Fits, as they are referred to in England, occur when the body is not properly controlled by the brain. In the U.S. these fits are more often called seizures. This article is going to help explain and summarize the causes of dog seizures.  

Epileptic Seizures. Epilepsy is a main cause of seizures in dogs, but it is not the only reason and not all seizures mean a dog has epilepsy. The definition of epilepsy was discovered by some people who were on a walk in the woods and happened upon a wolf that was throwing fits, looking as if he were doing some odd dance on a path in the woods. This group told the rangers and since the group was considered a group of idiots, the term used to describe this type of seizure is idiopathic epilepsy. So this story is not completely true, but it sure is more exciting than the real scientific story about how the term was created. Basically, the term “idiopathic epilepsy” really describes any case when a dog has seizures and the experts can’t seem to pinpoint the reason why they are having them.  

Toxic Possibilities. There are many environmental reasons why dogs have seizures since dogs are exposed to so much in their environment that can be toxic. Toxins can be anything from a household cleaning product, somethings used to kill pests or even things like flea medication that is meant to be used on a dog. Other things that are toxins that can bring about seizures, include paint, insecticides and antifreeze, which are also products that can be fatal. If a dog is exposed to such toxins, early and fast treatment is important because in many cases the dog can be saved and make a recovery if the poisoning is caught early.  

Brain Tumors. This condition is easy for a veterinarian to rule out, because it is easy to spot any type of abnormal growth on the canine’s brain if he is brought in for seizures. Tumors cause pressure to build upon the brain tissue as they grow, causing neurological abnormalities such as seizures. This can easily be determined through the use of diagnostic scans such as CAT or MRI, however it must be stated that this is a rare condition in that tumors and other head injuries are only responsible for a very small number of dog seizures. In the case of either a brain tumor or other type of head injury, if a dog is suffering from a seizure that was caused by one of these conditions, anti-epileptic medications will not help.  

Diseases Caused By Ticks. A tick, a bloodsucking arachnid, can cause Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in dogs, both of which can cause seizures. The chance of a dog being infected by one of these diseases can usually be minimized or avoided by removing a tick within 24 hours of attachment. Medication can be quite effective in treated such diseases, including simple antibiotics.  

Distemper. Distemper, in which a fever develops, then diarrhea and dehydration, can cause seizures in dogs, especially puppies, when they lose their maternal antibodies at about the age of 3 months. Only through the use of vaccinations can this debilitating disease be prevented, and once a dog has acquired it, they have a fight ahead for their very lives. 

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