I Think My Pug Just Had A Seizure: 7 Scary Symptoms and Helpful Steps To Take When That Happens

If you happened to be a proud Pug owner, you will definitely know a thing or two about Pug epileptic attacks. Seeing uncontrollable paddling leg movements, Pug foaming at its mouth, and being non-responsive to its name? Then you might wonder: “I think my Pug just had a seizure.” And you would be absolutely correct! Have you heard of PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis)? In case you are a parent of a wrinkle-faced creature, I’m sure you have. This condition is very Pug-specific and affects them in their adolescent stage (anywhere from 1 to 3 years old on average). Very often it is fatal: about 1.5 percent of Pug pals die from it. 

We will talk about it later on in the article. Now, let’s discuss the main signs of a seizure and what to do when your pet has one. 

I Think My Pug Just Had A Seizure: Symptoms and What To Do When It Happens


We have already briefly mentioned some of them in the intro, it is time to look at them in more detail. 

  • Wabbly Walk

All of a sudden you might notice how your Pug bud starts wandering like a “drunk person:” unsteady, weak, and aimless walk that leads to collapse later as a wrinkled pal loses balance.

  • Collapse

Having an epileptic attack causes a little wrinkled fella to lose concentration and fall down. If you catch the seizure at the right time, you may help prevent a Pug’s head from hitting a hard surface like a wood floor or a paved road outside. 


Learn more about: Pug’s Neurological Disorders: 3 Main Conditions That Make One Suffering Pug

  • Leg Jerking

You can also spot that your Pug starts making “paddling” movements as if it rows with its legs. These are violent muscle contractions that happen involuntarily and cannot be controlled. 

  • Mouth Foaming and/or Salivating

An abnormal brain function can very often cause attacks to be accompanied by excessive salivating and foaming at the dog’s mouth. It will go away just like the seizure itself, and you don’t have to worry about a pet swallowing its tongue. It rarely happens.

  • Unresponsiveness

You may try to get your pooch’s attention by repeatedly calling its name. However, it might not be responsive at all. It depends on the severity of the attack. 

  • Accidental Biting

A mutt cannot control anything during a seizure episode, including its chewing reflex. Hence, please refrain from putting anything in your dog’s mouth while it is having convulsions as it can bite you really hard unknowingly. 

  • Uncontrollable Urination and/or Defecation

Oh yeah, just when you thought it cannot get any worse. The bowel movements may not be fully under your pet body’s control, therefore accidents may happen. You will just have to clean it up after the seizure subsides as you may not even think about it when you are freaking out at a poor fella’s condition. 

What To Do:

  • Stay Calm

I know it is easier said than done but remember: you are a pet parent responsible for your fur baby’s wellbeing. If you know that you are the emotional OCD type (like the author herself), try to ask somebody else with a “clear head” and strong nerves to help you monitor the situation. We all react differently to the same type of trigger, therefore having someone who can handle stress may come in handy.

  • Make Sure Your Pet Cannot Hit Its Head on Anything Hard

If you see your pet is collapsing, try to throw something soft for its body to land on or at least gently move its head away from anything sharp.

  • Call the Vet ASAP!

Don’t try to act like your pet’s veterinarian during a seizure episode. You may not fully realize that you are doing more harm than good, so calling an animal care specialist is the most logical, rational idea. Again, if you are too freaked out by what you are observing, ask a family member/friend who is “ironclad” to lend you a hand. 


You may be extremely scared when you see a weird, uncontrollable behavior from your Pug, and a very logical thought like “I think my Pug just had a seizure” might cross your mind. The main thing when that happens is to stay as calm as you can and try to wait it out. Thankfully, most epilepsies last no longer than 1-3 minutes. In case you noticed that the seizure doesn’t subside for a while, you should take your mutt to the vet ASAP. 

Read more about: Pug Foaming At Mouth and Shaking &; Causes


How do I know if my Pug is having a seizure?

Trust me, you will definitely be able to tell! All of a sudden, you’ll see your poor wrinkled fella rolling its eyes, having violent convulsions on the floor, foaming at its mouth, shaking and choking at its own saliva. Not a pleasant sight to see at all, and a pretty scary one actually if you ask me.

Why would a dog suddenly have a seizure?

There may be several reasons why this happens. The first one is an abnormal activity in the brain that has something to do with neurons not functioning correctly. In case they start acting crazy inside a pet’s head, you will see a violent, severe leg jerking, as well as uncontrollable urinating and/or defecating right where the pooch is laying. Some of the triggers for seizures include strokes, brain water, or brain trauma.

The second reason may be something that is happening inside the body: diabetes, low blood pressure, toxic substances the dog has tasted, and serious urinary tract problems. Hence it is so important to bring your fella to the vet for check-ups every year. For some breeds like Pugs, for instance, it is best to get them checked once every 6 months as they are notorious for having seizures due to the syndrome known as PDE or Pug Dog Encephalitis.

What do I do if my dog just had a seizure?

First we have to mention what not to do if your mutt experiences violent convulsions. Please, do not try to grab its mouth, or put your hand down inside it. If you try to put your fingers anywhere around the suffering hound’s snout, it can bite you by accident. Don’t worry, dogs cannot suffocate on their tongues as humans tend to while having an epileptic episode. Just make sure a pooch is on a flat surface, away from sharp or heavy objects.

The best thing to do after you make sure your pet is not in danger of hurting itself up against something or falling is to call your vet or an emergency pet hospital ASAP. They will be able to guide you on what to do, what necessary steps to take. After the seizure is gone, it is imperative to schedule an appointment with an animal health specialist to get to the root of the problem.

How common are seizures in Pugs?

Actually, very common! Pugs are among a few breeds who are predisposed to having insane epileptic attacks. This syndrome has a name: PDE or Pug Dog Encephalitis. It is specific to the Pug breed and is caused by the inflammation of the brain tissue where healthy cells mistakenly get attacked by a Pug’s immune system. The exact reason for PDE is still not 100% known. Most likely (and many animal geneticists unanimously agree this is a true cause) the genetic hereditary abnormalities have something to do with it.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.