WHAT SHOULD I DO
WHEN MY DOG HAS A SEIZURE?
In this section there is information from the Guardian Angels' own personal experience about things they do while their dog is having seizures. Included here are things like what to do for your epi-dog during seizures; keeping phone numbers and logs handy and updated and step-by-step actions to take that have proven effective for the Guardian Angels themselves in dealing with their epis seizures over time.
Remain Calm!! Your pet can feel your nervousness. Put all the parts of your plan in place. Remember to stay AWAY from your dog's mouth; a
seizing jaw can bite with absolutely no conscious intention on your dog's part.
As Dude has been
typically on his side during a seizure, I sit on the floor next to him, stroke him softly
and tell him over again that I am here and that I love him.
I wish I could say that I am able to control my tears, but I cannot. Oh, and I place the nearest soft item under his
head. This has ranged from a towel to a piece
of clothing to a bed pillow.
sure that she is getting plenty of air circulating around her as she gets very warm during
seizures. I wipe her belly and face and head
and the pads of her feet with a cool washcloth, but I also make sure that I keep a light
beach towel handy as she has gotten chilled on at least one occasion! During the entire cluster, I try to keep a careful
log of everything I do and the times I did it, doses, amounts, etc.
Oh, and I
also always call someone - one of the Angels - it just helps keep me calm if I have
someone there "with" me and someone to bounce ideas off of, keep my spirits up,
etc. I have never been through a cluster with
Jasmine that I DIDN'T call someone - usually several someones! I stay very close to Jasmine whenever possible and
talk to her quietly and gently whenever she is awake - after the Valium "kicks
in," she usually goes to sleep after a while and rests very quietly once we get the
When I see
a seizure happening especially in my Little Guy the first thing I do is offer some
all natural vanilla ice cream. My kids tend not to want to eat
when in seizure mode so I try to offer their favorite --meat first. After they take a few bites of meat I offer the
R&R Sundae and usually they eat it.
Both of my
dogs have focal seizures and IF I can get their minds off them and on to something else
the seizures tend to become less severe. If
this doesn't work than I do give them one Pb to see if that stops the seizing. My Alex tends to cluster more than Little Guy and
sometimes we have to continue Pb along with oral diazepam until the clusters stops. Little
Guys seizures usually stop with the ice cream. We
do not try to contain them in one room as this seems to add more stress to our dogs but we
do sit on the floor with them and talk soothingly and try not to let them know just how
nervous (or close to tears) we are. Most of the time my dogs hide under the bed or sofa
and we let them but we keep a close eye on what they are doing. We try to keep things as normal as we can. I also call our vet to let them know when one of
our pups are seizing especially if it tends to be a cluster of focal seizures so they can
be prepared if we need them. If they need to
go potty during this time we walk outside with them and make sure they are able to go down
the steps without incident.
the most important thing to do during a seizure is remain calm. I know how very difficult this can be but I truly
believe it helps the pup. I always lay down
next to Irie and hold her, stroke her and speak very calmly to her. Something along the
lines of "I love you. It's okay. Mommy
is right here." , just some very reassuring comments.
For those of you who have more than one dog you must try to keep the dogs separated
during the seizure if possible. Not all dogs cause a problem to others (my nonepi
Schatze is just the best thing to Irie) but some dogs can attack seizing dogs.
pup safe. Depending on the type of seizure,
injury is definitely possible when you have a pup that has grand mal seizures. Time the seizures, when they started, when they
end and all symptoms before and after. Keep a
log. Keep him safe from other dogs and keep
hands or items away from their mouths. Talk
to them calmly and be gentle. Their bodies
are going thru the most vigorous workout you've ever encountered in your lifetime.
foremost...I keep a calm, clear head about me!! If
I panic then my baby suffers. If I am by
myself, I just make sure Baxter is in a place where, for the 2-3 minutes it will take me
to get his Valium, he can't get hurt. I
remove all other dogs from the room to be safe...both them from him and he from them. I run for the Valium, both oral and liquid, and
prepare it as needed. I go back and
administer it and then we just sit as quietly as we can, with the lights dim, until the
entire episode is over. Since Baxter
clusters, this takes about 45 minutes. He
then goes to sleep for about 15 minutes and is back to normal.
husband is home, he usually sits with Baxter to make sure he remains safe while I run for
the Valium. Again, I prepare it as needed and
administer it. Then we BOTH sit quietly, with
the lights dim, until he is finished.
seizures always strike when he is either just falling asleep or has been asleep for hours. In addition to keeping Tahoe from injuring himself
during the seizure, especially if he is on the wood floor, I place a folded towel under
his head to cushion his thrashing and catch the drool because the floor gets too slippery
when he tries to stand. I also put towels
under him to soak up the urine if he loses control.
