If no other cause can be found, the disease is called primary or idiopathic epilepsy. This problem is often an inherited condition, and Boston Terriers are commonly afflicted. If your friend is prone to seizures, episodes will usually begin between six months and three years of age.
Idiopathic epilepsy is fairly common in many dog breeds, and Boston Terriers can get this form of epilepsy. In addition, structural epilepsy occurs commonly in older Boston Terriers that develop brain cancer.
Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-seizure medications like phenobarbital for dogs, potassium bromide, levetiracetam, or zonisamide. Some dogs start out with just one of these medications.
Some dogs may begin to experience seizures at the end of their lives. This can be due to metabolic imbalances from conditions such as kidney failure or due to problems with the brain itself. Depending on the cause and its severity, these seizures may or may not respond to treatment.
In older dogs, a seizure can be the first sign of a brain tumor. In very young dogs, it can be the result of a malformed brain. Other possible causes of seizures in dogs include: Low blood sugar due to a type of tumor.
Reactive seizures are caused by the brain’s reaction to a metabolic problem like low blood sugar, organ failure, or a toxin. Secondary seizures are the result of a brain tumor, stroke, or trauma. If no other cause can be found, the disease is called primary or idiopathic epilepsy.
Lifelong medication is usually necessary to help keep seizures under control with periodic blood testing required to monitor side effects and efficacy. If your dog has a seizure, carefully prevent Page 5 him from injuring himself, but don’t try to control his mouth or tongue.
Specific risk factors may make a veterinarian recommend euthanizing a dog with epilepsy. Age, seizure frequency & intensity, and poor response to seizures may all indicate that the dog will not enjoy a good quality of life due to their condition.
If a seizure lasts more than three to five minutes, this is an emergency and you should bring your dog to a veterinarian. Their body temperature can rise quickly and can be a problem. Especially as pets age, seizures that last that long can cause problems with their brain and cause brain damage.
Signs that you should be observant of in an elderly dog or a sick dog in hospice care include:
Despite the dramatic and violent appearance of a seizure, seizures are not painful, although the dog may feel confusion and perhaps panic. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not swallow their tongues during a seizure.
Approximately 40-60 percent of dogs with epilepsy have one or more episodes of cluster seizures or status epilepsy, and a mean lifespan of only 8 years, compared to 11 years for those with epilepsy without episodes status epilepsy.
Yet, several seizures in a row or a seizure that lasts longer than five minutes is considered an emergency situation that can be life-threatening. Call your vet immediately. The occurrence of more than three seizures in a 24-hour period is also an urgent matter that requires a trip to the vet right away.
Most seizures are short, lasting less than 3 minutes and with proper treatment, the pet can lead a normal life. That said, seizures can be a serious health concern and even short seizures could cause brain damage.
5 Signs of Stroke in Dogs
Common signs that your dog might be having a stroke include: Loss of balance. Head tilt. Pacing, circling, or turning the wrong way when called.