– By Grace Tansley, Veterinary Student

Seizures are one of the most commonly presenting neurological issues in general veterinary practice. Lots of practices will have patients on long term seizure medication and new cases arrive all the time. Seizures tend to be more common in dogs than in cats.


There are many different types of seizures – the one everyone is most familiar with is aGrand Mal or generalised seizure in which the animal may be is on its side, unconscious and jerking or paddling. There are also petit mal or partial seizures which may not be very obvious. If you notice any signs of seizure in your dog it is important to get them to the vet as quickly as possibleso we can determine what is triggering the seizure activity and find the right treatment for your pet.


There are many different causes of seizures, which generally are either intra-cranial (primary problem occurs in the brain) e.g. trauma or extra-cranial(primary problem occurs in other organ systems) e.g. ingestion of toxic plants.


Unfortunately for Eddie the Labradoodle, having a sleep on an inch ant nest was not a good idea and he was brought into the clinic by his very worried owners. Eddie had two seizures and was treated in the clinic by Dr. Brooke, given lots of cuddles and sent home that evening.


Other dogs may have Idiopathic Epilepsy where there is no clear cause for the seizures and generally the seizure activity is not frequent (less than monthly occurrence), and the animal is otherwise happy and healthy. Nurse Kristen’s dog Benson, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, recently had a seizure for the first time and was rushed to the Willunga clinic during after-hours for treatment. He had a specialist CT scan to try and find the cause of the seizure and was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy. Benson has only had one more seizure since then and has not required on-going treatment, but Kristen keeps a close eye on him to make sure the seizures do not become frequent.


Seizures can be very scary for owners and pets. The best thing to do is to get them to your vet as quickly as possible where we are equipped to look after your pet and find the cause of the seizure.