Dog Muscle Spasms

A situation in which a dog has seizures, let’s say, is quite unpleasant, both for itself and for its owners, especially if this has not happened before. It is not surprising that most owners start to panic and either act incorrectly or even fall into a stupor. Which of the options is worse is hard to say. In any case, the priority is to help the pet, how to do it, and whether it is possible to cope on our own, we will figure it out right now.

Types of seizures in dogs

In order to understand what the owner is dealing with, he must know as much as possible about such attacks. So, cramps are muscle contractions, which are accompanied by painful sensations, and in some cases even bring the dog to loss of consciousness. These phenomena are caused by disturbances in the pet’s brain. The spasms experienced by the dog can be divided as follows.


This refers to spasms, usually of the pet’s hind legs, which “jam” the dog’s muscles in one position (extended or bent) for a fairly long period of time.

Clonic character

They are short-term spasms, which are replaced by relaxation, but after a while they repeat again.

Epileptic seizures

In this case, the dog has frequent convulsions, a kind of twitching, and foam from the mouth (or abundant saliva) while it remains unconscious.


A situation when all the muscles of the body are abruptly contracted, while the pet remains conscious and feels everything.

If the spasms do not spread throughout the body, but affect, for example, only the muscles of the front or hind legs, so-called localized cramps occur. In the opposite case, they are called generalized.

In such a situation, in principle, any dog, and the animal as a whole, can find itself, however, there are some breeds that are at risk.

Miniature dogs (especially males)

Seizures in a small dog can occur several times more often than in large breeds due to a higher predisposition to epilepsy, in addition, there may be eclampsia, that is, a lack of calcium, or hypoglycemia – a lack of glucose in the body.

It also includes dachshunds, poodles, collies and huskies (they are also more likely to have epilepsy than other breeds).

Cause of seizures in a dog

You need to know that convulsions out of the blue cannot occur. Such a phenomenon is the result of the organism on the disease. Let’s consider some possible reasons.


It does not matter whether it is hereditary or acquired as a result of head injuries, the presence of infection, tumors, and more. During such an attack, the dog loses consciousness, and there is also uncontrolled urination or defecation. There may also be foam from the mouth and nostrils, the gaze is directed nowhere. Essentially, the dog is passed out.

The reason is poisoning

The dog could eat poison, for example, arsenic, rat poison, or other chemicals, in which case the convulsions will be accompanied by shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness, bleeding. Also, the mucous membrane will turn pale.


It is a complication in diabetes mellitus, although it can also be observed in a healthy individual. If the dog has a lack of glucose in the body, this will not only lead to seizures, but can also cause paralysis of the limbs or coma. Mild symptoms include foaming at the mouth, lethargy, lethargy, and chills.

Various infections

This includes viruses, bacteria and fungi. There are a lot of diseases that can cause seizures in a dog, it can be listed for a long time. For example, the reason could be

  • ehrlichiosis (occurs after a tick bite)
  • infectious enteritis
  • coronavirus infection
  • leptospirosis, and many other ailments

If a pet has an infectious disease, then in addition to seizures, it will also have:

  • heat
  • runny nose
  • eyes will water
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • lethargy
  • lack of appetite (including avoiding water)
The presence of inflammatory processes

A dog can also have seizures with the following diseases

  • nephritis
  • meningitis
  • hepatitis

By their nature, they are non-infectious, but they cause problems and discomfort to the pet. In addition, if they are not treated in time, they can cause more serious consequences.

Disrupted metabolism

In such a situation, the pet usually has involuntary convulsions from time to time, however, they usually suffer from excess weight and a constant feeling of thirst. They have problems with digestion and skin, increased fatigue.

Heart disease

In addition to seizures, heart dogs also suffer from coughing and shortness of breath. They usually have a bluish tongue and mucous membranes.


If a dog has an oncological disease of the brain, then seizures (and quite serious and severe), unfortunately, are their constant companions. They also have a sluggish gait, it seems that the dog will fall, the appetite is lost, weight loss occurs, and also inappropriate behavior on the face (falling into a state of aggression, the pet quickly becomes affectionate again).

How to provide first aid for a dog’s seizure

The best decision is to take the dog to the vet. But, this is after the attack, but what to do during it?

First, you need to stop panicking, and not fall near your pet.

  • you need to take a close look at the muscle groups that are “jammed” by the spasm, perhaps the whole body, or, on the contrary, its individual parts. And it is important to understand whether the pet is conscious
  • if the dog starts having convulsions when, for example, it was on the couch, it should be immediately transferred to the floor (while turning it over on its right side), but not on a hard surface, but, for example, on a thick blanket or pillow, otherwise it may be injured
  • no need to shove foreign objects into the pet’s mouth, like a spoon or fingers, so that he does not swallow his tongue. As a rule, in this state, he is simply not capable of this, but he is provided with extra discomfort.
  • it is advisable not to make noise (do not shout, turn off the TV, radio, and other loud objects) since it is believed that this is negatively displayed on the animal, continuing its torment

After the attack has passed, it is not recommended to feed the dog right away, however, you need to give it as much water as it wants.

Properly provided first aid for seizure attacks in a dog can literally save his life, and additional information about his condition during an attack when meeting with a veterinarian will help to make a diagnosis much faster.

After the examination, a specialist can prescribe a number of medications or injections, depending on the complexity of the situation.

In no case is he engaged in self-medication, otherwise the consequences can be quite serious and undesirable. At the same time, you should call the veterinarian and call him at home if:

  • the attack lasts more than 10 minutes (usually it lasts no more than five)
  • the pet has lost consciousness (do not wait for it to come to its senses, call every minute counts)
  • if, before the onset of the seizure, the condition of the dog already aroused suspicion (presence of diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, etc.)
  • if seizures occur more than twice in one day
  • if seizures are observed in puppies and older dogs.

Of course, every loving owner is ready to give everything just to stop the torment of his pet, but unfortunately, there is not always the possibility of real help on the spot. However, you should not fall into despair and despair, because everyone is able to provide accompanying help, support and also correctly taken measures if the pet is sick.

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