Yorkshire Terrier Blog

Seizures in Yorkies: Reasons and Treatment

yorkie and dachshund mix

Seizures in Yorkies can be one of the most frightening occurrences, both for dogs and their parents. One minute, your beloved Yorkie is playing joyfully, and the next, they’re experiencing uncontrollable twitches. Heart-wrenching, right? While there could be many reasons behind these scary episodes, pinpointing the root cause is crucial. 

With the help of a trusty vet, you can uncover the mystery behind your furry friend’s condition.

seizures in yorkies

What are seizures in Yorkies?

We can describe dog seizures as sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain. They can cause alterations in behavior, movements, and even consciousness. It’s like a mini electrical storm in the brain, which can be distressing to witness. 

One common misconception is thinking that the Yorkie is in pain during a seizure. Most times, they’re unaware of what’s happening. But, let’s be real—while they might not be in pain, it’s super distressing for us to watch.

What could be the reasons for Yorkie seizures?

So, what can cause unexpected seizures in Yorkies? Well, the reasons vary. It could be genetics, where the little one has inherited a predisposition to seizures. Other times, it might be due to external factors like toxins, or internal issues like liver disease or brain trauma. And sometimes, the reason remains a mystery, despite best efforts.

According to the WebMD, here is the list with explanation of the possible reasons of seizures in Yorkies:


Some Yorkies are just born with a predisposition to seizures. It’s in their DNA. If a Yorkie’s parents or grandparents had seizures, there’s a chance they could inherit this trait. Think of it as them getting their great-grandma’s eye color or their dad’s unique bark.

Traumatic Brain Injury:

Accidents happen, even to our nimble-footed friends. A significant knock to the head, say from a fall or being hit, can trigger seizures. It’s always a good idea to get them checked out if they’ve had a little mishap.


Yorkies, with their insatiable curiosity, sometimes get into things they shouldn’t. Ingesting certain toxic substances, like chocolate, certain plants, or chemicals, can cause seizures. Always do your best to puppy-proof the house and keep an eye on what they’re nibbling on!

Liver Disease:

Our Yorkie’s liver plays a crucial role in filtering out toxins. If it’s not functioning correctly, harmful substances can build up in the bloodstream and lead to seizures. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor their liver health.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia):

Yorkies are tiny, which can make them prone to rapid drops in blood sugar. Just like humans can feel dizzy or faint with low sugar levels, Yorkies can experience seizures. It’s essential to ensure they have regular meals and snacks.

Brain Tumors:

While it sounds scary, brain tumors can be a cause of seizures. If the seizures are sudden and your Yorkie is on the older side, it might be worth getting this checked out. Early detection can make all the difference.


Sometimes, infections in the brain or diseases that affect the nervous system can be the sneaky culprits behind seizures. These can range from bacterial infections to conditions like distemper.

Unknown Causes (Idiopathic):

And then there are times when, despite all the tests and head scratches, we just can’t pinpoint why a Yorkie has seizures. It’s frustrating, but it’s a reminder that nature has its mysteries. The good news is that even if the cause is unknown, treatments can still help manage the symptoms.

seizures in yorkies

What are the symptoms of seizures in Yorkies?

By reading this blog post, you’re probably curious to find out how can you know that your pet is going to have a seizure. Well, according to scientists and vet, pet parents can see them coming. They come in three phases and each of them is followed by certain symptoms.

1. Aura Phase (The “Warning” Phase):

Think of this as a little heads-up that a seizure might be coming. During this phase, you might notice some odd behaviors in your Yorkie. They could become anxious, start whining, or pace back and forth. Some Yorkies even get clingy and want to be close to their owners. It’s as if they have a feeling that something isn’t quite right and they’re seeking comfort.

2. Ictal Phase (The “Seizure” Phase):

This is the main event—the actual seizure. It can look different from one dog to another, but here are some common signs:

  • Sudden shaking or uncontrollable muscle spasms.
  • They might collapse and lie on their side, looking stiff.
  • Kicking motions with their legs, as if they’re swimming or paddling.
  • Excessive drooling or even a bit of foam at the mouth.
  • Their eyes might glaze over, and they might not notice you even if you call their name.
  • Some might even lose control of their bladder or bowels.

