Seizures in Pets

Seizures in petsSeizures are a neurological anomaly that may occur in some pets. They are caused by a wide variety of reasons and may manifest differently from animal to animal. Seizures, although frequently frightening for the owners, can often be managed by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information on the description, causes and solutions for seizure disorders in pets.

Seizures, often called convulsions or fits, will manifest themselves differently in each animal. It is important to remember, that while frightening for the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow its tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you are more likely to be bitten severely if you try to force anything into the animals mouth. The only precaution that you should take is to make sure that your pet is not in danger of falling or striking a limb or its head on anything during the episode. After the seizure is complete, take time to observe and comfort your pet as they may be disoriented.

As seizures appear differently in each animal, it is best to look for some of the common signs:

  1. Sporadic muscle contractions over the entire body
  2. Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
  3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
  4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or defecation
  5. Changes in mental awareness from unresponsive staring to hallucinations
  6. Behavioral changes including panting, pacing, odd running patterns, extreme docility, extreme viciousness and not recognizing known individuals

During the seizure, your pet will experience three different stages. The first stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. During this phase your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, whining, nervousness, shaking and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a few hours. It is important to remember, however, that some pets do not experience or manifest any signs of this phase.

The second phase to a seizure is the ictal phase. This phase may last from a few seconds to five minutes and is the period in which the body convulses and displays the typical signs of a seizure described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as prolonged seizure or status. Status is a severe and extreme seizure condition and you should seek immediate medical attention.

The third phase of the seizure is known as the post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, confusion, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies by pet in length, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by many different factors and they are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy is caused by the rapid over-stimulation of the neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation may be caused from a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. However, seizures may also be a side effect and indicator of other physical problems. These problems may include brain tumors, poisoning, low blood sugar, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pets seizures, it may be started on oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, however, these medications must be given reliably, for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before placing your pet on these medications. It is important to remember that your pets seizure disorder is a manageable condition and many pets live long, happy and rewarding lives with epilepsy.

Rabies

Rabies is the most infamous disease that can be passed from animals to people. It has been the subject of so many novels and movies that it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Knowing the truth about rabies can help you protect your dog and your family from this deadly disease.

What is Rabies?
Rabies is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It infects all warm-blooded animals, including people and is almost always fatal. In the United States, human cases of rabies are rare, only a few each year. The risk is still present though, since rabid animals are found in most states.

How Is It Spread?
More than 90% of reported cases of rabies today in the U.S. occur in wild animals. The species most likely to carry rabies include raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, and coyotes. Even though rats have been targeted as a major source of rabies in fictional stories, they are actually very unlikely to harbor the disease. The number of cases in domestic animals is small but still represents a significant risk, since people are more likely to come into physical contact with them.

Rabies is usually transmitted via the saliva as a result of a bite from an infected animal. The virus enters the nerves near the site of infection, and travels through the nervous system to the brain over a period of weeks or months. Symptoms occur once the virus reaches the brain. This is also the time when the saliva becomes infectious.

Rabies in Animals
Animals with rabies often exhibit behavioral changes. Wild animals may act friendly, groggy or unafraid of people. Pets may act fearful or agitated. Other symptoms include excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, lack of coordination, and paralysis. The only accurate tests for rabies in animals are performed postmortem. Animals suspected of rabies are euthanized rather than treated, because there is no cure.dog

Rabies in People
The symptoms of rabies in people are similar to those in animals. People with rabies are kept as comfortable as possible in the hospital, but there is no effective treatment for the disease.

Rabies Prevention
Fortunately, this terrible disease can be prevented. Here are some of the ways you, your family, and your dog can stay safe.

  1. Vaccinate your pets regularly, even if they live indoors. Vaccines are available for dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses. Vaccinated pets act as a buffer zone between rabid animals and you. If your unvaccinated pet bites someone or is bitten by a wild animal, he may be subject to a lengthy and costly quarantine.
  2. Help minimize the stray animal problem in your community. Have all of your pets spayed and neutered. Call your local animal control agency to remove strays in your neighborhood.
  3. Avoid contact with wild animals. Do not feed wildlife or allow your dog to chase or hunt wild animals. Keep garbage and pet food inside or in secure containers. Never try to keep a wild animal as a pet, or nurse a sick one back to health. Instead, contact a wildlife rescue agency for assistance.
  4. If your dog is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary care right away.
  5. If you are bitten by a wild animal or an unvaccinated pet, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. Be able to provide your doctor with the location of the incident, the type of animal that bit you, how the bite occurred, and whether the animal has been captured. Treatment immediately after exposure is extremely effective. Dont be scared away by horror stories about countless shots in the stomach the current procedure is much less unpleasant than it used to be, and is certainly preferable to risking the disease.

Seizures in Cats

Seizures in Cats

Seizures are a neurological aberrations that can occur in some pets. They are caused by a variety of reasons and can vary from animal to animal. Seizures, but often scary for the owners, can often be controlled by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information about the description, causes and solutions to epileptic seizures in dogs and cats.

Seizures will manifest itself differently in each animal. It is important to remember that even frightening to the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow his tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you’re more likely to be bitten if you try to put something in the pet’s mouth. The only precaution you need to do is make sure that your pet is not in danger of  falling or hitting a leg or his head on something during the incident. After the seizure has finished, take the time to observe and comfort your pet since they can become disoriented.

As seizures may appear in any animal, it is best to look for some of the common symptoms:

1. Sporadic muscle contractions throughout the body
2 Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or bowel movements
5; Changes in mental awareness from non-staring or seeming to hallucinate

6. Behavioral changes such as panting, pacing, ,fly-biting, extreme docility, extreme agitation, aggression  or does not recognize family members

During the attack, your pet will experience three different phases. First stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. In this phase, your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, vocalizing, nervousness, tremors, and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a couple of hours. It is important to remember, but that some animals do not experience or manifest any sign of this phase.

 

The second phase of  a seizure is the  ictal phase. This phase can last from several seconds to five minutes and the period during which the body is tense and gives the typical symptoms of an attack as described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as a prolonged seizure or status epileptics. Status epileptics  is a serious and extreme seizure condition and you should see a veterinarian immediately.

The third phase of the seizure is known as post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, disorientation, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies in length from pets, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by numerous factors and are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy caused by the rapid over-stimulation of neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation can be caused by a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. Can attack but also an indicator of side effect and other physical problems. These problems can include brain tumors, poisoning, hypoglycemia, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pet seizures, it may be treated with oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, but these drugs must be monitored  and administered for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before putting your pet on these drugs. It is important to remember that your pet’s seizures is often a manageable condition and many animals live long, happy and fruitful life with epilepsy.