Grand Mal Seizures in dogs result from an abnormal or sudden in change in the dog’s neurological activity. The change in neurological activity can be caused by epileptic reasons or it can be a random occurrence. There is reason to believe that seizures in dogs can be an inherited trait as well. A dog that is experiencing a seizure is likely to be suffering from altered consciousness or total loss of consciousness.
Grand Mal Seizures Tonic Phase
The most typical type of seizure that dogs suffer is known as the grand mal seizures. A grand mal seizure is when the abnormal activity in the brain or body of the dog is not localized to one spot but it takes over the dog’s entire brain and body. There are typically 2 stages that occur in the normal grand mal seizure. The first stage is known as the Tonic stage, in this stage the dog usually loses consciousness, falls to the ground, will stretch out their legs in a rigid fashion and commence shaking in their muscles. This stage will usually last 10-30 seconds and the dog will typically quit breathing.
Clonic Phase of Grand Mal Seizures
The 2nd stage of the seizure is known as the clonic phase, which is characterized by rapid uncontrollable movement of the legs and chewing of air. Both of the stages will also display salvation, defecation and dilated pupils. Once these two stages are over, the dog will usually act sluggish and or appear drugged for some amount of time. Usually the dog will sleep it off. This is characterized as a grand mal dog seizure.
Status Epilepticus – Seizures Over and Over Again
In the worst form of this type of grand mal seizures, a dog can experience one seizure and not fully recover from the initial seizure before having another one. These are known as “Status Epilepticus” and if these are not treated quickly, the result can be fatal. Like the basic grand mal seizure, the Status Epilepticus also comes in stages. The first stage is called Prodome and this is when the dog may become “clingy” and follow their owner around.
Pre and Post Stages of Grand Mal Seizures
The next stage is known as Aura and this when the pet tends to whine, hide, wander or vomit. The 3rd stage is called the Ictus stage and this is when the seizure actually occurs and usually brings salivation, uncontrollable muscle cramping and shaking and possibly loss of consciousness. Similar to the typical grand mal seizure, the Status Epilepticus seizure has a recovery stage and it is called the Post-Ictal phase. In this phase, the dog will usually appear blind or drugged or some just sleep for an extended period of time. The Post-Ictal phase has a chance of lasting several days.
How to React to Grand Mal Seizures in Pets
grand mal seizures
In either form of the grand mal seizures, responding in a calm and appropriate way is imperative in the recovery of the dog. Try to make the environment as soothing and calm as possible, it is suggested to dim the lights and try to obtain total silence. It’s also a good idea to note if there were any triggers to the grand mal seizures or events that led up to the seizure. It is also highly suggested that your dog seeks medical attention. A veterinarian can assess the dog’s condition by a series of tests and scans including an EEG and an X-Ray. The series of seizures cannot ever be fully cured, but the symptoms can be inhibited by oral medications.
Source: Evolution Supply website
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