What to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure

What to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure

I'll never forget the 2015 duck opener.

After a fruitful morning, my younger dog, Blitz, began whining. I brushed it off until he began twitching — spasms that started and stopped just as suddenly. It was time to go.


Halfway back to the pickup truck, he convulsed hard and fell over. His body turned rigid, eyes bulged, mouth foamed, and his bladder emptied.



if-your-duck-dog-has-a-seizure

Blitz was having a seizure, and I had no idea what to do. Since then, I've become considerably more educated on the subject, and here's how you should respond.


1. Don't Panic

The worst thing you can do when your dog has a seizure is panic and start yelling for help. Yes seizures are traumatic, but you're not doing any good by freaking out. I should have calmly sat beside my dog and talked to him in a low, soothing voice until the seizure subsided.


2. Keep Your Distance

I was worried Blitz wasn't breathing, so as he was seizing and started to come to I put my ear directly next to his mouth. This was foolish. Dogs are completely disoriented when they come out of a seizure and may snap or bite. Blitz, however, could barely open his mouth. I got off lucky.

3. Find Some Shade

It was an abnormally warm day for late September in North Dakota and after we got Blitz back to the truck, I set him on the road — in the sun. What I found out later from my vet was dogs can overheat during a seizure. Blitz couldn't pant at the time, so I didn't know he was probably burning up inside. Get your dog to shade or, better yet, the air-conditioned cab of your truck. Running cool water on paws works, too.

4. Call The Vet

Don't waste time talking to anyone but a veterinarian. Ours directed us to watch Blitz for the next several hours. If he wasn't close to normal within two hours — walking around, more "with it," and able to drink or eat on his own — we needed to bring him in. And if another seizure occurred during the following 24 hours, that was an emergency situation.

The Result

Blitz recovered by the time we arrived home, and to this day he's had no long-term effects. However, that lone instance was an eye-opener.

Seizures in dogs are not all that uncommon. In fact, some breeds can be genetically predisposed to them, including Labrador retrieves, golden retrievers and various spaniel varieties. A vet will be able to run blood tests to find that out, and there are prescriptions that can help.

Blitz's incident, however, was nutrition related. The vet believed his electrolytes were out of whack. Going forward, I was instructed to feed him in the morning before the hunt, bring granola bars along as snacks during the day, and always keep some corn syrup on hand. If Blitz started showing signs of seizing again, some corn syrup dabbed on the gums would help alleviate or shorten the seizure.

Seizures aren't something to be taken lightly, so be sure you're prepared to take care of your hunting partner if the unthinkable happens afield.

Recommended for You

Stories

The Accidental Duck Dog

Jack Ballard

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl.

For Dogs

Dog Discipline Tips & Gear

Joe Genzel - June 20, 2019

Take it from a pro: Less is more.

Recipes

Sweet JalapeƱo Grilled Duck Recipe

Scott Leysath, "The Sporting Chef"

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeƱos in this duck recipe will...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Women's Waterfowl Lineup

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture-wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways!

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

Swedish Duck Hunt

Kevin Steele takes part in a family driven duck hunt in Sweden.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Accessories

8 Best Choke Tubes for 2017

Wildfowl Online Staff - October 25, 2017

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun...

Calls

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

Clothing & Waders

New SITKA Women's Waterfowl Lineup for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full...

See More Stories

More Retriever

Retriever

Daily Drills for Duck Dog Consistency

Tom Dokken

Training never ends - try these quick drills.

Retriever

Don't Sleep on Summer Dog Training

Tom Dokken - April 25, 2018

Summer dog training, while difficult to get motivated for, can be key in getting ready...

Retriever

3 Duck Dog Drills to Practice Every Month

Tom Dokken

Make time for these three drills every month, and watch your pup prosper.

See More Retriever

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×