Seizures can be a very frightening experience for any dog owner. Seeing a beloved pet go through such a violent medical issue is enough to make even the strongest pet owner more than a little upset. A number of dogs experience spasms along the cheek or muzzle during an episode known as facial mal seizures. Facial mal seizures are fairly common and often accompany a larger, body-wide seizure. Facial seizures are somewhat of a mystery, although they can be treated much the same as full body episodes.
Facial mal seizures are a very common occurrence in dogs suffering from a seizure condition. These involuntary facial movements can present themselves as a standalone problem or in conjunction with another medical issue. Many pets experience facial seizures as they age, although these are rarely severe enough to require medication. This type of isolated spasm is considered a partial seizure since it does not affect the entire body. Facial twitching and tics are often seen during the early phases of a full seizure and can be an indicator of an impending seizure episode.
Facial mal seizures can happen for a variety of reasons, but occur in two basic forms. Facial twitching and tics that involve just the face and do not lead to any other seizure behavior are known as partial seizures. They affect only a very isolated region of the face, often just the muzzle, jaw or ear area. Facial seizures can also occur in conjunction with grand mal seizures. Facial seizures during the aura, or earliest, phase of a full body episode are often more severe than a partial seizure episode and gradually increase in intensity.
Facial mal seizures are often very short-lived. They normally last from 10 to 45 seconds, and can occur as a single twitch or as a consecutive session of tics. A partial seizure involving the face often lasts longer and occurs more frequently than a facial tic that happens in conjunction with a larger, grand mal seizure. Dogs who are severely affected by facial mal seizures may suffer as many as five to 10 episodes an hour, or as few as one every few months. Facial seizures that accompany grand mal seizures most often occur in the aura phase of a seizure. The dog may whine, pace and present with twitching in the muzzle or cheek area that can continue for the duration of the full body seizure.
There is a general misconception that all dogs that experience facial twitching are suffering from a larger seizure condition. Many dogs are affected by facial tics their entire lives and never suffer any greater ill affects from them. Facial mal seizures may be disturbing, but are rarely life threatening.
Warning. A veterinarian should closely examine dogs with any type of seizure activity. There are often other serious medical concerns, such as poisoning, that can cause facial mal seizures in your pet. A vet will thoroughly examine the dog and can prescribe a course of medication if the seizure episodes are severe enough.
Read more: About Facial Mal Seizures in Dogs | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4607707_facial-mal-seizures-dogs.html#ixzz22oFKdl3z
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