Seizures in dogs may present as staring, uncoordinated movements, barking or growling, or convulsions. Dog seizures are most commonly associated with a condition called canine epilepsy, but they can also occur along with other medical disorders, such as diabetes, brain tumors, and cancer. According to the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine, epilepsy is more common in dogs than in other animals, and may affect as many as 4 percent of all dogs. Some breeds have a higher incidence of the disorder.
Treat any underlying disease causing the seizures, such as a brain tumor. In most causes, when a cause of seizures is identified, treatment of the cause will cure the seizures. Other conditions that may cause seizures in dogs include diabetes, liver disorders, congenital defects, toxins, brain damage caused by impaired blood flow, kidney disease, heart problems, and low calcium in nursing females.
Keep a detailed record of your dog's seizures. This can help identify any possible triggers, such as stress, activity, or infection. Identifying and avoiding triggers can reduce, or even eliminate seizures in dogs.
Give your dog anti-seizure medications to control the seizures. These medications can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, and in some cases may stop them completely. Phenobarbital, potassium bromide, and diazepam (Valium) are commonly prescribed medications for canine seizure control.
Ask your veterinarian to review your dog's medication if seizures do not improve once a therapeutic dose is reached. A change in medication may be required.
Try vagus nerve stimulation. Not much is known about its use or effectiveness in dogs, but some large veterinarian practices and universities use this treatment option when medications fail to improve symptoms. A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed the procedure is a safe and effective option for some dogs.