Seizures in Pekingese Dogs

Seizures are a common problem in Pekingese dogs. The first time a new owner sees their beloved dog have a seizure it can scare her badly, then the dog usually gets up and goes about its business as if nothing happened. Seizures are nothing to take lightly, but having an idea of what causes them, and what you should do when they happen, will prepare you to take the appropriate steps for your Pekingese dog.

  1. Characteristics

    • Seizures get their name because of the way they look. The muscles seize up. Your dog will go stiff and fall to the ground. Its eyes will go blank and glaze over. Its muscles may twitch and spasm, and the eyes may roll back and forth and the lips may curl. It is not doing any of that in response to any stimulus; it is just its muscles seizing up. Seizures come in many levels of severity. Other names for seizures are convulsions and fits. The main characterization of a seizure along with the stiffening muscles is the disconnection of the dog from its surroundings.

    Stages

    • Early stages of a seizure can go un-noticed until owners become aware of the dog's tendency to have them. Your dog may show signs of nervousness and even look for you in anticipation of something being wrong. That is called the pre-ictal stage. Once its eyes glaze the dog completely loses touch with anything around it , and it will not respond to your voice or touch. During the seizure your dog may drool excessively, snarl and even bite at the air. These are common but are not caused by any type of aggression. This is the middle, or height, of the seizure known as the ictal stage. The final period is the post-ictal stage. Your dog slowly regains consciousness and control over its body. The time recovery lasts varies from event to event, and no two seizures are exactly alike. The post-ictal period usually lasts for an hour, but can last as long as two days. Blindness can appear to persist for several minutes after a seizure.

    Causes

    • Most cases of Pekingese seizures involve epilepsy. They are prone to this disease, but under most circumstances, it is not fatal and can be controlled with medicine and care. More-severe causes of seizures in Pekingese dogs are a liver shunt, which is a hereditary disease, or injury. Small dogs, and especially ones with long backs like the Pekingese, should not jump on furniture or from other heights to avoid injuring the spine, which can bring on seizures created by compression of the spine.

    Cures

    • Possible cures for Pekingese dog seizures depends on the cause of the problem. Epilepsy has no cure, but is highly controllable for the lifetime of the dog. Liver shunt problems show up very early in a puppy's life and are very severe. There are surgeries available, but the fact that the shunts are deep inside the liver makes them difficult to access and correct. Injuries that cause seizures usually involve the central nervous system, making them touchy to deal with, but professional chiropractic massage and acupuncture help to alleviate the pressures. In severe cases, surgery is an option.

    What To Do

    • The most important thing to do is find out what is causing the seizure and talk to your vet about what to expect. However, when you experience a seizure in your Pekingese for the first time it usually catches you off guard. You need to stay calm and help your dog through the episode so you can gather it up and get it to the vet afterward. Keep him safe. Make sure there is nothing in the area that will fall on it, or that the dog will cut or bump itself on while in the seizure. Keep anyone away from the area so no one steps on the dog lying on the floor, because it won't be able to get out of the way. Make sure its airway stays clear and it is breathing easily in spite of the seizing.

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References

  • Photo Credit Portrait of pretty pekingese dog image by Stana from Fotolia.com

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