Dog Manual


Convulsions in their most typical form are characterized by champing of the jaws, foaming at the mouth, falling on the side, involuntary passage of urine and stool, violent shaking movements over the whole body, then moaning, barking, and wild running about, and finally complete collapse or depression. They may occur in varying degrees of severity and any or all of the symptoms stated may present themselves in any one attack. Often, in spite of mild or severe attacks, many animals may appear quite normal between attacks. None the less, a convulsion is a very significant and often ultimately fatal symptom, and no effort at any extensive home treatment should be attempted. A mild sedative such as an aspirin will never do any harm, but it is rather unlikely that it will do any good. A convulsion is a veterinary problem.

Convulsions can come about for a great variety of reasons. They might be due to injury, poisoning from certain chemicals, nervous disorders, brain inflammations due to an infectious disease, certain urinary disturbances, eclampsia, diabetes, foreign bodies in the stomach, or worms.

The treatment of convulsions obviously depends on the cause. Whether or not the treatment can be successful depends upon how readily the cause can be eliminated. As a general rule, in the ordinary case where convulsions appear with increasing frequency, the likelihood of a cure is rather remote. That is why the animal who has convulsions should be brought to a veterinarian at the earliest possible moment. Often the application of quick emergency measures has been able to save many an animal's life when, on the other hand, even a few moments' delay would have so changed the situation that the animal would have had only a limited chance for survival.