Why Does my Dog Pass Out?

I have a 9 year old Pug she is a rescue dog, I have had her with me about 1 1/2 months. She passes out...


I have a 9 year old Pug she is a rescue dog, I have had her with me about 1 1/2 months. She passes out for a few seconds, if I pick her up she comes right back so I am thinking that when she gets real excited she passes out but does not have seizures, could this be possible?

Bend, OR

Small (or petit mal) seizures can cause dogs to lose consciousness. These types of seizures can look very different from full-blown tonic-clonic convultions (also known as grand mal seizures). Some dogs with petit mal seizures suffer from progression of symptoms to grand mal over time. Others do not.

However, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that your Pug is suffering seizures. You mention that he loses consciousness when he is excited. This makes me worried that a breathing problem may be to blame. Pugs are prone to a condition called brachycephalic syndrome. When humans breed dogs to have pugged noses all of the tissues and structures that reside in a mutt like Buster’s snout (pictured at right) get squeezed into a tiny space. These squeezed-in structures interfere with air movement in the nose and throat. Some dogs with brachycephalic syndrome will lose consciousness during periods of increased oxygen demand–such as when they get excited.

Brachycephalic syndrome is extremely serious. If it is the cause of your dog’s symptoms his life is at risk because one day he may do more than simply pass out.

Another common cause of transient loss of consciousness in dogs is heart disease. Heart arrhythmias can trigger the symptoms you describe.

Did you see this coming? Your dog needs to go to the vet. He or she should be able to give more insight into the nature of the problem.

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