Dogs are not only one of the most loved pets as these animals are often considered as stand-in children by the owners. It is therefore not surprising if the pet parent would suffer more if the dog is seen injured and hurting. No dog owner would ever want to see a dog seize. An owner watching the pet seizing for the first time would be highly stressed as the pet would appear to be suffering from severe pain. Most dog owners would know how to administer first aid but is this emergency care necessary for a seizing dog?
A dog can have a seizure that is either single or repeated. Single seizure is characterized by a short duration that would last in seconds or a few minutes. As the name suggests, a dog suffering from repeated seizure will seize again and again in a single seizing episode. Repeated seizure is a fatal condition as the seizing dog that has not yet regain consciousness would seize again and again.
Repeated seizures can be status epilepticus or cluster seizure. The two types of repeated seizure would be very debilitating as the dog would seize again and again. However, in status epilepticus, the dog would continue to seize without regaining consciousness. In cluster seizures, the dog that was “revived” would again lose consciousness when another seizure occurs. These two types of repeated seizures are life threatening thus a vet has to be notified.
The frequency of seizures can be controlled with medications but there is no first aid for this condition. First aid methods are aimed to save the pet from pain, to prevent the pet’s condition from worsening and more importantly to save the life of the pet. As these first aid objectives would be ineffective if administered on a seizing dog, the best thing an owner can do is to let the seizure run its course.
Keeping the seizing pet comfortable and preventing the pet from being injured would be the owner’s role. The pet has to be moved away from stairs. Objects that can fall on the dog and cause injuries should be removed as well. Hugging the pet to control its trembling is not advisable. Moreover, seizing dogs can unintentionally bite the owner. Talking softly to the dog would be more helpful. The owner’s voice is believed to have a calming effect on the dog.