Vizsla dogs are famous for being intelligent, loyal, and friendly companions. But, unfortunately, they’re also prone to epilepsy, a condition that can be difficult to diagnose and manage without the proper knowledge. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Vizsla is prone to epilepsy, as well as some ways in which you can help your dog with it.
Epilepsy is a widespread condition in Vizsla dogs. There is an estimation that 15% of the Vizsla population suffers from idiopathic epilepsy at some point in their life. Usually, it means that there’s no specific cause for the seizures. They’re generally random.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what epilepsy is and whether or not your Vizsla dog may be prone to it.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures to occur repeatedly and unpredictably across all breeds. Moreover, it’s a neurological condition. Usually, attacks occur due to unusual and excessive electrical discharges in the brain.
Thus, these disruptions can cause strange sensations, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. However, not all forms of epilepsy will affect dogs in this way.
Is Your Vizsla Dog Prone To Epilepsy?
Vizslas are among the breeds most susceptible to epilepsy – an illness that causes dogs, cats, humans, and other animals seizures.
Usually, Vizslas are prone to seizures after the age of six months. However, there have been cases where young puppies as early as two weeks old experience their first seizure.
However, the cause why Vizslas are prone to epilepsy is still not specific. Epilepsy may genetically predispose them to the illness. But it could also be due to injury or malnutrition during their early life.
Vizsla Epilepsy is the most often the result of an underlying cause like head trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), idiopathic epilepsy, or some form of metabolic imbalance.
Epilepsy is a disease that affects many animals and humans alike – but it’s not common among Vizslas.
In fact, on average, one in every 500 Vizsla dogs has the disease.
However, this number is much higher among Vizslas that are show/working stock because of their work and lifestyle.
Types Of Epilepsy In Vizsla
There are types of epilepsy that can hamper your Vizsla. Those are idiopathic epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and head trauma.
Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common type of epilepsy in Vizsla dogs. Unfortunately, it’s also one that can be very difficult to diagnose and treat because there isn’t a clear cause or trigger for it – such as an injury, infection, or toxin exposure.
PTSD is one of the most common types of epilepsy among Vizslas. Usually, this can happen at any time in a dog’s life and as long as two months after an incident that causes it to develop. It often occurs when there has been some physical or emotional trauma with no warning signs beforehand.
A dog with head trauma can have seizures as a result of slight brain damage. It is often the case when hit by a car or other vehicle, fallen from heights, and even shaken too vigorously.
Types Of Seizures Vizsla Suffer From
There are two types of seizures, generalized and focal. Generalized seizures cause the whole body to convulse, while a focal seizure only affects one part of the brain.
The latter is more common in Vizslas. As such, epileptic dogs with this type often show signs for no apparent reason instead of being triggered by some stimulus.
Generalized Seizures In Vizsla:
Generalized seizures are common in Vizsla dogs. Unfortunately, they’re also ones that can be difficult to treat because they affect multiple parts of the body at once and may even result in breathing problems, loss of consciousness, or other serious side effects.
Focal Seizures In Vizslas:
These types of seizures often happen without a single sign of any kind beforehand. They’re also ones that are more difficult to detect in your dog because they may seem like a brief loss or slight behavior change.
What Causes Epilepsy?
As mentioned, the leading cause of epilepsy is anonymous. However, there are some common causes that we do know about in dogs and cats: metabolic disorders, head trauma, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Based on blood tests, MRI scans, or other diagnostic procedures your veterinarian may prescribe, a vet can determine what’s causing epilepsy in Vizslas and start treatment.
The most prevalent causes of epilepsy in Vizsla are:
Low Blood Sugar:
As with humans, dogs can suffer from low blood sugar.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes around your dog’s brain and spinal cord known as meninges. The most common causes include bacterial or viral infections such as distemper and rabies.
Dogs can also suffer from kidney failure, which results in toxic substances building up in their system.
A brain tumor is a secondary growth that often occurs in dogs with certain types of epilepsy.
Can We Cure Epilepsy In Vizsla?
Unfortunately, not yet. But there are some things you can do to help your pet live with epilepsy as best they can.
It’s essential to have a pre-emptive plan in place and know what you need to do should an epileptic attack occur. Moreover, there’s no cure for idiopathic epilepsy. But you can stop the seizures with treatment.
For example, the vet prescribes certain drugs to control an epileptic dog’s condition. Thus, these drugs prevent Vizsla’s body from convulsing at random intervals during waking hours.
There are ways you can look after your Vizsla with epilepsy, like by providing a safe environment for them to live in and taking regular checkups with your vet.
How To Prevent Epilepsy In Vizsla?
There is no sure way to prevent epilepsy in your dog. However, there are some lifestyle changes and precautions you can take:
Keep Your Dog At A Healthy Weight:
Overweight dogs have a much higher chance of developing seizures than those that maintain their weight well. Therefore, feed them healthy, unprocessed food and avoid foods with high-fat content.
Ensure They Get Adequate Exercise:
Vizslas are vocal and energetic breeds. That means they need plenty of exercise to burn off some steam and keep them fit and healthy still. So, take your dog out for long walks at least twice a day. You can also play with them in the garden every now again.
Keep Them Hydrated:
When your dog has epilepsy, it must drink plenty of water to prevent seizures. In addition, water helps flush out toxins in the dog’s body and maintain a healthy weight.
Give Them Treats To Chew On:
Dogs with epilepsy have a higher risk of choking, so it’s essential always to watch them when they’re eating. Also, avoid giving your dog bones as these can lead to blocked airways and other serious problems. But it is vital to provide them with treats and chews as it’s a great way to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
How Long Can Vizsla Dogs Live With Idiopathic Epilepsy?
The average life expectancy for a Vizsla with idiopathic epilepsy is about 14-16 years. But can be as long as 20 years depending on how well they manage it and whether or not they develop other health issues.
How To Tell If A Dog Is Having An Epileptic Attack?
It’s not always easy to tell when a dog is suffering from an epileptic seizure. However, there are some signs to look out for:
Stumbling Or Falling Over For No Reason:
If your Vizsla suddenly falls over and looks like they’re unable to control their limbs, it could be due to epilepsy or another neurological disorder. You can also think about if you see dilation of their eyes.
Loss Of Consciousness:
If your dog suddenly loses consciousness, it could be due to epilepsy, especially if they start shaking and convulsing simultaneously. If you see these signs call a vet immediately as it’s vital to keep them safe during an attack.
Foaming At The Mouth:
If your dog’s mouth starts to foam, it could be a sign of an epileptic seizure. Keep Vizslas in a safe place and keep away any sharp objects that they may harm themselves on.
How Can I Help My Vizsla With Epilepsy?
The most important thing you can do is provide a loving, stable home for your pet. It will help them feel safe. So, Vizslas will be less likely to have seizures due to the stress caused by moving homes or other changes in their environment. It’s also essential that you take them for regular checkups with your vet.
The following are some steps you may find helpful:
- First, put away any objects on the floor so that if your dog does fall, it won’t knock them over – ensure any furniture is stable.
- Keep your dog’s sleep area as quiet and dark as possible to reduce the chances of a seizure happening.
- Keep an eye out for symptoms that may indicate one coming on, like unusual behavior or mood changes.
It’s also important to know what kind of seizures your Vizsla has so you can be aware of any unusual symptoms.
Summing up, Vizsla dogs can be prone to idiopathic epilepsy. The critical thing you should remember is that it’s not always possible to prevent them from suffering a seizure. But there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of one happening. And it will help your pet live as best they can with their condition.