What toxins can make a dog have a seizure?

What toxins can make a dog have a seizure? It is one of the most commonly reported disorders of the nervous system in dogs. Seizures, also known as convulsions or fits, are a brief loss of consciousness accompanied by uncontrollable muscle activity.

The term “epilepsy” refers to seizures that occur on a regular basis. Seizures in epilepsy can happen alone or in groups, and they can happen at random or at regular intervals.

Caffeine, dark chocolate, mushrooms, theobromine, ethanol, and xylitol, according to veterinarians, can cause seizures in your dog.

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because of theobromine. Ethanol is found in foods like apples, grapes, orange juice, sweetened milk rolls, and burger rolls, as well as hand sanitizers, solvents, and fuels. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener found in gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste, among other things.

Unfortunately, xylitol is more toxic and can cause seizures, vomiting, convulsions, weakness, lack of coordination/susceptibility, and even throw your dog into a coma. If you feel your pet has eaten any of these foods, contact your veterinarian.

Also, make sure your dog isn’t eating anything with hazardous components. Always inspect your dog’s food before giving it to him.

Other causes:

“Seizures” can be caused by a variety of factors. “Idiopathic epilepsy”, a hereditary disorder with no known etiology, is frequent cause of “seizures” in dogs.

Other factors that may cause it to include liver hepatic problems, URI disorders, brain tumors, neurological trauma, and dangerous substances. Seizures are widespread in dogs, whether their mental activity changes during urinating or feeding or while they are asleep or awake. What toxins can make a dog have a seizure?

Between seizures, infected dogs may appear completely normal. Seizures in dogs are more usually induced by external sources such as sickness, brain injury, or poisons than by a hereditary trait. Epileptic seizures in your dog or cat might be caused by problems in the brain (intracranial causes) or elsewhere in the body (extracranial causes).

  • Consumption of toxins
  • Hepatitis
  • Abnormal sugar levels
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Deficiency of blood
  • Inflammation of the tissues of the brain
  • Tumors of the brain

Seizures in healthy dogs are not necessarily caused by toxins. If your dog has a severe head injury, kidney disease, high or low blood sugar, anemia, electrolyte imbalance, liver disease, or embolism, he or she may have a seizure.

Grand mal, idiopathic epilepsy, psychomotor, and focal seizures are some of the several types of seizures that can occur. Abnormal electrical activity in your dog’s brain causes a severe seizure, which is quite common. It can last anywhere between a few seconds and several minutes.

Psychomotor seizures lead your dog to rush about, chase its tail excessively, or bite imagined objects. Focal seizures affect only one side of the brain.

When there is no recognized cause for a seizure, it is called idiopathic epilepsy. Your dog may be more prone to idiopathic epilepsy if it is a Collie, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Belgian Travertine, or Beagle.

Seizure phases in dogs:

  • Sudden change in the behavior of a dog including confusion, widely opened eyes, fear of people, and rushing its owner is known as the “pre-ictal stage”. It can make your dog nervous, agitated, cry, shake, or cause your saliva to burn. It can be anything from a few seconds to several hours long. As though the dog is anticipating something, this time happens before the occupation activity.
  • The second phase is called “ictal phase”. The time of this may vary from few seconds to minutes and assume many different forms. Dizziness, lightheadedness, aimless staring, lip licking, and entire loss of consciousness and bodily function to complete loss of consciousness and bodily function are all possible symptoms of the ictal phase. During that the body muscles and tissues of a dog move fast and unpredictably if he has a severe mild seizure or a complete loss of consciousness. Mostly the animal lose his/her consciousness and fall on the ground and head is frequently yanked backward. Urine, feces, and saliva may all be burned. The dog is termed to have epilepsy or a prolonged seizure if the seizure does not terminate within five minutes.

Confusion, disorientation, salivation, speed, anxiety, and even brief blindness might occur during the post-ictal period or shortly after the seizure ends. There is no link between the intensity of the seizure and the length of time spent in the postoperative phase.

