noun - a sudden episode of abnormal brain activity that often involves loss of overall body control; the occurrence of an unusual and involuntary behavior caused by a neurological abnormality; a convulsion or spasmA seizure is the result of sudden and abnormal neurological activity, basically a kind of electrical storm in the brain. In humans and dogs, seizures can manifest themselves in many ways and have a multitude of causes. However, seizures are always accompanied by altered or loss of consciousness. They may last a few seconds, several minutes, or, in the worst cases, hours. Learn what to do if your dog has a seizure.
Seizures in dogs are categorized as generalized (full body, convulsive) or focal (mild and isolated to a specific area of the body. Often, seizures are preceded by a period of anxiety, restlessness and/or apprehension that is called the "pre-ictal phase". The seizure itself is called "ictus." Following the seizure is the "post-ictal phase", which may involve several minutes to hours of disorientation, stupor and/or blindness.
Most seizures are not considered life-threatening. However, they do indicate a problem in the brain. If you suspect that your dog has had a seizure, contact your vet as soon as possible. Be aware that a seizure lasting more than five minutes is considered an emergency situation. It is imperative that your dog is seen by a vet immediately to prevent brain damage and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature). In addition, the occurrence of more than three seizures in a 24 hour period is also an urgent matter that requires a trip to the vet right away.
Fortunately, seizures in dogs can often be regulated with medications and/or dietary changes. It is important that you adhere to your veterinarian's recommendations if you want treatment to be successful.