How to Handle Pet Seizures
Experiencing a pet seizure can be scary. This is particularly true if the seizures keep coming or last longer than 5 minutes, indicating a pet emergency is underway. Knowing how to move your seizing pet into the car to bring him or her in for emergency care is important, and it may save your pet’s life.
Pet Seizures: An Emergency?
Despite how unsettling a seizing pet can be, not all seizures dictate the need for emergency care. If your pet has been diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s likely you know what constitutes an emergency and you can act accordingly to your pet’s situation. But if this is a new experience for you and your pet, take a deep breath and see what happens before rushing your pet in for emergency care.
If the episode is brief (30 seconds to 2 minutes) and is isolated, then it is likely you can wait to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian during his or her regular office hours. Of course, you are always welcome to call, just to be certain that care can wait.
However, if the seizures continue to come, particularly at increasing intervals, or are lasting 5 minutes or longer, then it is likely that emergency care will be required. In this instance we encourage you to call us at (248) 334-6877 for a consultation and further instructions.
Moving Your Pet During a Seizure
Keeping both you and your pet safe during a seizure is very important. This is especially true during transport. But how do you move a pet that is seizing, especially if your pet is larger than you?
- Know that your pet is not in control of his or her body and be aware of the possibility that he or she may bite you during a seizure. Take reasonable precautions against this happening.
- Do not muzzle your pet, as vomiting may occur and the muzzle may lead to choking and asphyxiation if the vomit cannot be dispelled.
- If possible, seek help in moving your pet during this type of emergency.
- If possible, use your pet’s crate for transport, but not at the risk of injury to you or your pet.
- For smaller and mid-sized pets, a sturdy blanket can often be used to cradle or hammock your pet between two people out to the car.
- For large pets, use a large piece of sturdy wood, a sled or toboggan, or other large flat surface to fashion a stretcher for transport.
- When moving your pet, be extremely gentle and only drag he or she by his or her hindquarters.
- Keep your pet confined while in the car, but do not strap your pet into or onto its surface, as severe injury could occur.
- Have someone accompany you to the vet so one of you can monitor your pet’s status and vitals while the other drives.
- Drive safely. Sharp turns and sudden stops could put your pet in danger.
If you have any other questions about moving your pet during a seizure, or about the symptoms your pet is experiencing before, during, or after a seizure, please do not hesitate to contact us for help.
Unless your pet has been diagnosed with epilepsy and you have been through a seizure before, experiencing a pet seizure can be scary. This is particularly true if the seizures keep coming or last longer than five minutes, indicating a pet emergency is well underway. Knowing how to move your seizing pet—without hurting you both—into the car to bring him or her in for emergency care is important, and may save your pet’s life.