Did My Dog Have a Seizure? 5 Tell-Tale Signs

dog seizure

Seizures can be scary to experience in person! Sadly, some dog breeds are at a higher risk than others to develop this health condition. While this is true, you can watch for the signs and do something about the condition before it develops into epilepsy.

What Are Seizures?

Seizures are unexplained bursts of brain activity that lead to an epileptic attack. Over a dozen different types of seizures can be deadly and uncomfortable to watch. Dogs, like other animals, can develop and have seizures. Sometimes, dogs have seizures out of the blue and without warning. It does not indicate that there is an underlying condition. However, your vet should still scan your dog’s brain and take diagnostic tests to find the cause.

The most common cause of seizures is overheating and dehydration. Your dog’s body can react to overheating, and a lack of hydration with a seizure, and this can be dangerous, even fatal. The biggest concern about seizures is how your dog reacts to them. The severity and type of seizure can result in head trauma and other health conditions. This is why it is important to go over the five most common signs that your dog has a seizure. Please note, though, it is important to understand that every seizure looks different.

5 Tell-Tale Signs Your Dog is Having a Seizure

Spacing Out

If your dog is suddenly spacing out and is nonreactive, it may be the first sign of a seizure. The first few signs are light. To test and see if your dog is having a seizure, you can call their name and try to get their attention.

The best way to try and get their attention is by giving your dog a favorite treat or toy. They will react to this more. If they do not react, and their eyes are open; they could be spaced out.


The second tell-tale sign that your dog is having a seizure is if they go into shock. This is a state of mind where time almost stops. Shock is not easy to diagnose because everyone goes through it differently. However, if your dog has stopped reacting and their gums are a pale pink color, it could be that they are tensing from shock.

Shock can start during the first few minutes of a seizure or develop in your dog’s final moments with a seizure.


The seizure also causes involuntary muscle twitching, which looks like trembling. Since many dog breeds tremble, this can be a simple sign from those specific dog breeds. However, you should look out for trembling without reason.

If you cannot stop your dog’s frequent trembling, it may be because they have a seizure. Not all canine seizures involve a dog falling to the ground and thrashing. During the trembling stage or sign, it is unlikely that your dog understands they are having a seizure.


For seizures that involve the entire body and brain, your dog can thrash and fall to the floor. This is the most commonly seen type of seizure. It is uncomfortable and dangerous because while your dog is thrashing and moving involuntarily, the activity can hurt their heads.

Try not to secure your dog, however, while they are having an epileptic attack. It is likely that you will hurt yourself while trying to restrain your dog. Keep in mind that seizures are rarely painful.

Eyes Rolling

The fifth sign that your dog is likely having a seizure is that their eyes roll back inside their head as they fall. Your dog’s eyes may also be red and inflamed from the reaction and stress.

What To Do If Your Dog is Having a Seizure

What to do when your dog is having a seizure solely depends on the situation. If your dog is thrashing, you need to let the seizure or epileptic episode end. While it is hard to watch, your dog is okay.

Once your dog stops thrashing, check for any injuries and provide your furry friend with comfort. It is likely that your dog has no idea that they had a seizure or physical reaction at all.

If you want to help your dog so they don’t harm their head or body, you can add cushions and blankets near them for the duration of the seizure.

If your dog has more than one seizure or their health does not improve, you should take them to their vet. Some seizures are one time, while others indicate a serious condition like epilepsy or brain cancer.

Reach Out to Our Animal Hospital in Pewaukee, WI, to Find Out the Cause of Your Dog’s Seizure

Canine epilepsy is hard to watch, but dogs don’t suffer from the condition. When your dog undergoes seizures, there are five signs they display: spacing out, shock, trembling, thrashing, and eye rolling.

Seizures are a serious condition; however, the symptoms pass on their own and dogs don’t feel pain while a seizure is occurring. We recommend that you bring your dog to our Pewaukee, WI, animal hospital to find out the underlying cause.

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Since 1977, Pewaukee Veterinary Services has provided progressive veterinary medicine to pets of Pewaukee and the greater Milwaukee area. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine and alternative therapies aimed at keeping companion animals healthy and happy. Yet, if your pet is ill, there’s no better place to entrust their care. Our animal hospital in Pewaukee not only has the most advanced veterinary equipment in the area, but also the skilled veterinarians and staff to use it.