Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Dr. Kari Foss is a boarded veterinary neurologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. When a pet has a seizure, it can be very scary for their human family. Dr. Foss is here to take some of the unknown out of this condition.

What are seizures?

Simply put, a seizure is a manifestation of brain disease. During a seizure, an animal will lose consciousness and may have uncontrolled body movements, may make sounds, and may urinate or defecate.

Any animal that has a brain has the potential to have seizures. Most of Dr. Foss’s patients are cats and dogs, but as a specialist she also consults on patients from birds and reptiles to horses.

Are seizures a serious problem?

That depends on the intensity, duration, and frequency of the seizures. If the seizure lasts 5 minutes or more, or if the animal experiences more than two seizure episodes within 24 hours, then the pet should see a veterinarian right away.

What causes seizures?

A wide variety of disorders can cause seizures. To determine the issue and where it is located, veterinarians conduct neurological examinations to assess the pet’s mental status, gait and posture, nerve function, and spinal reflexes.

How are seizures treated?

That depends on the type of seizure. Medications are available to reduce the number and frequency of the seizure episodes.