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Epilepsy by Frank Utchen, DVM 2008

Dr. Utchen, we think our dog had a seizure. He stumbled and lay down, and his whole body seemed to spasm for about 10 seconds. After that, he lay quietly for about 5 minutes and then got up but seemed disoriented. Can dogs have epilepsy? 


Yes, epilepsy occurs in dogs just like it does in people. For most dogs that are epileptic the first seizure of their life occurs before they are 3 years old. Seizures are manifest on a whole continuum of behaviors. They can be brief, lasting only a few seconds, and mild, involving no more than a little twitching, sometimes limited to one part of the body (e.g., only ... Read More

Seizures in Dogs

What is a seizure?

Seizures are one of the most frequently seen neurological problems in dogs. A seizure is also known as a convulsion or fit. It may have all or any combination of the following:

1. Loss or derangement of consciousness

 2. Contractions of all the muscles in the body

 3. Changes in mental awareness from unresponsiveness to hallucinations

 4. Involuntary urination, defecation, or salivation

 5. Behavioral changes, including not recognizing ... Read More

Ear Hematoma (Aural Hematoma)

An aural hematoma is a collection of blood, either fresh or clotted, within the pinna (ear flap). When a hematoma is present, the pinna will appear very thick and spongy. The swelling may involve the entire pinna or it may involve only one area.

The ear flap is composed of a layer of skin on each side of a layer of cartilage. The cartilage gives the ear flap its shape. Blood vessels go from one side to the other by passing through the cartilage. Violent shaking causes the vessels to break as the skin slides across the cartilage.

Ear hematomas occur when a blood vessel in the ear bursts and bleeds into the space between the ear cartilage and skin. This is most co... Read More

Dogs and Chewing by Frank Utchen, DVM

Chew on this. 

Some dogs seem to chew on everything: shoes, wood, stairs—you name it. This is one of the normal ways dogs investigate their environment, keep their jaw muscles strong, and to some degree help remove dental tartar. 

However, every year we seen numerous dogs (and cats) who have swallowed something indigestible and life-threatening, so I encourage you to monitor your pets’ chewing behavior carefully. 

Just a few of the problems we see each year: 

Bones. Although most dogs love to chew on bones, there are two main prob... Read More

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