Seizures in miniature poodles are caused by epilepsy, an incurable often hereditary disorder. Epilepsy is one of the most common medical conditions found in miniature poodles, according to the website Bark Bytes. A dog with epilepsy can live a fairly normal life with the appropriate medication and care; however, poodles with epilepsy should not be show dogs, as stress can exacerbate the disorder.
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Miniature poodles are among the breeds that show a genetic predisposition to idiopathic (inherited, genetic) epilepsy, according to current research at Florida State University. Other breeds with this predisposition include beagles, Belgian tervurens, boxers, cocker spaniels, collies, dachshunds, Dalmatians, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Irish setters, Irish wolfhounds, keeshonden, Labrador retrievers, pointers, Saint Bernards, schnauzers, Siberian huskies, vizslas, Welsh springer spaniels and wire fox terriers. Epilepsy can also occur as a result of concussion, poisoning and encephalitis.
Symptoms of epilepsy in miniature poodles come in three stages. The first, aura, includes restlessness, apprehension and sometimes bizarre behaviour like snapping at the air and excessive sniffing. Second comes the rigid phase in which the dog collapses, slobbers, twitches and the pupils dilate. The dog may lose bladder and bowel control during this phase. The third phase is the post-seizure phase. This is the recovery period in which the dog may be confused, wobbly and exhausted. According to the website Canine-epilepsy.com, dogs in a post-seizure recovery period should be kept quiet and calm.
For miniature poodles experiencing less than one seizure per month, treatment may not be necessary. For miniature poodles experiencing more frequent seizures, anti-seizure medications may be required. These medications can be administrated as a powder mixed with food or enclosed in a ball of canned food, according to the website Vet Info.
Miniature poodle seizures, like the seizures of other dogs, can include lungeing and circling behaviours. If the dog is in an unsafe environment---in a room with sharp corners or near a street---the seizure can result in severe injury or death. Be prepared for a potential seizure by familiarising yourself with the early warning signs. Get your dog to an open space and clear away sharp or breakable objects.
According to the DVM 360 website, new anticonvulsant medications have shown promising results in clinical trials. Two of the new drugs under clinical scrutiny, felbamate and zonisamide, showed significant reduction in seizures over nine months, and have longer half-lives than drugs currently on the market (five hours and nine hours, respectively).
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