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Dog Having Seizures

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It is frightening when you pet has a seizure or recurring ones. Research and/or meeting with a vet will help understand the causes and treatment options. This is a page about dog having seizures.


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March 29, 2006

For anyone who may not know this, dogs can have seizures if they ingest house birds' seed or feces. We learned this the hard way. My sister was temporarily living with us, and she had a bird. Liesl' our dog, began eating the seed and feces that was blown to the floor. Immediately she began having seizures. She maybe had one or two a day, and the last day my sister was here and took the bird away, she had three. She has had none since. This is a very scary scene. I hope no one else has to go through it Liesl' is 10 1/2 years young and is our pride and joy. Thanks for letting me share.

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September 1, 2010

My mini-Dachshund has had seizures for 8 years. The vet gave her 5mg. Valium and 16.2 phenobarbital. They say this happens mostly to full-bred dogs. I give her 1mg. Klonopin of my own and the phenobarbital only as she has the seizures. Is this OK for my dog?


By becky yeager smith from Mobile, AL


September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Becky, this is a question you should be asking her vet. They can refer back to her chart and give you the best advice. Best of luck. I hope she's feeling better soon!

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Why did you go to a vet if you are not going to follow their directions? If you question their diagnosis get a second opinion. We have a foster dog that gets pheno every night due to seizures and he hasn't had one in the year we have been taking care of him.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

No this is not okay, this is very irresponsible of you. The point of the medication is to treat an illness (or affliction), not to give them as 'needed'.


If you kept her on a regiment, her seizures might actually stop altogether.

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September 3, 20100 found this helpful

Absolutely not! This could kill your baby! Use the medications your Vet has prescribed.

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September 3, 20100 found this helpful

No this is not ok. Very much not ok. Follow the doctors orders and if there are problems, go back to see the doctor.

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September 3, 20100 found this helpful

I have never heard of Klonipin being used in dogs, but I know it can cause serious problems if you stop it without tapering off on the dose. You need to let your Vet know what is going on so he can get the dog back on a safe and effective regimen.

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February 12, 20110 found this helpful

While I would agree with some of the posts that checking with your veterinarian would be the best option there are documented doses in Plumbs veterinary drug formulary of giving the Klonopin to dogs at 0.5mg/kg every 8-12hrs. Usually this is in conjunction with Phenobarbital. So, I think some of the posts were un-knowledgeable and harsh as this is a medication that can be used in both dogs and cats at the correct doses

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March 26, 2006

I have a 9 year Golden. He was doing fine on phenobarbital for seizures for a year now, but seizures have started again. Up to 2 pills am and 2 pills pm. Anyone else have this problem and how large a dosage can one give their dog with vet's orders on phenobarbital. I am so afraid that phenobarbital won't work for her anymore since one can go only so far with the dosage on it.


These seizures scare me to death and I so worry they will become uncontrollable.

Nanz from FL


June 23, 20140 found this helpful

So sorry to hear about your "golden-oldie". Are you referring to Phenormav tablets? My rescue German Shepherd had a terrific seizure two days after arriving. The Vet responded immediately with blood test and skin scraping sent to Pathology with result. He will be on PT 100mg one and a half morning and night for the rest of his life. That was 18 months ago and he has never shown any sign again.
Talk to your Veterinarian and good luck.

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My rat terrier is almost 2 years old and I have a cockatiel. I've caught him eating the bird food from around the cage in November 07. He had his first seizure, since then he has had two more. Could the bird food or droppings be causing the seizures? He is quite healthy and active except for that. Since November he has had 3 seizures that i know of.

Melissa from Warrior, Alabama


March 19, 20080 found this helpful

Please read this previously posted article immediately! Yes, bird seed can cause seizures in dogs!

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

i have never heard of it from bird seed its self but i can tell you that bird feces can kill you and anyother liveing thing that eats it as far as house pets and humans.i learned tha when i was doing an animal TV show that was on caring for animals and that was brought up by the can be fatal to just breath in the fumes from bird waste too long.

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By Brenda (Guest Post)
March 21, 20080 found this helpful

The food maybe causing a problem but a while back dog food has been carrying aspartame and msg in it. The vet told me that active dogs have more trouble with this type of problems. When our dog did this, I thought she had died. I held her as she started then went limp. I thought she was gone and nothing I could do. She had just been playing.


