Why Do Miniature Poodles Dogs Get Seizures?

by Jae Allen, Demand Media
    The low body weight of a mini poodle can make it susceptible to seizures.

    The low body weight of a mini poodle can make it susceptible to seizures.

    Miniature poodles can be more susceptible to seizures, particularly hypoglycemic seizures, by comparison with other breeds. Fortunately, the poodle's small size means you can deal with its seizures more easily than you would with a large and heavy dog.

    Hypoglycemic Seizures

    Hypoglycemic seizures happen when your dog's blood-sugar levels are too low. Because mini poodles have a very low body weight, they are more susceptible to this type of seizure, by comparison with heavier dogs. Mini poodles have little muscle mass -- this means they cannot regulate glucose levels, or store glucose, very efficiently. If your pooch suffers from canine diabetes, hypoglycemic seizures can occur when insulin levels are not controlled.

    Tumors

    If a poodle has a brain tumor, seizures are often one of the earliest symptoms. All breeds of dog are at some risk for brain tumors -- poodles are not especially susceptible. Dogs over 5 years old are at greater risk of developing tumors than puppies and young dogs. Veterinarians commonly take X-ray images of a dog's skull or chest to diagnose brain tumors. It may be difficult to see tumors inside the brain, so sometimes a vet will look for lung tumors as a sign that a brain tumor has spread.

    Toxicity

    If your poodle eats something toxic, this may cause a seizure. Household chemicals, certain garden plants and chocolate are all toxic to poodles. The theobromine present in chocolate affects a dog's heart and nervous system -- if enough theobromine is consumed she is likely to experience a seizure. Theobromine is present in highest concentrations in dark chocolate, cocoa powder and baking chocolate; milk chocolate contains a lower concentration of theobromine. Poodles are more at risk from the toxic effects of chocolate because of their low body weight.

    Epilepsy

    An epilepsy diagnosis is made when a poodle has recurring seizures that are not caused by a tumor, hypoglycemia or other medical or environmental factor. Epilepsy can be hereditary, passed on in the genes of a poodle's mother or father. If your poodle is regularly having more than one seizure each month, it is likely your veterinarian will prescribe anti-seizure medication to control the seizures. Epilepsy cannot be cured, but epileptic poodles can live long, healthy and happy lives with adequate seizure control.

    About the Author

    Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.

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