Sunday, September 13, 2015

Living with an Epileptic Dog - What to do if your dog has a seizure

If you’ve ever experienced your dog having a seizure you know how unsettling it is. You feel helpless but you aren’t entirely. There are things you can do to ensure your dog’s safety and yours. My most important piece of advice is to try and remain calm (I know easier said than done). The first time my dog Effie had a seizure, I had no idea what was happening and I panicked. If I had known more about seizures, it would have been a lot less stressful.

If your dog experiences any of the following, he may be having a seizure:

  • Disorientation or staring into space;
  • Bumping into things, stumbling on his feet;
  • Temporary blindness or paralysis;
  • Collapsing on the floor (drooling, jerking, shaking, paddling motions).

If your dog is having a seizure, do the following:

  • Clear the area around your dog of sharp items or anything that could potentially harm him;
  • Block any open stairways;
  • Remove your dog’s collar if possible (but avoid getting too close to the mouth and head);
  • Take a video of the seizure for your vet;
  • Document all the information you can (when it occurred, how long it lasted, whether your dog was conscious or unconscious, shaking, drooling, paralysis);
  • Call your vet if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if your dog has more than one in a 24 hour period.

Dogs are disoriented when they come out of a seizure and it takes time for them to get back to normal. It could be anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours depending on the dog. During this time they may not recognize you. If that happens, use a soft welcoming voice but give them space. They will come around. Other dogs seek comfort and reassurance after a seizure. Give them the reassurance they need whether it’s a massage, a cuddle or a particular food. Most of you will instinctively know what will help. Remain calm and do any required clean up quietly.

If and when you decide to put your dog on medication, make sure you and your vet are on the same page. They will need to ensure that the medication dose reaches and maintains a safe therapeutic level by doing blood tests. So it’s more expensive at the beginning. Once the level is reached and the dose of medication is established, you can do blood work just once or twice a year. Life does happen but try not to miss a dose and never stop the medication without first discussing with your vet. Typically once you start your dog on an anti-seizure medication, he will be on for it for life. Any changes to the medication whether it be the dose or trying a different one should be discussed with your vet.

Effie is currently taking 30 ml of Phenobarbital every 12 hours. In order to keep the time as close as possible we decided on 7am and 7pm. I bought a pill organizer and have the two doses in every day so I don’t have to rely on my memory. I set a reminder in my calendar for every night just in case. It sounds scary and overwhelming but we’ve gotten use to it.  I try to look at it like this … when you adopt a dog you have to feed him every day to keep him alive and healthy. Well this is no different. And to date Effie remains seizure free!

June 2016 update: The month of April 2016 was a tough one for Effie as she had four seizures. After the last seizure our vet consulted with a neurologist. It was recommended to us increase her dose of Phenobarbital to 60 ml every 12 hours. We agreed and she has not had another seizure since.

April 2017 update: Effie is still getting 60 ml of Phenobarbital every 12 hours. However in the past year she has had several seizures. They have been minor enough that we are leaving the dose as is for now and closely monitoring her and keeping track of her seizures to look for patterns.

Related articles:

Living With an Epileptic Dog - Effie's Story


  1. My dog had his 1st seizure 12 days ago he had convulsions. The convulsions went on for less than 2 minutes. I don’t know what triggers them, He gets fidgety prior to having a seizure and paces quite a bit, Winter is always the roughest time for him as he can have up to 1 seizure per week (not much when compared with what some other poor dogs). He was in worse shape on the meds than he was with the seizures, so we elected to not medicate him. i read hundreds of blogs and websites It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about doctor Benson Wooley, she gave me his contact. I contacted he i explain everything to him and make purchase of the herbal product. we had full expectation that my dog will find total rest from seizures, 2 months using herbal treatment, his seizures totally reduced. After finishing his treatment, more than 1 years now, he has been totally seizure free. he have not experienced a single seizures after using Herbal treatment. his medicine does not have any side effect. If you want to contact him at mail: or call +1 (904) 601-2741

    1. Was the herbal med. CBD, or something like that?

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  6. I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic epilepsy ,since i was bone , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant disorder for about 31 years, this was really a terrible illness ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs Kate on how his son was been cured from epilepsy through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine i used it for 4 weeks as prescribed and i was totally cured of epilepsy within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign of seizure.if you need his help you can Contact this herbal doctor via his email for help

  7. ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DON FOR MY FAMILY.This information will be useful for Epilepsy patients who is willing to use herbal medicine. My daughter had temporal lobe epilepsy, She had seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode. Our daughter's seizure is constant throughout the day. We had used several medicine which include: Epilim and Keppra, experience seizure control at the cost of serious debilitating side effects. It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about herbal Dr. William,who uses herbal medicine in curing people from epilepsy,i was so glad to contact him on his email and make an order for his medication, it does not have any side effect. I am so glad to say that she has been seizure-free since July 2015 after taking William medicine. this a miracle cure?contact him for more detail ( thanks once again admin for such an informative blog.

  8. I am Shelley from Los Angeles,California, I want to testify on how i got cured from seizure, I have suffered from seizure since the year 2011 with so mush anxiety ,that i have to spend so mush money getting pain relief in the hospital, and I have visited several doctor ,but all to no avail, my world was gradually coming to an end because of the fainting and muscle spasms , until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal Dr Williams who use herbal portion in curing people from different kind of diseases including seizure, at first i doubted if it we be able to cure my Generalised tonic-clonic seizure , but i decided to give it a try, when i contacted this herbal doctor via his email, he prepared a herbal portion and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal medicine, he gave me step by step instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed, i was completely free from seizure just for 1 months of usage,i we recommend this to all my friend family in the world today who still suffering from seizure you can contact him through his email on for help.

  9. HI! MY CHOW, HACKETT HAS SEIZURES AS WELL. SAME PRESCRIPTION OF MEDICATIONS!! He's taking 1 1/2 tablet of Phenobarbital every 12hrs as well. 7am and 7pm! The vet said that his dosage might increase (if needed) based on his weight. Last month he's taking 1 1/4 dosage of the tablet. So far, he's not having seizures. For the past months ever since he got his seizure (3 months old), we're always in the vet clinic for his check but mostly his confinement. We know some of the reasons is the hot weather here in Philippines and and also stress. We're very hesitant to bring him to some places outside our village because we're scared that his seizure will attack him out of nowhere. As of now, his vet told us to observe him and his attacks to see if there's some kind of pattern happening between his seizures.