Now, she takes meds daily and is expected to live a normal life. However, I feed her food that I have checked out and mostly would consider something I would have no trouble myself eating. Dog food is made out of most droppings from human food. Be careful and read up on MSG and Aspartame. This is causing problems in animals and humans, with the out come not so great. Best wishes

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March 21, 20080 found this helpful

i have found a good home for my bird and have also changed my dogs diet he seems to be doing well. i noticed when i would clean my birds cage or feed him my dog was right there trying to help me and would get some of the seeds possible feces to i have started keeping a journal of each seizure and the circumstances surrounding it and the bird is the only thing that was consistant so time will tell i suppose

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August 22, 2011

I have 9 Rat Terriers and 3 of them have seizures. The youngest (2 years) is on phenobarbital since she had seizures all month long. The 4 year old has a seizure every 3 months, and the 3 year old has them every 4 months. Is this genetic since my 6 other dogs don't have the problem?

By Gloria J.


August 23, 20110 found this helpful

I have a cat with seizures. My Vet explained to me sometimes the mother has a virus that causes a kitten to have a brain lesion. So I think seizures can have many causes, genetic and non genetic. It is hard to tell which sometimes. I do know some breeds are prone to genetic seizures, so one has to be very sure before breeding.

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June 25, 2017

This is a page about shih tzu having seizures. Certain dog breeds are more prone to seizures. Consult with your vet to help manage your dog's health.

Shih Tzu

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 1, 2010

I have a Golden Retriever that is two years old and is having seizures now for just about a year. Our vet has prescribed phenobarbital, which I give 6 pills a day. Three in the morning and three in the evening. He is also on thyroid medication. He still has seizures, but not as frequently and we are still experimenting with his dose.

I have tried changing his diet to raw food. I am constantly checking the garden for mushrooms and fungus of any kind and I don't use harsh chemicals. His seizures started the summer of 2004 just after he had surgery on both eyes. Apparently the bottom lashes of his eyes rolled into the eye ball and caused irritation. In the meantime we were installing a new lawn and sprinkler system. I top soiled the entire yard with quality soil from a highly reputable source.

Mushrooms are prevalent all year. Our vet thought the mushrooms were causing the seizures. With mowing and daily picking has kept this under control. If anyone out there is going through this or has experienced this problem with their pet please reply. Any information could be helpful.

Another thing, Cosmo, our Golden Retriever is a male and his weight is about 115 pounds which I hear is a very large Golden yet he's not overweight for his size. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,


Seizures in Dogs?

I have a Collie that also has seizures. She, too, takes phenobarbitol every night before bed. However, she only takes 1 pill each night. 6 pills seems like an awful lot to me. Have you gotten a second opinion on the dog's problem? My vet told me that he considers her seizures to be under control if she has 2 per year or less. We have so far been under control. I would suggest a second opinion. (07/23/2005)

By Robin

Seizures in Dogs?

I breed dogs and have found in the past 2 yrs that I'm hearing a lot about seizures in any type of breed, purebred or Heinz 57. Many of which are not being controlled by epileptic medication to the point that the dog is having to be put to sleep.

In all cases the owners had used, and I'm not saying it "is", but suggesting that it is being caused by a certain multipurpose heartworm, flea, earmite medication. It starts with "R" and some dogs are having a reaction to it. I was tipped off by a person who works at a pet insurance company that there were many claims coming in for dogs for liver or kidney (sorry can't recall which one) problems and this was the link. I can't say this is the problem with your dog. Your vet may not even know about it because mine didn't, but its food for thought for all to consider.

By Karen from Niagara Falls, Ontario

Seizures in Dogs?

I have a 3 yr old Boston Terrier that we found a little over a year ago and she also has seizures and takes 5 1/2 phenobarbital a day. She weighs about 20 lbs and the vet does blood work often to keep a check on the levels of everything. Her vet talked with a neurologist before going from 2 up to the 5 1/2. She is on a special diet of low or no protein. It is prescription feed LD made by Hills. She was still having some trouble and I found it that it was the tomatoes that she was eating, also canned carrots will cause her to have a seizure. The vet suggested frozen green beans for treats and Angel likes them frozen or cooked. It is very hard not to give her any people food except fruit and veggies.
Good luck with your baby. (07/23/2005)

By Lhouselover

Seizures in Dogs?

