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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  12 years of veterinary experience in canine surgery, medicine and behavior
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Can a seizure kill my dog and what to look for to prevent another

Resolved Question:

Can a seizure kill my dog and what to look for to prevent another one.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 7 years ago.
This is Dr. Christian again. Sorry for all the questions but I didn't realize testing and treatments were already being done. The most likely cause of seizures in a dog this age is epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chemical imbalance in the brain and occurs at a young age, typically between 2 and 6 years old. Excitement can trigger a seizure but sometimes there is no trigger. Unfortunately there is no test to diagnose epilepsy. There are other possibilities such as infection, liver disease, and blood sugar problems so bloodwork is usually recommended to make sure none of these are the cause. There are some major complications with seizures such as overheating and brain damage if they occur frequently or last a long time but that is fairly rare. Seizures can typically be controlled very well with medications (usually potassium bromide or phenobarbital). Monitoring for more seizures may be all that is necessary if they are infrequent and not violent. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to prevent them other than medications and all you can do at home is keep him calm as best you can so that he doesn't hurt himself. If you have more questions please let me know. Here's a link about seizures:

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
where is my answer
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 7 years ago.

Hopefully you were able to read the answer I gave but if not let me know. Seizures are rarely fatal unless they occur for long periods (generally over 5 minutes) or occur one right after the other because that can cause overheating of the body and brain damage. Unfortunately there is no way to know when a seizure will occur, there are no signs before they happen so there is no way to prevent one without medications.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What does the heavy breathing mean
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 7 years ago.

Seizures cause so much twitching and heating in the body that many dogs will pant afterward. It's basically like running a marathon and takes a lot out of them. Typically the panting will resolve fairly quickly as they relax. However, if the panting persists for more than 30 minutes after a seizure then it could mean another internal problem causing the seizures (such as an infection or liver problem) or that the body is overheated from the seizures. Some dogs can get a temperature over 108 degrees after a violent or prolonged seizures (the normal temperature for a dog is 101 to 102.5). The bloodwork the vet is doing is look for problems such as the infection or liver issues.