Friends of our four-legged have more robust health than people, they say for no reason - "heals like a dog." But they are also able to get sick, including epilepsy. Why does epilepsy develop in dogs, and what should the master do when his pet experiences an attack?
- Особенности патологии: происхождение и провоцирующие факторы 1. Features of pathology: origin and provoking factors
- Симптомы эпилептического приступа 2. Symptoms of epileptic seizure
- Первая помощь четвероногому другу 3. First aid for a four-footed friend
- Диагностика эпилепсии у собак 4. Diagnosis of epilepsy in dogs
- Лечение эпилепсии 5. Treatment of epilepsy
Features of pathology: origin and provoking factors
Among the main factors-provocateurs of epilepsy in pets, veterinarians release nervous tension. It is believed that staying a pet in a prolonged stressful situation increases the risk of an attack.
In addition, distinguish the congenital type of pathology and acquired. The disease can develop after severe labor, attacks of other animals, separation from the beloved host, family change. Naturally, in different dogs the reaction to such situations is individual.
What is epilepsy? As a rule, the ailment is connected with the failure of connections between neurons in the brain, which manifests itself in the form of convulsive attacks. The nature of pathology is not fully understood, this applies not only to dogs, but also to humans. But according to the main hypothesis, uncoordinated spontaneous contractions of different muscle groups develop against the background of inconsistency of impulses between the cellular structures of the brain.
One of the specific features of this pathology in dogs is the frequency of convulsive seizures. When the pet is experiencing the first epileptic attack, and the veterinarian confirms the diagnosis, the owner should be prepared - the disease is able to progress, and then the attacks become more frequent and intense.
According to statistical data, more often the primary signs of epilepsy in dogs are manifested at the age of six months to 5 years. The severest pathology is borne by animals 2-3 years old. Then the symptoms of the disease remain until the end of life. In addition, doctors often fail to identify the cause of epilepsy, in which case the disease is considered idiopathic.
Symptoms of an epileptic seizure
There are 4 types of seizures that occur in pets suffering from epileptic illness:
- Loss of consciousness, convulsive muscle contractions are weak enough or not at all.
- The emergence of generalized convulsive convulsions, affecting the entire body, loss of consciousness is possible.
- The development of focal motor cramps, which are often generalized. Convulsions affect a certain area of the body first, and then spread to nearby areas. In rare cases, the spasm affects all parts of the animal's body.
- Partial convulsions arise. The main sign of epilepsy in this situation is the strange behavior of the pet. Most often the dog begins to catch non-existent flies. Seizures can both be absent, and affect the entire body of the pet.
Experts focus on the fact that it is important to determine whether it is a question of ordinary convulsions or epileptic. But the veterinarian, and not the owner of the animal, should diagnose the disease.
Epileptic attack proceeds according to the following algorithm:
- the pet begins to whimper, worry, looking for a secluded, quiet place where no one will disturb him;
- salivation (drooling) is intensified;
- there is a convulsive attack, accompanied by urination and defecation; often during an attack the animal bites the tongue or part of the cheek, because of the pain the dog whimpers, squeals.
Even after the cessation of the attack, increased salivation continues, often the saliva fluid becomes frothy. An animal's mood can be both oppressed and overly excited.
Among the main signs of a pathological condition, we can note the following:
- The owner should pay attention to the pet, if the muscle begins to twitch in the face - this phenomenon refers to the primary signs of epilepsy.
- Gradually convulsions cover the entire body.
- In some cases, the condition is accompanied by an increase in temperature.
- During the attack, the animal limbs move, the dog tightly clenches the jaws, the head tilts back.
- Proteins roll up, the pupils expand considerably.
- There is a stridor - breath, accompanied by hissing, hissing sounds.
In most cases, seizures occur at night and in the morning. Usually, the owners of a sick pet can in time anticipate the development of another attack in time. And if their pet became sluggish, trembling and hiding, then there is reason to worry.
First aid for a four-footed friend
Although epileptic attack is not dangerous to the life of the animal, it can frighten the owner of the dog. But from the person at this moment, on the contrary, you need a clear mind and right actions, so do not panic.
