Are Seizures Common in Japanese Chins?

by Jae Allen, Demand Media

    Japanese Chins are happy, energetic and loving little dogs. This toy-size spaniel is also known as a Japanese spaniel. Chins are not more susceptible to seizures than any other dog breed. Consult your veterinarian if you think your dog has had a seizure. Several issues can cause such a symptom.

    Seizures from Poisoning

    If your Chin eats anything that's toxic to dogs -- a household chemical, topical tick-preventive solution, various plants, chocolate -- a seizure could result. Call your veterinarian or an animal poison-control hotline for advice. The quantity and type of substance ingested will determine your response. Within two hours of ingesting certain quantities of a toxic substance, it can be helpful to induce vomiting. If the substance is very toxic to dogs, a large amount has been eaten, or the ingestion was more than two hours ago, your dog will need immediate veterinary attention.

    Hypoglycemic Seizures

    Seizures can be caused by low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. This condition is common in dogs with canine diabetes, particularly if insulin levels are poorly controlled. Insulin regulates glucose levels in a dog's body. Even in the absence of canine diabetes, hypoglycemia can develop and cause a seizure if your dog does not have enough glucose circulating. This can happen simply because the dog has not had enough to eat. Small dogs such as the Japanese Chin are at greater risk for hypoglycemia. Glucose storage and regulation is partly controlled by a dog's muscle tissue, so small dogs with lower muscle mass can develop hypoglycemia and experience related seizures more easily than many other dogs.

    Brain Injury

    If your Japanese Chin has recently suffered a brain injury -- any fall or injury involving a knock to the head can injure the brain -- seizures can ensue. Get your best buddy checked by a vet if seizures begin after a head injury. Another possible cause of seizures is a brain tumor. This is more common in older dogs than in puppies. Often, seizures are the first signal that a dog has a brain tumor. Your veterinarian can do X-ray scans to look for tumors.

    Canine Epilepsy

    If your Chin has a pattern of recurring seizures that cannot be attributed to injury, poison or a known medical condition, your veterinarian may diagnose the dog as having canine epilepsy. This condition is believed to affect between 1 and 4 percent of dogs across all breeds, but the Japanese Chin is not considered particularly susceptible. Canine epilepsy can be hereditary. Although there is no cure, prescription medications can reduce the number and severity of an epileptic dog's seizures.

    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.