All About Seizures In Older Dogs
Seizures in older dogs can be a scary experience and if you do not know what it causing the problem, it can become scarier. But there are many different determining factors when it comes to diagnosing the dog. The veterinarian will perform tests to try to pinpoint the specific problem and the reason for seizures in older dogs can vary. They can range from a treatable disorder to a terminal illness. A dog may only have one or two seizures within a lifetime and others might have reoccurring problems throughout their lives. This all depends on the severity of each individual illness.
A seizure occurs when there is too much electrical energy within the brain. These electrical impulses control the body’s movement and they act as signals from the brain to the body to regulate movement. When there is an overabundance of these signals at one time, the body will react by violently trying to follow these signals at once. It is an imbalance of the excitatory and inhibitory signals within the brain. This results in the dog convulsing and making peculiar movements for a short period of time. Although the dog will appear to be in a great deal of pain, seizures are not as bad as they appear.
There are a few types of dogs that are prone to having seizures or seizure disorders. If you have been considering purchasing any of these types of dogs for your family, you will want to be aware of this fact. These dogs include retrievers, beagles, collies, dachshunds and British Alsatians. Most of these types of dogs do not have issues with seizures until they are advanced in age also. But they can still happen at anytime.
Seizures in older dogs can occur from organ failure. Just like humans suffer from these types of conditions as they age, dogs can too. This can be from obesity and a bad diet or from toxic poisoning. Unfortunately, there usually isn’t a cure for organ failure but certain medications can help to ease the systems and this can also help with the seizures.
Anything that damages the brain can cause seizures in older dogs. This includes things like injuries that include a blunt trauma to the head and a tumor or growth around the brain. If the trauma to the head area eventually heals itself, the seizures will also stop. The same thing goes for the tumor. If it can be removed or shrunken, the seizures will also cease. In this case, the seizures are actually symptoms of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
Certain types of dogs are also prone to inherit epilepsy and seizures. This is called inherited epilepsy and it is said to occur because of a mutated gene that is passed on by one of the parents. Dogs who suffer from this illness usually do not have their first seizure until the age of 3 to 4 years old and it can worsen overtime. If you are purchasing a dog, you might want to find out about the medical history of the parents to avoid this problem.
Infections are known to cause seizures in older dogs. The infections can be bacterial or viral and when they occur, the brain and spinal cord becomes swollen and infected. Blood parasites and fungus can also produce these symptoms and this condition attacks the dog’s central nervous system. Other symptoms include a high fever, stiff neck and a sensitivity to touch. Luckily, this disease can be controlled with corticosteroid medications and the dog can make a full recovery if the condition was diagnosed quickly. He will also no longer have problems with seizures.