Types of Canine Seizures


Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, a veterinarian with Elmhurst Animal Care Center and other area practices, maintains a particular professional interest in animal neurology. As a board-certified practitioner, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince concentrates his practice on this and other disorders of small animals.

Seizures in dogs can take a number of forms. Perhaps the best known is the generalized or tonic-clonic seizure, a condition in which the dog falls to the ground and displays convulsions, rigidity of the limbs, and breathing disturbances. Limb rigidity is more pronounced in a grand mal tonic-clonic seizure, which also features loss of consciousness and a paddling of the limbs during the event’s clonic phase. In a more mild seizure, the dog may remain conscious throughout the episode.

The generalized seizure is a result of abnormal electrical function throughout the brain. If the abnormal activity is localized to one part of the brain, the resultant partial seizure causes abnormal involuntary movements on one side or in one part of the body. The related, though differently presenting, complex partial seizure, also known as a psychomotor seizure, manifests with behavioral rather than purely physical disturbances. As a result of abnormal and disturbing sensory input, the dog may act out aggressively, appear fearful, or experience digestive distress, though other behavioral symptoms are also possible.

Most seizures last only seconds to minutes, though some dogs can suffer from an extended seizure known as a status epilepticus. These seizures last 30 minutes or more with no return to consciousness. These may appear similar to cluster seizures, which occur in sequence with very few periods of consciousness in the interim. Both are serious medical emergencies and require immediate care, though all canine seizures signal the need for medical attention.

The Small Animal Veterinarian

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince, a graduate of the veterinary medicine program at the University of Illinois, has more than 25 years of veterinary experience. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince practices as a board certified small animal veterinarian at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the majority of veterinarians serve in private practice, with some of them opting to work solely on small animals and others catering to both small and large animals.

The role of a small animal veterinarian is to treat a wide array of pets and companion animals. While many individuals associate small animal veterinarians with dogs and cats, they may not be aware that they are also trained to handle small birds, reptiles, and other small mammals.

Small animal veterinarians conduct general checkups, administer routine vaccines, prescribe medication, and perform tooth cleaning. They also perform common surgical procedures such as spaying and neutering. Though they typically engage with patients and pet owners in clinic examination rooms, small animal veterinarians are able to practice in a variety of environments.

Kennel Cough in Dogs

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince serves as a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Illinois. As a veterinarian, he provides care to beloved family pets and strives to help them live long and happy lives. Among Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince’s areas of expertise are common pet diseases, such as kennel cough.

Kennel cough is a condition that affects many dogs at some point in their lives. It is highly contagious and often spreads in areas where many dogs are housed together, such as kennels (hence the name “kennel cough”). It affects dogs’ respiratory systems and can result in a variety of symptoms. Possible symptoms include a hacking cough and retching. The dog might also make a honking sound when coughing. The condition might be caused by a variety of viruses.

If a pet owner suspects kennel cough, he or she should take the dog to a veterinarian. The condition is often most serious in young dogs, who do not yet have fully developed immune systems, and older dogs, whose immune systems are no longer in peak condition.

Becoming A Small Animal Veterinarian

Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a partner with the Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. As a veterinarian with more than 25 years of experience, Joel Todd Leroy Prince is board certified in small animal practice.

Small animal veterinarians must complete an accredited DVM program before completing additional work to become licensed to handle cats, dogs, exotic animals, and other companion pets like birds. According to studies conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), about three quarters of licensed veterinarians work in a private practice, with many choosing to focus on small animals and pets. While vets must graduate from a DVM program and then pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) before becoming eligible to practice on small animals, most vets make the decision because they want to work on pets rather animals that serve other purposes. Accordingly, many small animal veterinarians will also treat larger companion animals such as horses or large canines.