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5 Steps To Managing A Pet's Seizure

Whether it's your pet's first seizure or not, witnessing your pet convulsing helplessly can be terrifying for a pet owner. Unfortunately, it's easy to make mistakes when you're frightened. Commit these five steps to memory, and you'll be able to handle a pet seizure in the right way without making a bad situation worse.

Recognize The Early Symptoms

Cats and dogs typically convulse during seizures, but convulsions aren't the only symptoms they may experience. For cats, earlier symptoms may include becoming stiff and falling to the ground. Cats may also indicate that they're about to have a seizure by walking in circles, yowling endlessly, or even vomiting.

Dogs don't provide quite as many warning signs as cats before they have a seizure. Dogs may appear spaced-out, glassy-eyed, or oblivious to your presence before a seizure. They will also eventually stiffen up and probably fall to the ground just before convulsing.

Support Your Pet's Body

Pets, like humans, can use support from someone while having a seizure. However, not all of the care is identical. Relocate your pet away from anything they can hurt themselves on while jerking around, like doorways, corners, or sharp objects. Carefully support your pet's head with a folded blanket or pillow, but skip this head if their head is jerking or they're gnashing their teeth.

In addition, don't try to put anything in your pet's mouth to prevent them from biting or swallowing their tongue. While this is a common problem with humans having seizures, cats and dogs aren't susceptible to it, and placing your hand in or near a pet's mouth while they're seizing can be dangerous.

Keep Your Distance & Speak Calmly

Both cats and dogs can potentially hurt you while they're having a seizure. It's not intentional; their entire body will convulse, including their mouths, claws, and limbs. Once you've gotten your pet to a safe place, step away from them, but monitor the situation. You can speak gently to them and reassure them vocally while they're having a seizure, which may have a calming effect.

Reassure Your Pet Post-Seizure

Cats and dogs may not recognize you after a seizure, or they may experience temporary symptoms like partial paralysis. Once the seizure is over, approach with caution, calling your pet's name and reassuring them with a gentle voice. They've had a traumatic episode, but they'll soon regain their senses and be grateful for your presence.

Call Your Vet

Once your pet has stabilized, or if the seizure doesn't stop after a few minutes, call your vet. Seizures that don't stop are called cluster seizures, and they need immediate medical attention. Otherwise, your vet will determine whether you should come in right away or if you can afford to wait. However, if this is your pet's first seizure, your vet will probably encourage you to come in right away.

It's natural to feel afraid or helpless while your pet is having a seizure, but stay calm. As their pet parent, they'll need you to look after them once they recover, and to follow a veterinarian's advice and treatment plan to reduce future episodes.

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