Other substances that cause seizures in dogs include:

Antifreeze is another substance to be careful about. Antifreeze’s principal constituent, ethylene glycol, can create calcium oxalate crystals in your dog’s kidneys as well as severe renal damage. Automotive radiator coolants, brake fluid, decking materials, paints, solvents, and wood stains all contain antifreeze. What toxins can make a dog have a seizure?

Antifreeze poisoning can cause vomiting, lethargy, increased urine and thirst, and intoxication in dogs. You must take your dog to the veterinarian between eight to fifteen hours of admission. Otherwise, renal failure can occur, which can result in death. Keep your dog out of the way when using antifreeze so he doesn’t come into contact with it.

How painful are seizures for dogs?

The seizures are not painful, despite their dramatic and violent look; however, the dog may become confused and scared. Dogs do not swallow their tongues during seizures, contrary to popular perception. You will not help your dog if you put your fingers or something else in his mouth, and you risk being badly bitten or wounded by him. The main goal is to keep the dog from falling or harming itself in order for it to drop something on itself.

A dog’s safety is rarely jeopardized by a single seizure. The body temperature begins to rise if the “seizures” persist longer than a few minutes. If hyperthermia (high body temperature) occurs as a result of a stroke, a new set of issues must be addressed.

When should I contact my veterinarian?

The majority of seizures are brief, lasting less than two minutes, and if treated properly, the pet can return to a regular life. Seizures can be dangerous to one’s health because it effects the brain and nervous system. If a dog suffers prolonged seizures such as for 15 to 20 minutes, it might cause catastrophic brain damage.

If your dog has a brief seizure and recovers quickly, contact your veterinarian to inform them of the situation. Your veterinarian may advise you to bring your dog in for an examination, or they may put a note in your dog’s file and ask you to bring your dog in if this happens again. Because of the underlying disorders, some dogs will suffer seizures for the rest of their lives.

How do veterinarians check dogs who are having seizures?

Your veterinarian will take a comprehensive medical history if the dog has had a seizure, focusing on any possible toxic or hallucinogenic exposure as well as any previous injury in the head. A vet will thoroughly examine the dog and prescribe different tests to conduct such as body and nervous fluid tests. What toxins can make a dog have a seizure?

These tests will confirm the diagnosis that if a dog is suffering from “seizure” or not. If your dog does not take heartworm medication on a monthly basis, a heartworm test will be done.

Due to the severity and frequency of the seizures, a more extensive diagnosis may be required if these tests come back clear and there is no sign of poisoning or recent trauma. Convulsions that happen once or twice per month aren’t as annoying.

However, as time goes on, a dog gets frequent shots of the illness. In such cases, the through examination of spinal fluid is recommended. Based on availability at the reference center or private clinic, specific procedures or treatments can be prescribed to control the condition.

Treatment of seizures:

There are some drugs that are commonly used to treat this disease such as “phenobarbital” and “potassium bromide”. Other anticonvulsants are being researched, and new anticonvulsants such as “zonisamide” and “levetiracetam” are becoming more widely used.

When a dog’s response to normal treatment is unsatisfactory, combination therapy is frequently performed. Anticonvulsant medication should last a lifetime once started.

There is an indication that giving antidepressant medication to a pet and then stopping it increases the dog’s chances of having more violent convulsions. Using of anticonvulsant drugs in dogs without the prescription of a qualified vet can also cause seizures. So, never use such medication without consulting your vet.


Seizures in dogs can take many different forms, some of which are more severe than others, but the majority of them are relatively brief. You may notice muscle spasms or uncontrollable tremors if your dog is suffering a seizure, but seizures can also entail a loss of consciousness, odd eye movements, or lethargy. If you feel your dog has had a seizure, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. What toxins can make a dog have a seizure?

Toxins should be kept away from your dog because they might cause seizures and other health issues. If your dog has seizures or other symptoms as a result of an accident, calm him down and contact a veterinarian right away for treatment options. You’ll have a higher chance of keeping your dog healthy and living a long, healthy, and happy life if you take the appropriate steps.

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