Well, there can be some irregular pacing, breathing before the seizure. That can last from a few minutes to 30 minutes or more.
The seizure itself should not be longer than a few minutes. Anything over 4-5 minutes is a huge risk for brain and body injury.
After the actual seizure, a pet can remain disoriented, but they are at least responsive, for another few minutes to hours. This is what we call the post-ictal period.
If your pet has been tremoring and/or non-responsive for 30 or more minutes, it is critical to get into a vet.
Seizures are generally caused by:
1. Intra-cranial disease (something inside the head including infections, inflammatory conditions, and cancer)
2. Extra-cranial disease (anything outside of the head including organ problems like liver disease, infections, electrolyte abnormalities that can be caused by endocrine disease like Addison's, cancer)
3. Epilepsy (When there is no known cause despite all possible screenings tests including MRI and testing CSF fluid for abnormalities). Epilepsy "usually" has an onset of around 2-5 or 6 years of age, although it can start earlier or later.
Treatment for seizures does not necessarily start immediately. A life-long medication like Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide is considered when:
The seizures last for 4-5 minutes or longer, causing increased concern for brain injury
If they occur in clusters
If they are increasing in frequency
Initial testing should include at least a blood profile (with a thyroid level).
You cannot treat a seizure at home. There is no over-the-counter drug.
It requires medication like valium, injectable phenobarbital, and even anesthesia (propofol) to control a seizure, depending on its underlying cause.
Hope that info helps
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