Symptoms of Seizures in a Labrador Dog

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Symptoms of Seizures in a Labrador Dog
Unfortunately, epilepsy is more common in purebred Labradors than in many other breeds. (Labrador image by Seb from

All breeds of dog can suffer from seizures, but seizures are more common in some breeds, including Labradors. The most common cause of seizures in Labradors is epilepsy. Your vet can treat chronic epilepsy with anti-convulsive medication. Some epileptic dogs may have regular seizures, while other dogs may have one or two isolated incidents. Other causes of seizures include tumours, injury, and canine distemper.

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Erratic Eye Movement

Seizures result from excessive electrical activity in the brain. One of the early signs of this is erratic eye movement. Your dog's eyes may at first appear to be following a fly or a shadow, but prolonged erratic eye movement is often an early warning sign of a seizure.

Excessive Licking

Lick smacking is normal after a meal or drink, but unusually frequent lip licking can also be an early warning sign of a seizure. Be especially attentive if your dog exhibits excessive licking and erratic eye movement together.


Seizures cause a dog's muscles to go into spasm. Often, the muscle spasms can occur before the convulsive episode. Twitching around the mouth or jerky head movements, especially when combined with other early warning signs, typically indicate an oncoming seizure.

Muscle Tension

Spasms can also present as muscle tension. If your dog's legs seem unusually stiff or outstretched, this may be an indicator of an impending seizure. Often, muscle tension occurs when a dog is walking, causing him to stumble or fall.

Lost Sight

Dogs can temporarily become blind before, during, and briefly after a seizure. Your dog may walk into things or fail to react to your presence if she is in the early stages of a seizure. For a short time after convulsions have passed, dogs may still have little or no sight. This is normal but can be upsetting for your dog. Placing a blanket over her can help relieve her confusion.


Excessive saliva production, which leads to foaming and frothing, is one of the most common signs of seizures in dogs. Foaming normally begins during the convulsive episode, but it can also occur shortly before, so you can take it as an early warning sign. The extent of the foaming varies according to the severity of the seizure and the type of dog. Dogs with loose skin, such as bulldogs, tend to foam more heavily.


Convulsions are the main symptom of a seizure. Your dog will lose control of his limbs, and his body will become tense. Rapid, repeated movements of the head, neck, and legs are common during a convulsion. Severe or prolonged convulsions can be dangerous, but dogs typically recover from convulsions after a couple of hours.

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