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Published: Mar 27, 2012

Seizures in dogs are one of the most frequently reported neurological conditions and can be caused by a number of conditions. Epilepsy, liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, trauma or toxins can cause these events, which can be somewhat traumatizing to owners who do not know what they are. The most important thing to know for many owners is how to comfort their canine through this process.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, during the first part of a seizure, called the pre-ictal phase, a dog may exhibit altered behavior - either hiding, seeming nervous or seeking out its owner. You can help your dog by either allowing it some alone time and space or comforting it when it seeks you out.

The second part of a seizure, called the ictal phase, is the actual seizure and is characterized by shaking or spastic muscle motion. The dog may have a change in mental awareness, fall over, urinate, defecate or salivate uncontrollably. No matter what your dog is doing, it is important to remain calm.  Do not try to hold your dog down or get your fingers near the mouth or head since your dog may accidentally bite you.

The last part of a seizure is the post-ictal phase and is the time immediately after the end of the seizure.  Your dog may be disoriented or even seem blind and you should stay nearby to offer your dog comfort and reassurance during this confusing time.  According to, most dogs will recover from a seizure by the time you can bring it to the veterinarian. However, all seizures should be reported to a veterinary professional so testing for seizures can be performed and the underlying cause can be determined and treated if necessary.