The signs of seizure result from a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain.
Signs of a seizure in your dog can include anything from unusual behavior to convulsions and loss of consciousness.
While epilepsy is the most familiar cause of seizures in dogs, there are many other potential causes. Brain inflammation is one of them.
Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
Seizures are one of the potential symptoms of brain inflammation. However, the problem might affect other parts such as:
- the membranes that cover the brain
- and spinal cord (meninges) or spinal cord
Further, other potential symptoms of brain inflammation include:
- changes in behavior
- lowered responsiveness
- head tilt
- circling or loss of coordination
- changes in the size of the pupils
- changes in consciousness
- and more
Possible causes behind brain inflammation can originate in the brain or outside of it and include:
- immune-mediated issues
- nfections (viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal)
- foreign bodies
- adverse effects of vaccination
For example, the presence of neurological issues along with seizures suggests the brain itself is in trouble.
Breed predisposition to brain inflammation
Certain breeds are more susceptible to developing brain inflammation. The affected breeds include:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- German Short-haired Pointers
Further reading: Encephalitis in Dogs
Charlie was a 3-year-old Maltese mix. He was happy, playful, his mom and dad’s pride and joy. Charlie was healthy until he started having seizures.
His parent took Charlie to a veterinarian who examined Charlie, checked his blood, and prescribed anti-seizure medications. The treatment seemed to help–Charlie’s seizures stopped.
However, five weeks since his first seizure, Charlie didn’t seem himself. He became lethargic, lost interest in play, and sometimes he seemed unaware of the world around him. And then, Charlie had multiple seizures in one day, which landed him at an emergency veterinary clinic.
Charlie’s emergency vet visit and referral
The emergency veterinarian examined Charlie and referred him to a neurology specialist.
When Charlie arrived, he was dull, couldn’t walk, and not responding to things around him. However, his left side seemed to be working. He would see things with his right eye and had no feeling on the right side of his face. Further, he held his head toward the left side, and he didn’t seem to know where his right feet were.
Whatever Charlie’s problem was, it was affecting the left front part of his brain. Charlie needed an MRI.
The imaging showed inflammation in Charlie’s brain. Most commonly, dogs suffer brain inflammation as a result of the autoimmune process. That was true in Charlie’s case.
As soon as Charlie received immune-suppressive medication, he started doing better. With treatment, Charlie has fully recovered.
Meningitis and Encephalitis in Dogs