Anesthesia Causing Seizures in Dogs

By Elizabeth Tumbarello

Image by, courtesy of Jay Malone

When your dog undergoes any type of surgery there is a risk of complications. Anesthesia is a necessary precaution to alleviate pain and panic during surgical procedures, but may lead to additional complications. All precautions are taken to ensure that serious reactions, such as seizures, do not occur.


Dogs undergoing a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia are subjected to a battery of tests to determine their suitability and overall health. These findings are used to evaluate the risk of seizure and to determine what steps should be taken to prevent complications.


There are several different types of anesthetic gases used in the world of veterinary medicine. Individual animals may react negatively to certain gases and not others.

Time Frame

A dog is subject to a seizure caused by anesthesia from the moment a pre-anesthetic analgesic is given until the point that all anesthetic gases are expelled from his system. This can take up to several hours.


According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Anesthesia, healthy dogs face a 5 percent risk of seizure while undergoing anesthesia.


When undergoing surgery, dogs under anesthesia are continually monitored by a veterinary surgical assistant who is trained to watch for signs of complications.

References (3)

  • "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
  • "Journal of Veterinary Anesthesia"; "The risk of death: the confidential enquiry into perioperative small animal fatalities"; DC Brodbelt, KJ Blissitt, RA Hammond, PJ Neath, LE Young, DU Pfeiffer, JL Wood; September 2008
  • "Minor Veterinary Surgery: a Handbook for Veterinary Nurses"; Julian Hoad; 2008

Photo Credits

  • Image by, courtesy of Jay Malone
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

See More Animals