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Are Beagles Prone to Seizures? Science-Based Facts & FAQ

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

owner brushing beagle's fur

If you have a beagle or are thinking of getting one, you have likely researched common health conditions that beagles may suffer from. Through your research, you probably heard that beagles are prone to seizures. But is that true?

Unfortunately, yes, it is true. Beagles are more prone to idiopathic epilepsy than many other dog breeds; idiopathic means that the cause of these seizures is unknown. For more information on beagles and seizures, keep reading below.

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Signs That Your Beagle May Be Having a Seizure

There are some common signs that your beagle may be experiencing a seizure. Despite common misconceptions, not all seizures are full-body spasms. Therefore, there may be more subtle indications that your dog is having or about to have an episode.

Staring into space and being unresponsive are two possible signs of a seizure. These dogs will often be in a trance, not appearing to be focused on anything in particular. Attempting to regain your dog’s attention with whistles or commands will have no effect. Beagles may also drool while in this odd trance.

Your beagle may display odd movements, such as walking in place or repetitive motions. They will be unresponsive while in this state, seemingly unaware of the world. Confusion is another common occurrence, though this typically happens before the seizure’s onset.

In extreme cases, your beagle may suddenly fall to the ground and have stiff, immovable limbs. Your dog may also faint. If unconscious, your dog may remain stiff-legged or go limp.

Beagle dog and brown cat lying together on the footpath outdoor in the park
Image Credit: Kobkik, Shutterstock

What to Do if Your Beagle Has a Seizure

Watching your dog suffer a seizure is a frightening experience. Thankfully, there are actions you can take. First and foremost, remain calm. If you panic or freeze, you cannot help your dog. Know that most seizures last only a few minutes and will be over quickly. Talk gently to your dog to help keep it calm.

Remove anything in your dog’s surroundings that could be hazardous, such as a lamp that could fall if the cord is tugged. If the dog is in a precarious position (at the top of the stairs being an example), do your best to move it away from that spot.

Keep a distance from your beagle’s head. While in this state, it may accidentally bite you. Likewise, do not try to move your dog’s tongue since the dog is not at risk of choking on it. Dogs will never choke on their own tongues.

Time the seizure. If it lasts a few minutes, your dog may begin to overheat. Turn on some fans or place ice packs on its body. If the seizure passes 5 minutes or your dog has several seizures in a row while unconscious, take them to the vet as soon as possible. The longer the attack goes on, the more likely your dog will have breathing problems and potential brain damage.

As soon as the seizure is over, take your beagle to the vet.

beagle dog lying on the ground
Image By: Masarik, Shutterstock

What to Expect During a Vet Visit

During your vet’s examination of your beagle, a few tests may be run. There will likely be a physical exam and some form of image scanning, such as an MRI. Medications may be prescribed to help manage your beagle’s seizures. It is essential to follow the medicine’s directions closely and never miss a dose.Divider 8


It is scary to think that your beagle may suffer from seizures, but if you are well-informed and prepared, you will be able to help your pup through it. Although beagles may be more prone to attacks, there is no guarantee they will ever have one. Still, be ready for the possibility, but don’t allow the thought to weigh over you. Instead of worrying, focus on creating great memories with your beagle.

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Featured Image Credit: N_T, Shutterstock

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