, autonomic discharge and transient blindness. For many owners, this is just as distressing as the actual seizure. Always remain calm - your dogís behavior often reflects your behavior. If your dog is anxious or fearful, sit and comfort it. Now itís your turn to be the companion animal.

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Page last modified on Feb. 26, 1999