First aid for fits/seizures in pets
What to do if your pet has a fit
Keep your pet safe
- Stay calm - this is very important.
- Take children and other pets away from the area.
- Clear a space around your pet so they can’t hurt themselves on any furniture or wires.
- If they are high up on a sofa, gently move them down.
- Turn off lights.
- Keep noise to an absolute minimum.
- Keep your pet cool - don’t wrap them up, they can overheat easily during a seizure.
Monitor the seizure
- Time the seizure and make a note of how long it lasts
- If possible, video the seizure to provide valuable clues for your vet.
- Don’t try to restrain your pet - you might accidentally hurt them or they might accidentally hurt you.
Help your pet recover
- Your pet will probably be very dazed and confused once they stop fitting.
- Give them somewhere quiet and comfortable to recover.
- Speak softly and gently to them.
- Your vet will give you more advice about how to help your pet recover.
Call your vet
- Call your vet straight away if your dog has been fitting for more than two minutes or has had more than one seizure in a 24-hour period.
- Otherwise, phone your vet for advice once your dog has finished fitting.
- Your vet may not tell you to bring your pet in right away – it depends on how long their seizure lasted, how many seizures they have had, and other symptoms they are showing.
Your pet’s seizure may have been a one off, or could have been caused by an underlying illness or the start of epilepsy. For more information about seizures in pets, read our articles:
- Seizures in dogs
- Seizures in cats (coming soon).
Published: March 2020
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst