Signs of a Beagle Dog Seizure
Some owners notice that their dog is acting a bit strange and wonder if their Beagle is having “some sort of seizure” and in some cases, they are correct. Mild seizures can cause odd symptoms, and the dog does not need to be having a full body fit.
Here are the most frequent signs:
Staring into space
– This is the one that confuses many owners… Is the dog just staring at a bird that is unseen to humans, listening intently to a sound that we can’t hear or is he actually in a seizure trance? Most Beagles do not have seizures, so owners should not rush to conclusions...Dogs that are looking at something or are listening intently at something often show other signs, they will appear alert and “ready to spring”. However, if a Beagle is having a mild seizure and is in a trance, the dog will truly appear to be in a stupor, unable to respond to his owner, his brain momentarily “frozen”.
– We talk about this in our drooling
section, since some Beagles drool due to exercise, in anticipation of food and/or while sleeping. With a seizure, drool will seep out of the dog’s mouth along with the other symptoms of staring into space or showing odd behavior.
Walking in Place, Odd movements
– During a seizure, as the mind appears to “freeze”, the body can become “stuck” as well. A Beagle may walk in place, seemingly “out of it” and unresponsive to stimuli. There may be other strange movements such as one leg repeatedly swinging out, etc.
– When a Beagle is having a seizure and is staring off or there are odd bodily movements, the #1 key to recognizing this as a symptom of a seizure is that the dog will be unresponsive. Calling his name, clapping or trying to divert his attention will have no effect.
– Appearing confused is common with the onset of seizures, as it often will happen before it progresses. The dog may walk around confused, not respond to his name being called, etc.
– The dog may fall to the ground and limbs may extend out, very rigid.
– Less rare, yet still a sign, is if the dog faints. His body may be rigid as described above or limp.
Types of Seizures with the Beagle Dog
The most common type of epileptic seizure is the Tonic Clonic and it can be a scary event to have to witness. This used to be referred to as grand mal seizures. As the name implies, there are 2 parts to this type:
Phase One – This can range from mild to severe. With mild episodes, the dog will drop to the ground but will be conscious and breathing as normal. With more severe episodes, the Beagle will be unconscious, with legs rigid and may have serious trouble breathing. Owners would be wise to learn canine CPR, because while rare, some dogs only survive due to receiving this.
Phase Two – Upon rising, the dog will show the above listed signs of walking in place and /or drooling. He may also have abnormal mouth movements and the pupils may become enlarged.
This type of Beagle seizure is very fast and some owners can miss it. It can last as little as 15 seconds, in which the dog loses muscle control and often enters a trance like state.
What can cause an owner to be confused about whether or not their Beagle is having a seizure is that it may be a partial one. This can consist of only the odd movements such as repeating a motion over and over, leaving owners wondering if their dog is just acting strange or if there is a serious health issue
happening. In most cases, this will be accompanied by the lack of response that one would normally expect and will be a reason to have the Beagle check by an experienced veterinarian.
Much more rare and not usually a concern for owners of Beagles with seizures is the very serious Status Epilepticus seizure. This is often fatal. A dog will be struck with a seizure so severe that it lasts up to 30 minutes before death occurs. The Tonic Clonic and the Petit Mal types do not progress to this type. The Status Epilepticus form most often is due to poisoning. This ranges from large amounts of chocolate to ingestion of a toxic chemical such as antifreeze.
Immediate Steps to Take if Your Beagle is Having a Seizure
Sometimes a Beagle will have a seizure yet once taken to the veterinarian, the cause is unknown and the vet cannot see any traces of what has happened…Then, owners take the dog home and it happens again without the vet there to see it. For this reason, owners are encouraged to keep paper and a pen nearby so that if a seizure occurs again, as soon as it ends, important notes can be recorded that will help the vet determine what is happening.
Write down: What time it was, how long it lasted for, what your Beagle was doing right before it happened and the exact signs and symptoms that he showed.
During a seizure, owners should:
- Quickly shut off any noises (TV, stereo)
- Turn off bright lights (shut of bright lamps, quickly close window curtains)
- In the Beagle has fallen to the floor, slip a thin pillow under his head
- Move any furniture or other hard objects away from the dog
- Speak in a calm manner
As soon as the seizure is done, bring your Beagle to the veterinarian. If the office is closed, bring your dog to the closest animal hospital. Diagnosing is more accurate and faster if done soon after the event.
Treatment for Beagle Seizures
If a dog suffers seizures due to epilepsy, there are some medications that can control the episodes. The most frequently used medicines are: phenobarbital and potassium bromide, used in combination with each other. Drowsiness is the most common side effect, yet generally lessens as time goes on and the dog’s body adjusts. Most dogs do well with this as long as doses are not missed. There are other options including: Valproic acid, clorazepate and clonazepam.
Holistic Treatments for Beagle Seizures