What to do if your senior pet has a seizure.

Julia Dicconson
Content Manager
July 27, 2023

As pet owners, we cherish the moments we spend with our beloved furry companions. They become a part of our family, offering unconditional love and loyalty. 

As our pets age, it's natural for them to experience certain health issues, just like humans. One concerning event that may occur in senior pets is a seizure. Witnessing your senior pet having a seizure can be distressing, but it's essential to stay calm and take appropriate actions. 

In this article, we'll guide you on what to do if your senior pet experiences a seizure, providing compassionate care and understanding throughout the process.

Understanding seizures in senior pets.

What causes seizures in senior pets?

Seizures in senior pets can be caused by various underlying conditions, such as epilepsy, brain tumours, or metabolic disorders. Ageing can also lead to changes in the brain that may trigger seizures. It is essential to consult your veterinarian to determine the specific cause of your pet's seizure for proper management.

Identifying the signs of a seizure.

Recognizing a seizure is crucial for providing prompt care. Symptoms may include:

  • Convulsions 
  • Muscle twitching 
  • Drooling 
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control 
  • Falling over, with loss of consciousness
  • Stiffness of legs, or paddling 

Take note of the duration and intensity of the seizure, as this information will be valuable for your veterinarian.

Immediate actions during a seizure.

When your senior pet experiences a seizure, it's essential to remain calm. Follow these steps to ensure your pet's safety:

  • Create a safe space: Remove any sharp objects or hazards from the vicinity to prevent injuries.
  • Do not restrain your pet: During a seizure, your pet may not recognize you and could react unintentionally.
  • Keep track of time: Note the duration of the seizure. If it lasts for more than a few minutes, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

Providing comfort and safety for your pet.

Creating a calm environment.

After the seizure subsides, create a calm and quiet space for your pet to recover. Dim the lights and limit noise to reduce stress.

Physical contact and reassurance.

Offer gentle physical contact and soothing words to comfort your pet. Your presence can help them feel secure during this vulnerable time.

Post-seizure care.

Monitoring your pet.

Keep a close eye on your pet after a seizure. Contact your veterinarian if there are any concerning changes in behaviour or if your pet does not seem to be fully recovering.

When to seek veterinary assistance.

While occasional seizures may not always require emergency care, it's essential to consult your veterinarian about any seizure episode, particularly if it is the first time. They can assess your pet's condition and recommend appropriate measures.

Seizure management and prevention.

Medication and treatment.

Depending on the cause of the seizures, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to manage and reduce their frequency. This is dependent on the cause of the seizure, whether it is unknown or due to a specific cause and your dog’s treatment response. 

Most dogs will respond to anti-epileptic medication, but some may experience refractory seizures or adverse side effects, and have a poorer prognosis. 

Lifestyle changes.

Implementing lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and reducing stress can positively impact your pet's overall health and may help prevent future seizures.

Coping with end-of-life decisions.

Considering quality of life.

For senior pets with recurring seizures and declining health, it's crucial to assess their quality of life. Consult with your veterinarian to make informed decisions about their wellbeing.

Use our free Quality of Life Assessment to determine your pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

The role of pet euthanasia services.

In some cases, pet euthanasia may become a compassionate option to end your pet's suffering peacefully. At Goodbye Good Boy, we understand the difficulty of this decision and are here to support both you and your pet through this challenging time.

A Telepet consultation with one of our expert veterinarians can be a helpful way to receive dedicated advice and support on your pet’s condition and whether euthanasia is needed. 


Caring for a senior pet experiencing a seizure requires patience, love, and a calm approach. By understanding the causes, providing immediate care, and seeking professional advice, you can ensure the well-being of your furry companion. Remember, your pet relies on you for comfort and support, and with proper care, you can improve their quality of life during their golden years.


  • Q: Can seizures in senior pets be prevented? 

A: While not all seizures can be prevented, lifestyle changes and proper medical management may reduce their occurrence.

  • Q: How long do post-seizure effects typically last in senior pets? 

A: The recovery period varies depending on the individual pet and the severity of the seizure. Some may recover quickly, while others might take a bit longer.

  • Q: Is it normal for senior pets to have occasional seizures? 

A: Seizures in senior pets can be relatively common, but it's essential to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.

  • Q: What should I do if my pet's seizures become more frequent? 

A: If your pet's seizures increase in frequency or intensity, seek veterinary care promptly to determine the underlying cause.

  • Q: How can I emotionally cope with the challenges of caring for a senior pet with seizures? 

A: Reach out to a supportive community, consider professional counselling, and take time for self-care to manage the emotional strain of caring for a senior pet with health issues.

At Goodbye Good Boy, we provide home euthanasia services to support loving owners in providing a peaceful passing for their beloved pets.

The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options. 

To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give our team of passionate pet lovers a call on 1800 953 619.