Pet Seizure

What to do if Your Dog or Cat is Having a Seizure

Seizure disorders can be frightening, whether you are witnessing a seizure or having one. When it is your pet that suffers, it is important to pay special attention and get to the bottom of what is happening as quickly as possible. In many cases, this means getting your pet to the animal hospital in Cambridge as soon as possible.

Cat getting checked after a seizure.

Spotting a Seizure in Your Cat or Dog

In most cases, a cat or dog who has seizures suffers from a condition called idiopathic epilepsy, which may develop in fairly young pets, 1-4 years old. Each episode has three different phases, so it is important to pay attention to any time your pet is not acting like himself. Those phases include

  • The preictal phase - characterized by whining, nervousness, pacing, and general panicky behavior
  • The ictal phase - the actual seizure, where the pet falls over hand experiences convulsions. The might seem to paddle while being otherwise still. 
  • The postictal phase - a period of confusion after the seizure. This phase could last as long as 24 hours.

Seizures can last just a few seconds, but in severe cases they may be five minutes or more in duration. These are referred to as Status Epilepticus and require an emergency trip to the emergency vet in Cambridge where anticonvulsant medication can be administered. If this happens, your pet will likely need medication for the remainder of their life.

Causes of Seizures in Pets

There is no one reason why pets experience seizures, that is why it is important for cats and dogs to be evaluated by the animal hospital in Cambridge if they experience a seizure more than once a month, or if they have long grand mal seizure, or cluster seizures -- several short seizures one after another. Possible causes of seizures include

  • Exposure to poisonous or hallucinogenic substances
  • Head trauma
  • Heartworm
  • Disorders or imbalances of heart, liver, kidneys, blood sugar or electrolytes

In order to determine which of these factors may have contributed to your own pet's seizure, the vets at Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Waterloo will first help your pet through the seizure process. including administering medication if necessary. Afterward, we will conduct various tests including blood and urine tests, a heartworm test, and possibly an ekg or CT scan to rule out various disorders or problems with the brain. Getting your pet into the vet quickly helps assure that the existing seizure leaves as little lasting damage as possible.

Get In Touch With Our Local Veterinarian Today!

If you think your pet might be experiencing seizures, it is important to note any behavioral changes in your pet and report these to your veterinarian. If you think you may have an emergency on your hands, be sure to reach out to your emergency vet in Cambridge, Ontario. At Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Waterloo Region in Cambridge, Ontario, CA you can contact us at (519) 650-1617 for all your pet emergencies.


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  • "My girl had a life threatening illness and they saw her promptly and they were very honest but friendly. They made a positive experience out of an otherwise horrendous time... and they were more affordable than a standard animal hospital! I would give this place 10 stars if I could."
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