What Triggered A Seizure in My Dog?

Your dog just had a seizure. Or, maybe this is not the first one. The first thing always is to contact your veterinarian. If it is a first-time seizure, your vet may say "wait-and-see" if there is another.  This is a fairly common practice. Typically, a vet will need to run some tests, including bloodwork, and these are important in helping to diagnose and treat your Epi-dog.  

Once you've contacted your vet, take some time to think about what your dog was doing or eating prior to the seizure. Was s/he outside? Inside? Did s/he go by any plants or in the garage? Was hot or cold out? Any construction going on? Was your dog sick lately or acting differently? Any new scents around, like a new room freshener or candle burning? What was s/he eating prior? All of these things are important to note so you can inform your veterinarian.

The list of possible triggers or causes is staggering. And not all seizures are Canine Epilepsy. The most important thing to do if your dog has a seizure, is call the vet immediately! While Canine Epilepsy can be deemed “idiopathic” or no known cause, a good tip is to try and rule out any possible causes/triggers, starting with a vet work-up to rule out any illness or injury.
Below are some, but not limited to, top triggers for seizures in dogs:
  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Brain Tumor
  • Genetics
  • Food (some dogs have allergies to our go-to of chicken and beef)
  • Food/Treat Additives (gluten, rosemary, preservatives, colors)
  • Medicinal Side Effect
  • Vaccine Side Effect
  • Thyroid Imbalance
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Ingested, Inhaled, or Applied Toxins (including rawhides, flea and tick repellents, scented candles, room fresheners, perfumes, certain essential oils such as Rosemary, Fennel, Sage, Eucalyptus, Spike Lavender*, Tea Tree Oil, Hyssop, Wormwood, and Camphor)
  • Environmental Toxins (pesticides, herbicides, automotive fluids, polluted water sources, etc.)
  • Stress
  • Overheating
  • Weather and Atmospheric Changes
  • Lunar Phases, Solar Flares, and Eclipses
  • Flashing and Strobe Lights
  • Fireworks

Note: *Spike Lavender is not to be confused with traditional Lavender. Traditional Lavender (NOT Spike) can have a calming, relaxing effect. As always, check with your vet before using Lavender or any essential oils. 


A good informational article "Adverse Effects of Essential Oils and Herbs" can be found over at the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels site. 

As always, talk with your vet who knows your dog. Go over the dog's record and if there is no obvious cause for the seizures (illness, injury), or your dog is diagnosed as having Idiopathic Epilepsy, then discuss the list of possible triggers and begin eliminating them.

Remember, there is no cure for Epilepsy. But along with your vet's recommended medication(s), in addition to possibly adding natural supplements, having a good nutrition and a healthy diet plan, as well as exploring alternative therapies (acupuncture, massage, Reiki, cold laser treatments, ocular compression, etc.), hopefully--together with your dog's vet--you can find a regimen that works to help manage your Epi-dog's seizures to help give him or her the best life possible  life while living with Epilepsy. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we can't. But a great place to start is to be aware of triggers and work toward removing the ones you can.

While we do all we can to help our Epi-dogs, not every Epi will respond to every treatment. And there is no one-size-fits-all. So it is important to monitor your Epi-dog and stay in touch with your veterinarian. If you feel your vet is not experienced in the neurological field, please find one who is. And, keep in mind, it may take time to add, minus, or change your Epi-dog's regimen to find one that best helps your dog.

About the Author, Dorothy "FiveSibesMom," visit HERE.



For additional information on Canine Epilepsy, please visit our #FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Online Resource Library 

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  1. That is so much useful information, I'm certain others will be helped by it.

  2. I can't believe how many things could trigger a seizure! That is just so scary to see I'm sure, but knowledge gives you power and can ultimately give you peace of mind. Thanks for this essential information for dogs with Epilepsy.

  3. This is such terrific information! I had no idea how many things could trigger a seizure in a dog. I would definitely be rushing my pup to the vet if he had a seizure. I would probably have one along with him just in fear and sympathy. You have such an amazing library of knowledge to share with the world. What a gift of light you are to so many dog parents who are scared out of their mind (which would be me). I'm sharing this with all my dog parents!

    P.S. I just adore seeing the photos of Gibson! What a legacy! ❤️


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