I have a 6 year old Pug that was having seizures.To make a long story short, we traced it back to him gulping down ice cream. Then we narrowed it down to anything cold from the refrigerator ie. canned dog food. We quit and he has not had a seizure for a year now. (07/23/2005)

By Randianne

Seizures in Dogs?

I also have a dog with seizures. She is a Rat Terrier. She started having them when she turned a year old, right after we applied Frontline Plus, for fleas and ticks. I'm not saying that is was the reason why the seizures started, but since we stopped applying it, they went away. She has been seizure free for two years now. I'm thinking it might of been an allergic reaction to the chemicals in it. My dog is now chemical free, and seizure free. (07/23/2005)

By Tammy Mohl

Seizures in Dogs?

I have had sighthounds for many years and I'm seeing more and more seizures in my breed, but not in my dogs. Most have been traced back to recent applications of topical flea products and/or heartworm medications. Most vets won't say that's what's causing it, but until very recently, they refused to accept that dogs do not need yearly vaccinations. I have blood titers drawn on my dogs every year and they still have vaccine in their systems, enough to ensure fighting off diseases, after 7 years. Imagine what getting the shots every year must do to the poor animal. (07/24/2005)

By Roberta

Seizures in Dogs?

My girlfriend had a dog that had seizures, it turned out to be she was only feeding it IAMS Rolled Meats, she would slice it thick and not give it any dry food. As soon as she quit giving it such rich food the dog was all better. Talk to another vet and see what they think. Also try web searches specific to your breed and problem and maybe someone can help you. Good luck. (07/25/2005)

By Annie Rios Hill

Seizures in Dogs?

Oops I forgot. Yep that's what I meant by "rich" food too much protein. My dogs love green beans. I had a cat that went nuts to get to my green beans.
Good luck. (07/25/2005)

By Annie Rios Hill

Seizures in Dogs?

Our Golden Retriever also had mild seizures. We did not do the extensive and expensive testing, but working on the suggestion that many dogs are sensitive/allergic to artificial colors, we did some experimenting with her diet. We switched her to Diamond brand Lamb and Rice dry food which contains no artificial colors. She has been seizure-free for four years now.

Once you start really reading the ingredient panels you will be shocked at how many things contain artificial colors. The dogs don't care, the companies color the stuff to make the people think it looks tastier! Most treats and dog biscuits also contain artificial colors. I can't say for sure that this will work for you, but it worked for us, with the same breed of dog. It might be worth a try. I forgot to tell you, Diamond dog food is not all that expensive, either! We buy it in 40-pound bags at a feed store (we are in a rural area). Good luck! (07/29/2005)

By Becki in IN

Seizures in Dogs?

My 6-year-old Golden Retriever started having seizures in July 2005. He had three seizures, each three months apart. He was eating IAMS. In January, I started cooking homemade dog food (chicken, rice, vegetables) for both of my dogs, adding calcium and a little flax seed oil. It has been eight months and he has not had any seizures. I wonder if it was something in the food. One seizure occurred after I had poured the last of a bag of dry IAMS into his bowl, including the powdery residue at the bottom of the bag. Anyway, he takes no drugs. I also give him a few drops of the flower extract Rescue Remedy when he appears nervous, such as during thunder storms. Hope that helps someone. (09/23/2006)

By Patty from Tampa

seizures in dogs

Our chocolate Lab has had seizures for almost two years now. Nothing worked. Phenobarbital did nothing. He continued to have at least one seizure a month and clusters about every three months. And the phenobarbital made him ravenously hungry. Two things that we changed and he has had one seizure in the last three months, (1) we put him on potassium bromide (it is also not as hard on his system as the phenobarbital. (2) we stopped using Frontline. Everything is good right now. Try both these steps before the phenobarbital. Phenobarbital is terrible for your dog. (04/13/2007)

By Pat

Seizures in Dogs?

I own an organic pest control company and have several customers who have switched over to me because their dog was having seizures. It turned out to be related to their pest control and/or lawn care providers. They canceled the services and switched to me and haven't had any problems since. (06/12/2007)

By Adam

Seizures in Dogs?

Hello, my name is Cyndi and I own a Siberian Husky. Zeus turned 8 years old this April, and in December of 08 he began having seizures. My vet told me that he was an epileptic, but I didn't believe that. During my research I have found that there are several things that can cause seizures, but I never thought it could be flea and tick control that the vet sells. I just want to say "Thank You" for sharing. I had no idea. Since you have so nicely shared your info, please allow me to share mine.

