How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

How to Treat a Dog That Has Convulsions/Seizures

A female veterinarian giving drops of essential oil to a cat.
A seizure can be fatal to a cat. CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

A convulsion or seizure is the result of constant electrical firing of the muscles of the body from the brain. Convulsions are rarely fatal, and most last only a few minutes. A typical seizure is then followed by 15 minutes to a half hour of recovery time, during which period the dog may be dazed and confused.

Not all seizures are due to epilepsy. Some are caused by lead or other poisons, liver diseases, and even brain tumors. Seizures or convulsions should never be taken lightly. The problem should be discussed with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


The most important thing to do if your dog is experiencing a seizure is to protect it from self-injury. Be patient, don't panic, and use the following tips to provide proper care.

Step 1: DO NOT place your fingers or any object in the dog's mouth.

Step 2: Pull the dog away from walls and furniture to prevent self-injury.

Step 3: Seizures can raise your dog's body temperature fast, so don't wrap the dog in a blanket or towel for comfort until the seizure is over. Instead, place cool washcloths on his feet to help keep his temperature from rising.

Step 4: After the seizure has stopped, contact your veterinarian for further instructions. You can now wrap your dog in a towel or blanket to comfort him after the seizure he's alert.

Step 5: If you're able to, time your dog's seizure. If it lasts less than 2 minutes, he should be OK but you should still consult with your veterinarian. If it lasts between 2 and 5 minutes, this is starting to hit the warning zone and you dog should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, he needs to be treated by your veterinarian immediately.

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