A seizure is a temporary involuntary disturbance of normal brain function, usually accompanied by uncontrollable muscle activity. Your veterinarian has diagnosed your pet with epilepsy, which is simply a term used to describe repeated episodes of seizures. Different dogs have different seizure patterns. Your pet’s seizures may occur in clusters; they may be infrequent or unpredictable, or they may occur in regular intervals. While there are many causes of epilepsy in dogs – including liver disease, brain trauma and exposure to toxins – the most common form of epilepsy is idiopathic epilepsy, an inherited disorder with no identifiable structural cause. The list of breeds susceptible to idiopathic epilepsy is long and the specific biomechanisms behind seizures – both human and canine – are not yet fully understood.
Like the variance in seizure patterns, there are also different types of common seizures, ranging from “zoning out” to fly-snapping to full-body convulsions. Vets can prescribe medication to treat a variety of seizure types.