3. Post-Ictal Phase (The “After” Phase):

Once the seizure is over, your Yorkie enters this phase. It’s a bit like a person feeling groggy after waking up from a deep nap. They might be disoriented or seem a bit lost. Some Yorkies wander around, unsure of their surroundings, while others just want to sleep and rest. This phase can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Seizures can indeed be alarming, especially if it’s the first time you’re seeing your beloved Yorkie experience one. But knowing these phases and what to expect can help you stay calm and provide the best care for your little buddy. Always keep in mind that after any seizure, it’s wise to reach out to your vet.

What are the types of seizures in Yorkies?

1. Generalized Seizures (or Grand Mal Seizures):

This is the type most people think of when they hear the word “seizure”. The dog might fall over, twitch, and shake all over. They could also lose control of their bladder or bowels. It affects the whole brain, so the whole body reacts.

2. Focal Seizures (or Partial Seizures):

This kind affects only one part of the brain, so you might see strange behaviors in just one part of your Yorkie’s body. For example, one leg might twitch, or they might chew the air for no reason.

3. Complex Partial Seizures (or Psychomotor Seizures):

These are a bit tricky. Your Yorkie might show odd behaviors like snapping at invisible flies, hiding, or even barking without any clear reason. It’s because a small part of their brain is having a hiccup.

4. Cluster Seizures:

This is when a Yorkie has several seizures in a short period, one right after the other. It’s super important to see a vet right away if this happens.

5. Status Epilepticus:

This is a medical emergency. It’s when a seizure lasts a very long time, or when multiple seizures happen without the dog waking up in between. If you ever see this, rush your Yorkie to the vet or an emergency clinic.

seizures in yorkies

How to treat seizures in Yorkies?

1.Don’t Panic:

Ok, we know that you’ll start panicking, however, the key is to keep your cool.

Remember, your Yorkie can pick up on your emotions. A calm environment can help your Yorkie feel safe.

2. Safety First:

During a seizure, make sure youd dog can’t hit its head on the furniture. Move away any objects that might hurt your Yorkie. If your pooch is near stairs or furniture, gently slide it away to prevent any injury.

3. Gentle Comfort:

Since dogs can quickly lose their body heat during seizures, we recommend you to put a cozy blanket over its body. That’s how your Yorkie will feel safe. You can also tell your pet some kind words so it can hear your voice and help it go easier through the seizure.

4. Time it:

Try to remember how long the attack lasted. It’s important info for your vet. Depending on the length of the attack,  he/she can figure out the reason.

5. Vet Time:

After the seizure, make sure you visit the vet. They can recommend specific treatments or medications if your Yorkie is already on them. However, before giving your dog any medication, the vet will perform brain MRI. 

When the seizure passes, it’s essential to provide your pooch with a safe place to take a rest. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that seizures in Yorkies take so much energy from your pup. In those moments, your dog needs a safe and cozy spot to take rest.

Make sure the bed for your Yorkie has elevated edges and that is soft and filled with memory foam or pp cotton. 

Furdi Luxury Bed is one of the beds we recommend for Yorkies who suffer from anxiety or pooches who deal with seizures. It’s like a safe nest that will soothe your dog’s unrest.

yorkie bed

READ ALSO: How To Choose The Best Bed For Your Yorkie?

6. Medications:

Sometimes, vets prescribe antiepileptic drugs like phenobarbital or potassium bromide to control seizures. Always give medications as instructed and monitor for any side effects.

7. Diet & Supplements:

Some Yorkies benefit from a change in diet or the addition of supplements. Discuss with your vet if a dietary change might help. When choosing commercial food for your Yorkie, it’s important to check the label on the back and check for artificial flavors and colors.

8. Keep a Diary:

Jot down when seizures happen, how long they last, and any potential triggers. This info can help the vet pinpoint causes and adjust treatments.

9. Avoid Triggers:

Some Yorkies have triggers, like flashing lights or certain foods, that can cause seizures. If you identify any, try to keep them away from your pup.

10. Emergency Care:

If your Yorkie has a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes, or if they have multiple seizures without waking up, rush to an emergency clinic. It’s better to be safe.

Remember, every Yorkie is unique. While one treatment might work for one pup, another might need a different approach.

Seizures in Yorkies: Wrapping Up

Yorkie seizures can be daunting. However, they’re just one part of your dog’s life. With proper care, medication, and a vigilant eye, Yorkies with this condition can lead a happy, bouncy life just like any other pup in the park. If your Yorkie experiences a seizure, take a deep breath, ensure they’re safe, and reach out to your vet.

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