What you DO NOT want in your dogs food:
Corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors, sugar, beef tallow, by-products, BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and/or ground yellow corn, whole grain corn, ground whole wheat, wheat flour, whole grain sorghum, nor any type of gluten.

Seizures can be caused by many conditions:

  • congenital defects
  • blood glucose levels that are too high or too low
  • low oxygen levels in the blood that could be caused by anemia, heart problems, or difficulties with breathing
  • kidney disorders
  • liver disorders
  • infections
  • disease
  • tumors
  • toxins
  • fevers and hyperthermia
  • neurological
  • certain medications
  • low calcium in females that are nursing young (eclampsia)
  • primary or idiopathic epilepsy
  • heat stroke
  • chemicals
  • food allergies
  • stress

Basically, anything that affects their well being

There are types of seizures:

  • partial seizures - affect only a small part or one side of the body.
  • generalized seizures - grand mal and petit mal.
  • grand mal - A patient experiencing a grand mal seizure usually falls on her side and has uncontrollable muscle activity such as kicking her legs as if swimming or paddling. Salivation is profuse and often the patient involuntarily urinates and defecates.
  • petit mal - Signs are brief (seconds) duration of unconsciousness, loss of muscle tone, blank stare, and possibly upward rotation of eyes.
  • complex partial seizures - associated with bizarre or complex behaviors that are repeated during each seizure.
  • cluster seizures - Multiple seizures within a short period of time with only brief periods of consciousness in between.
  • status Epilepticus - Status can occur as one continuous seizure lasting 30 minutes or more, or a series of multiple seizures in a short time with no periods of normal consciousness. It can be difficult to tell status epilepticus from frequent cluster seizures; but both are considered life-threatening emergencies.

There are phases of seizures:

  • The pre-seizure phase is commonly called the aura.
  • The seizure itself is called ictus.
  • After the seizure, the recovery (post-ictal) period begins.

What you need to do if your dog has a seizure:
Try to remain calm. Don't make any loud noises. To prevent injury to your pet, remove nearby sharp or hard objects (e.g.; tables and chairs). Turn out any bright lights. Observe your pet closely. Keep track of when it started, how long it lasted, and what his/her actions were.
Soothe your pet by gently talking, or petting if you feel no danger.
Call your veterinarian.

I hope this helps someone! Thank you for your info. (05/08/2009)

By Cyndi

Seizures in Dogs?

For the guy that has a Golden Retriever. Seizures are a common genetic defect in those breeds. Even if you pick up your mushrooms you still mow the lawn with a mower and there is still residue of fungus on your ground and you just spread it with a mower. Do the math. Its easy to look at an easy thing to blame things on, and not saying the chemicals don't contribute to it, but there are other things that are also proven you need to look at the entire picture. (10/02/2009)

By earl

Seizures in Dogs?

For the one the has the 8 year old American Eskimo. I'm a 6 generation owner of Spitz dogs. Seizures are common in some of their genetics as well. It has nothing to do with surgeries or Frontline. It has 100 percent to do with genetics, and around the 8 to 9 year old is exactly the time they start to happen and will be something you'll have to deal with until the dog passes on. (10/02/2009)

By earl

Seizures in Dogs?

For all the others pushing blame on the the Frontline product. Do yourself all a huge favor. Allow your vet to do the blood work and see what shows up. If there is traces of the chemical then maybe the dosage wasn't as directed or applied correctly. Also, Frontline gets the blame for a lot of organo phosphate products, but people buy things at Walmart and just call it Frontline when its not. I've used the product since day one and never had a problem ever. You to see the whole story. What else is going on? Did anyone do a EEG? or blood work?

Seizures have too many causes and its just too easy to get on the band wagon to blame something that may or may not of caused your problem. You need to trust your vet and if you don't find a qualified one that will give you an honest answer based on facts and actual tests, not hear say and rumors and internet gossip and bandwagon type issues. No I don't work for Frontline nor do I own stock in the company. I've just seen too many people blaming stuff on something for no reason other than they heard it on the grapevine. And many of those people you can't tell them otherwise because they only want to hear what they want to hear and won't hear anything else.

I've seen people spray their dogs with Sevin bug killer in a liquid form and called it Frontline. Even brought in the product and you still couldn't tell them they poisoned their dog via stupidity. (10/02/2009)

By earl

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