"EPILEPTIC" SEIZURE DISORDERS
Seizures, epilepsy, fits, convulsions;
Seizures or Convulsions May Be Caused by:
- Brain tumors - more common in dogs over 5 years old.
- Head injury
- Stroke-can be caused either by bleeding in the brain or by deficiency of the blood flow to the brain tissue. Either condition can be associated with seizures.
- Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose (sugar)-common in toy breeds and especially puppies. Rubbing a small amount of sugar or syrup on the lips, gums and tongue may be effective in stopping the seizure if caused by low blood sugar.
- Hypoxemia - Low blood oxygen, with resultant lack of oxygen available to the brain. This can be due to poor lung function, or an abnormal cardiac or pulmonary shunting process in a youngster.
- Elevated blood ammonia level due to liver infection, cirrhosis or a liver shunt.
- Inflammatory or infectious disease of the nervous system, this can include Lyme disease, distemper, rabies, toxoplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis and meningitis.
- Ingestion of toxins such as lead, caffeine, chocolate.
- Botulism-toxins sometimes produced by bacteria in food.
- Exposure to pesticides such as organophosphates (many flea control products) and metaldehyde (snail bait).
- Congenital problems, such as hydrocephalus, produce increased intracranial pressure.
- Intestinal parasites can cause severe anemia and hypoglycemia. Some parasites also migrate to the liver and brain in their larval forms.
- Low serum calcium or magnesium levels- for example, eclampsia in a lactating bitch.
- Blood sodium or potassium imbalances can be caused by dehydration or kidney problems.
- Genetic predisposition as in the MDR-1 mutation common to many herding breeds causes a lack of the protein which exerts a protective function in the blood-brain barrier and limits the entry of many drugs to the central nervous system. The lack of this protein renders the dog susceptible to the neurotoxic side effects of several drugs including Ivermectin, Moxidectin and Loperamide.
- Kidney failure and high levels in the blood of uremic toxins.
- Hyperthermia as a result of fever or heat stroke.
- Thyroid hormone deficiency or hyperactive thyroid.