DR DILIP SONUNE
New Delhi– Our pets are simple beings. They enjoy walks, naps, and eating a variety of foods, including those that are not healthy for them. On the other hand, their bodies, like ours, are complex. Blood, nerves, kidneys, and the stomach all need to work in unison to keep them healthy and happy. However, even with all of our love and care, things can go wrong and our pets become ill. Epilepsy is one such illness.
Epilepsy is a neurological and genetic disorder characterised by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It is a common abnormality that has been reported in a large number of dogs and cats. Seizures, fits, or convulsions are all terms used to describe epilepsy. While a seizure is a single episode of temporary brain disturbance, epilepsy refers to multiple or repeated seizures.
Seizures can happen at any time. It can happen one episode at a time or multiple episodes at once. Timing and duration are also unpredictable. While a seizure can last anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds in some cases, some pets must suffer for much longer. The same can be said for different pets.
The first signs of seizures or epilepsy are sudden stumbling in your happy-go-lucky pet. They appear befuddled and disoriented, as if they have no control over their bodies. Most of the time, this goes unnoticed, but if you notice anything like this happening to your pet, be aware that it is a sign of a seizure.
Some other symptoms of a seizure are –
Stiffening and involuntary movement of muscles
Loss of consciousness or partially conscious
Chomping, tongue chewing
Foaming at the corners of the mouth and vomiting
Pets may fall to their sides and begin paddling-like motions with their legs during a seizure. In some cases, they also end up peeing and pooping involuntarily. Because they are unaware of what is happening to them, they appear confused, dazed, unsteady, and as if they are staring off into space. When the seizures stop, they will try to stand, but they will be wobbly and disoriented due to the aftereffects. They may walk in circles and collide with objects as a result of their confusion. When they are no longer in danger, they may try to hide out of fear of the incident.
Causes of Epilepsy:
Consuming anything poisonous like medicines, animals, plants etc
Hypoglycemia (low blood pressure) or hyperglycemia (high blood pressure)
Kidney and renal disease
Toxins in the body
Cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) disease
There are times when there are no obvious reasons or causes for a seizure attack. This is known as idiopathic epilepsy. This is the most common type of epilepsy in dogs and cats. There is no identifiable cause, such as an infection, toxin, or injury.
Can dog suffers from seizures?
While epilepsy can affect any pet of any breed or age, certain breeds are unfortunately more susceptible to it.
American Cocker Spaniels
If your pet is having seizures, please take him or her to the vet as soon as possible. An early diagnosis, tests, and medications will restore your pet’s life to normalcy. While the medications are likely to be required for the rest of one’s life, timely intervention, changes in lifestyle, diet, and regular vet visits will be extremely beneficial.
Is a seizure attack painful for my pet?
A pet parent’s greatest fear and source of concern is that their fur baby will suffer from a seizure attack. Pets, on the other hand, are not physically harmed. While it appears frightening and can easily cause panic, pets have no awareness of pain due to the massive amount of activity occurring in their brain. During a seizure attack, pets may whine, bark, or meow incessantly, but this is not because they are in pain.
Unfortunately, neither pets nor humans have a permanent cure for epilepsy. However, this does not preclude living a happy and healthy life. Our pets can make it through the worst of times with a little extra love and care! (IANS)