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FAST FRIENDS GREYHOUND RESCUE, INC.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seizures in Greyhounds

THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST FRUSTRATING AND HARDEST
DISEASES TO DIAGNOSE. SINCE IT IS RARE FOR A "FIRST" SEIZURE
OR EVEN A RECURRING SEIZURE TO HAPPEN IN THE PRESENCE OF A
VET, DIAGNOSIS DEPENDS HEAVILY ON THE HISTORY OF THE DOG.
FAMILIES ARE THE BEST SOURCE OF INFORMATION FOR VETS. MOST
ATTACKS HAPPEN AT HOME; SOMETIMES A DOG CAN BE HAVING
SEIZURES AND THE FAMILY IS UNAWARE OTHER THAN FINDING THINGS
STRANGELY OUT OF PLACE.

UNLESS THERE IS AN OBVIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEM OR RECENT
TRAUMA, THE CAUSE OF A SEIZURE SOMETIMES DEPENDS ON GUESS
WORK. A THOROUGH MEDICAL WORK UP BY YOUR VETERINARIAN
SHOULD BE DONE TO ELIMINATE KNOWN CAUSES.

CAUSES INSIDE THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM INCLUDE:

●TUMOR
●ABSCESS
●INFECTION WITHIN THE BRAIN (BACTERIAL, FUNGAL, VIRAL OR PARASITIC)
●INFLAMMATION WITHIN THE BRAIN
●MALFORMATION OF THE BRAIN (BIRTH DEFECT)
●SCAR TISSUE IN THE BRAIN (MAY OCCUR AFTER A HEAD INJURY)

CAUSES OUTSIDE THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM INCLUDE:

●ORGAN FAILURE, PARTICULARLY OF THE LIVER AND KIDNEY.
THESES ORGANS ACT AS THE WASTE TREATMENT PLANT OF
THE BODY; WHEN THEY MALFUNCTION, A LARGE BUILDUP OF
TOXIC WASTE PRODUCTS CAN OCCUR, CAUSING SEIZURES.

●GLANDULAR DISEASE WHICH RESULTS IN BLOOD SUGAR
THAT IS TOO HIGH OR LOW (AS MAY OCCUR IN DIABETICS).

●POISONING. MANY TOXINS CAN CAUSE SEIZURES IF EATEN
BY DOGS, SUCH AS SOME DRUGS, PLANTS, LEAD, HEAVY
METALS, ANTIFREEZE AND CHOCOLATE.

●SEIZURES CAN ALSO BE CAUSED BY EPILEPSY. THE CAUSE OF
EPILEPSY IS UNKNOWN, BUT SOME ANIMALS HAVE A LOWER
RESISTANCE TO SEIZURES THAN IS NORMAL.

SIGNS

●BEFORE A SEIZURE, THE DOG MAY SEEM DAZED, OR
ANXIOUS; MAY SEEK YOU OR SEEK A SAFE PLACE.

●ACTIVE SEIZURE. THE DOG WILL OFTEN FALL OVER,
TWITCH, URINATE, DEFECATE, DROOL AND WILL NOT
RECOGNIZE YOU. SOME SEIZURES MAY JUST LOOK
LIKE THE DOG IS STARING INTO SPACE OR AT INVISIBLE THINGS. THEY MAY JUST APPEAR TO BE
STIFF LEGGED AND UNABLE TO BEND THE LEGS.

●AFTER A SEIZURE THE DOG MAY BE DISORIENTED,
WALK INTO WALLS OR APPEAR TO BE BLIND. A
FEW APPEAR TO BE PARALYZED IN THE HIND LEGS
FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. SOME DOGS MAYALSO ACT
NORMAL FOLLOWING A SEIZURE.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW - FIRST AID

I . MAKE SURE THE ANIMAL IS IN A SAFE PLACE (NOT AT THE TOP
OF A STAIRCASE OR ANYWHERE FROM WHICH A FALL IS
POSSIBLE.

2. RECORD HOW LONG THE ACTIVE PHASE OF THE SEIZURE
LASTS.

3. KEEP A LOG OF THE SEIZURES. INCLUDE THE DATE. TIME OF
DAY, TIME AFTER A MEAL, AND HOW I..ONG THE ACTIVE SEIZURE
PHASE LASTS.

4. KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FACE AWAY FROM THE DOG'S MOUTH.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HOLD THE TONGUE ( IT WILL NOT
SWALLOW IT). YOUR DOG DOES NOT KNOW WHO YOU ARE
DURING A SEIZURE'AND MANY PEOPLE GET BITTEN WHEN
ATTEMPTING TO HANDLE A SEIZING PET.

5. DO NOT DISTURB THE DOG DURING AND AFTER AN ACTIVE
SEIZURE. YOU MAY TALK QUIETLY AND CALMLY TO YOUR
DOG TO REASSURE THEM BUT DO NOT MAKE ANY LOUD NOISES;
LET LAYlNG DOGS LIE.

6. IF THIS IS YOUR DOG'S FIRST SEIZURE, CALL YOUR VET.
THE DOG SHOULD BE EXAMINED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

7. SEIZURES LASTING MORE THAN TWO MINUTES OR CLUSTER
SEIZURES (REPEATED SEIZURES ONE A AFTER ANOTHER) ARE
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES; THESE ANIMALS ARE AT RISK FOR
VERY HIGH FEVERS AND BRAIN DAMAGE. ANY DOG HAVING
CLUSTER SEIZURES NEEDS TO BE EXAMINED BY A VET
IMMEDIATELY.

IF YOUR DOG IS PLACED ON ANTI-SEIZURE MEDICATION, IT IS
IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT SUCH MEDICATION DOES NOT
CURE THE CAUSE OF THE SEIZURES; IT SIMPLY HELPS TO
REDUCE THE .NUMBER OR SEVERITY OF EPISODES. IT IS ALSO
IMPORTANT THAT THE MEDICINE BE GIVEN AT THE SAME TIME EACH
DAY. YOU MUST BE AWARE THAT YOUR DOG WILL PROBABLY HAVE
FUTURE EPISODES AND REQUIRE FREQUENT VETERINARY CHECK UPS
AND BLOOD TESTS.

Written by Helen Coleman

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