Since convulsions are an unpleasant sight, it is advisable to remove other pets and children when they arise from the room. In addition, it is important to remove all items that the dog can get injured. Under his head, it is desirable to put a small pillow.
Veterinarians advise to follow the following recommendations:
- if there was no pillow next to it, you can support the patient's head;
- It is not possible to limit the mobility of a convulsing animal by holding parts of the body to stop convulsions;
- experts refuted the view that during a seizure an animal may have a tongue, thus causing suffocation; in fact, this is impossible and it is not worthwhile to torment the pet by forcing his jaws out by force;
- if the duration of the attack is 25 minutes or more, then the dog should be urgently delivered to the veterinarian's office;
- when there is no opportunity to visit the clinic, and the attack does not pass, the dog is given a medication that has an anticonvulsant effect.
To the doctor was able to more accurately and in a short time to make a diagnosis, the owner is recommended to record data on all seizures. It is advisable to record the dates, duration, and also the situations after which the pet started to have convulsions.
Diagnosis of epilepsy in dogs
Epileptic seizures are similar to other convulsive seizures, so diagnosis is extremely important. To establish the diagnosis, the veterinarian appoints a comprehensive examination, including:
- EEG (electroencephalography) - during the procedure, electrical impulses are recorded from different regions of the brain; To date, this method is the most informative way to diagnose this disease;
- radiography - excludes the presence of craniocerebral injuries;
- ultrasound examination of the peritoneum;
- blood donation for clinical and biochemical analysis;
- computer or magnetic resonance imaging.
In addition, the doctor collects a detailed anamnesis. The owner should describe the condition of the animal as thoroughly as possible, before and during the seizures. Also worth focusing on the overall health of the pet and related diseases.
Treatment of epilepsy
First of all, the owner should understand that epilepsy is a serious violation, which requires the right approach. And even knowing about the drugs that help the animal in this case, the owner should not independently use them to treat the pet.
If one pill is helped by certain pills, then the other can cause severe complications. These medications have a large number of contraindications and side effects, so they should be prescribed only by a qualified specialist.
There is another nuance, often with epilepsy for therapeutic purposes, it is recommended that not one but several anticonvulsants be taken.
Unfortunately, this disease, especially its true form, is incurable. Therefore completely to relieve the pet from manifestations of epilepsy is impossible. Modern medicine offers techniques that can reduce the duration of seizures and their number, but still the risks of their occurrence persist.
Some pets that receive proper treatment, adequate nutrition and are kept in good conditions, epileptic seizures may be absent for years, without any effect. Selection of drugs is carried out individually, so it is not always possible to immediately assign a medicine that helps 100%. You may need to change the regimen or even the medication itself.
Initially, the minimum dosage of an anticonvulsant is prescribed, gradually it increases until it is possible to achieve the desired result. Veterinarians warn that if you stop sharply giving a medicine to your pet or you lower the dose yourself, you can achieve an aggravation of epilepsy, causing more frequent and prolonged seizures.
Most often, doctors prescribe the following drugs that have an anticonvulsant effect:
- Phenytoin is an effective remedy, which has no sedative effect and side effects. But the medicine is quickly removed from the blood of the animal, causing intense thirst and profuse urination.
- Phenobarbital - is characterized by high efficiency and quick action. But it has a prolonged sedative effect, the dog constantly wants to drink and urinate, becomes nervous and is often irritated.
- Primidone - quickly helps, but has a strong sedative effect, against the background of its reception, the pet begins to eat and drink a lot. The drug requires strict adherence to the scheme of application.
- Diazepam is a drug that controls the exacerbation of seizures and the condition of the epilepticus. Compared with other drugs is characterized by safety and high speed of action. But it provides only a short-term effect, does not cope with strong epileptic attacks, the animal can become restless and quick-tempered.
Owners of a pet suffering from epilepsy are advised to take care of its safety by removing from the enclosure or premises all items that the dog can get injured.
Epilepsy in a dog is not a sentence, and the subsequent life of a pet largely depends on the owner. Yes, the disease requires treatment and better care of the animal, but otherwise the dog remains a devoted, loyal friend, deserving of better conditions and relationships.