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Seizure Advice

Watching a loved pet have a seizure can be very upsetting and stressful, but how you act can make a huge difference to your pet. Below are a few handy hints and tips, for during seizures and post seizure.

  • Timing – seizures can seem to be lasting for a long time, when actually the reality in most cases is they last for a few seconds, maybe a minute. It is very useful to know how long a seizure does last so if you witness the start of one, please time the length of seizure.
  • Avoid stimulation – although it looks distressing and your natural reaction is to want to help, avoid touching the animal. If the animal is stimulated during, or as it is coming out of the seizure it can actually trigger another seizure. The 3 following steps are the best advice during a seizure:
  • Turn off any noise such as radio, television etc.
  • Darken the area if possible.
  • Prevent injury to the animal by moving away any objects nearby or by putting cushions around them, and to you by being aware animals can bite when seizuring with no awareness.
  • When should I call the vet – we can advise you during a seizure if you are worried, however a true emergency is if the animal is seizuring for a timed period of over 5 minutes, either without stopping, or with small breaks of a few seconds and then restarting. Otherwise, if your pet has one seizure and stops, please phone us for advice. We would normally not recommend seeing the animal until either later that day or even the following day. Moving them and transporting them to the surgery too quickly causes distress and disorientation and can trigger another seizure.
  • What happens after? – following a seizure there is a period of time known as the ‘post ictal phase’, during this time the animal may exhibit any of the following signs: Panting, Disorientation, Manic behaviour, extreme hunger/thirst, extreme tiredness, aggression.
  • Keep a diary – a seizure diary is actually really useful for us. Recording any small vacant periods as well as full on seizures, recording the timings, and also what was happening in the lead up to the seizures can both be really useful in formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Contact us – seizures are scary and worrying, however please always phone us before loading the animal into a vehicle and bringing them up to the surgery. It may be better for us to come to you, and if we do want them at the surgery, we can be prepared with catheters, drugs and fluids for your arrival.