importantly I make sure he can't slam his teeth into anything. If he seems like he can get caught up under a
table or bed, I slide him away from it. While
he is still lying there I pet him and talk to him softly and reassure him that it is
"ok". (I don't sing...LOL. that
would cause more seizures, I am sure!!) Its
during this calmer time I am able to give him the rectal Valium.
is alert but agitated, we hold and pet him gently and speak to him in a soothing voice. Now that he is used to having seizures, poor guy,
the minute we hold him he instantly relaxes. We
also move him away from anything on which he might bang his head.
off the lights and discontinue loud music. We also hold her and stroke her, reassuring her
that all will be well. We run for the Rescue Remedy, if need be. Since her seizures are
mild, thankfully, this has been all that has been needed.
seizures do not involve any thrashing or gnashing. She
goes rigid, and most times she remains conscious. It looks like she is having a big,
closed mouth yawning stretch that will not stop! The hardest part is that she stops
breathing. I am lucky in that I am able to
give her mouth to snout (as the jaws are not snapping!) to help get her breathing sooner. She will breathe on her own, I have discovered,
but I fear that the longer she goes without breathing, the more likelihood of permanent
recommend that all pet owners at least read up on how to do animal CPR.
time I needed it was ten years after I had read about it, and somehow I just knew what to
do to help Sam. My technique is a bit raw, but it works!
Other than breathing, I try to keep things as quiet as possible. The other dogs will stand by and try to help, so
if I have someone else with me it is their job to get the other two outside (or inside!)
so the area is less stressful for Sam. As she
is conscious most times she will respond to noise and struggle to follow it. I feel that this stresses her more, so try to
avoid it if at all possible.
had most of his seizures in the middle of the night (not all, but most). Our usual routine, when the seizure starts, is for
my husband to stay with Zak, to make sure that he doesn't throw himself off the bed or hit
his head against something. I run for the
"valium bag" (everyone in the house knows where this bag is kept). This is a little bag that I keep everything I need
for when Zak has a seizure. It has a 5cc
syringe, a jar of Vaseline (for dipping the syringe), several vials of rectal Valium, oral
Valium tabs and Rescue Remedy.
Zak seems to get very hot during a seizure, while I'm administrating the rectal valium,
Mike gets a cool, wet washcloth to lay on Zak's tummy to help cool him down. Of course, during all this time, we are trying to
stay as calm and quiet as possible. We
learned the hard way that if we get upset or panic or yell at each other that Zak will get
upset, which just makes the whole situation worse. We
have been lucky that in the 2 1/2 years that Zak has had seizures that we have always been
home together, except for one time when Mike was home alone with Zak. When this happened all the planning and training
was totally forgotten <grin>--Mike totally panicked, called me on the cell phone and
yelled at me to get home ASAP (I was 200 miles away from home). But thank God for Joanne. Mike wouldn't calm down
for me but Joanne called him and helped him calm down and he was then able to do what
needed to be done and Zak was fine by the time I got home.
We would immediately make sure that Harley was safely away from stairs and furniture. We would also make sure that we put our other dog, China, outside so that we could focus on Harley. We were familiar with Harley's seizures and felt we could safely pet him during the seizure. We would talk softly to him and call his name. Frankly, I think this made us feel better more than anything else.
I would put a towel under Jaff’s head and just stay with him and pet him. I always checked the clock and wrote the beginning time down so I had an idea how long the seizure was lasting. He usually clustered so I would note how long between seizures and how long the whole cluster lasted. A detailed seizure journal is very important.
I made sure the lights were dimmed once we had everything in place like the towels and medications.
It is important to get any other dogs out of the room during the seizure. There is always the possibility that another dog will attack the seizing dog. It happens more often than you would believe and by dogs that live together amicably every day. Plus it also allows you to focus better on your epi.
Try to breathe. It is easier said than done. I know. Just try.
When the seizure hits I pick up the dog, she's pretty small at about 16 pounds, and I run to the kitchen drawer and begin drawing the Valium into the syringe. I remove the needle and attach the catheter to the syringe. Sometimes I don't want to fool with the catheter so I simply put some Vaseline on the end of the syringe. I administer the Valium rectally and scoop her up again and try to calm her while getting the ice pack from the freezer. I place the ice pack on her upper back and walk around with her in my arms until the seizure stops or I realize that she either needs another dose or a trip to the ER. During this time I call Joanne to make sure that I am doing everything right and because it is comforting to hear her voice during this emergency.
I run for the ice pack (always at the front of the refrigerator freezer) and place it on the lower middle area of Molly's back. If she is under a table or too near a radiator I slide her into to a safer place.
During a psychomotor or complex focal seizure while Molly is unconscious, but walking, I stay by her side and hold and redirect her away from the walls and furniture she tries to climb up, over and through. I block off areas that she tries to wedge herself into and remain close by as these seizures can go on every few minutes for hours.