Pet first aid: fits and seizures

27 January 2021
Allan Grisdale
dog lying down

Seizures can be distressing to witness, but remember your pet probably isn’t aware of what is happening. Stay calm, keep your pet safe then call your vet for advice.

Keep your pet safe

  • Stay calm – this is very important.
  • Clear a space around your pet so they can’t hurt themselves on any furniture or wires.
  • If they are high up then gently move them down.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Keep noise to an absolute minimum.
  • Keep your pet cool – don’t wrap them up, they can overheat easily during a seizure.
  • Keep children and other pets away from the area.

Monitor the seizure

  • Time the seizure and make a note of how long it lasts.
  • If possible, video the seizure and show it to your vet.
  • Don’t try to restrain your pet – you might accidentally hurt them or they might accidentally hurt you.

Help your pet recover

  • Your pet will probably be very dazed and confused once they stop fitting.
  • Give them somewhere quiet and comfortable to recover.
  • Speak softly and gently to them.
  • Your vet will give you more advice about how to help your pet recover.

Call your vet

  • If your dog has been fitting for more than two minutes or has had more than one seizure in a 24-hour period call your vet straight away.
  • Otherwise, phone your vet for advice once your dog has recovered.
  • Your vet may not tell you to bring your pet in right away – it depends on how long their seizure lasted, how many seizures they have had, and other symptoms they are showing.

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