In addition to giving seizure medication, treatment for dogs and cats with seizures should include strengthening the brain and liver with supplements, providing a. Phenobarbital and newer seizure control medications are used for treating dogs and cats for epilepsy and other conditions causing seizures. Keppra (levetiracetam) is a newer medication that can be used for treating seizures in dogs and cats. Seizures and epilepsy are commonly.
Seizure Medication Dog
However they may feel disorientated and confused afterwards for a variable time period. It is important to give them reassurance and the opportunity to adjust following a seizure. Usually this involves some TLC and rest. In most cases we assume this is related to an underlying genetic predisposition, but multiple genes and environmental factors are involved in developing epilepsy.
No single test can tell if your pet has Primary epilepsy Seizures assumed to be related to an underlying genetic predisposition. Typically, a diagnostic investigation is split into two parts; firstly to investigate and exclude diseases where the seizures are caused by a problem outside of the brain, secondly to investigate and exclude those within the brain itself.
Your pet will most likely have a blood sample taken and a urine sample as part of the diagnosis process. The procedure must be performed under general anaesthesia.
Primary epilepsy is most likely in young animals years of age that are neurologically normal normal behaviour, normal gait, etc between the seizures. Primary epilepsy most likely has a complex genetic and environmental cause. This means that unlike recessively inherited genetic diseases, breeding to prevent epilepsy is very difficult and primary epilepsy can be diagnosed in any individual animal of any breed despite multiple normal generations and litters.
It is possible for most epileptic animals to have an excellent quality of life. However, epilepsy is a chronic and occasionally progressive disease that will need to be managed. Rarely, an animal may have a single seizure and not seizure again.
An animal that has more than one seizure is expected to have more frequent or severe seizures in the future. There is evidence to suggest that early treatment in the course of the epilepsy can provide a better long-term outcome.
Despite treatment, epileptics are still likely to suffer intermittent seizures. Full Remission Killing sufficient cancer cells that none can be detected in the body by conventional means, for example clinical examination, blood tests, or imaging techniques. The severity of seizures should also reduce. The same may be true for cats. We normally recommend epilepsy is treated when more than two seizures occur in a six month period.
There are many different anti-epileptic drugs AEDs available for the treatment of epilepsy. Your neurology clinician or primary care vet will determine which AED is suitable based on the type and number of seizures your pet has had, but also on licensing, formulation, and cost considerations.
Two drugs are licensed for the treatment of primary epilepsy in dogs; Phenobarbital commonly prescribed under the trade name EpiphenTM and Imepitoin prescribed under the trade name PexionTM. No medication is licensed for cats but we have lots of experience of treating cats with phenobarbital.
These medications are only used in special circumstances are not recommended in the first-line treatment of epilepsy in animals. The main reason for this is that dogs metabolise these medications very quickly and they are less effective in dogs than they are in people. With most AEDs side effects of treatment can be expected to occur. These side effects are typically worse in the first few weeks of treatment and their severity may decrease with time. It is very helpful to carefully observe the seizure.
In particular, what were the first signs? Was one side of the body affected first? What sort of movements did your pet exhibit, e.
Records of these observations along with your seizure diary will be very useful information for your vet. How often a dog with epilepsy experiences seizures can vary greatly between dogs and over an individual dog's lifetime.
Recording how often your dog has seizures is important to track how well their treatment is working, and so your vet can alter their treatment if necessary. Some dogs experience seizures very close together in time e. These types of seizure pose a particularly high risk to your dog's health, can be life-threatening and an emergency:. A cluster seizure occurs when a dog has two or more seizures within a hour period. Cluster seizures occur in around one third to three quarters of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.
If your dog has cluster seizures, emergency medication may be prescribed by your vet for home use. These medications are administered if a cluster seizure occurs, to try and stop the seizure and to prevent more from occurring. You should never attempt to put anything in your dog's mouth, including your hands during a seizure. Immediate treatment is necessary because status epilepticus can cause permanent neurological damage or even death.
If status epilepticus occurs in your dog, immediately contact your vet for emergency treatment. Emergency treatment includes your vet administering high doses of medications that try to stop the seizure and minimise damage to your dog's brain and body.
Although seizures are distressing to witness, you should always try to stay calm when a seizure starts and time how long it lasts, so you know whether a seizure is lasting a particularly long time, and are prepared to contact your vet if status epilepticus occurs.
Some dogs may appear to have 'triggers' that lead to a seizure, while others do not. Identifiable triggers may differ from dog to dog. In people with epilepsy, common triggers include tiredness and lack of sleep, stress, and not taking medication. Stress is a trigger commonly reported by owners, and may be caused by a variety of situations including changes in the environment, changes in routine, car rides, thunderstorms, and visits to the vets to name a few. Other owners report certain foods or medications seem to trigger seizures in their dog.
Keeping a seizure diary may help identify triggers in your dog. In most cases, epilepsy in dogs cannot be cured. Maintaining a seizure-free status without causing unacceptable side effects is the ultimate goal of antiepileptic drug AED therapy. The goal of medical treatment is therefore to improve your dog's quality of life by minimising how frequently the attacks occur and how severe they are.
Additionally, the medications chosen for this should not cause serious side effects. If your vet recommends commencing AED therapy, ensure you discuss this thoroughly so that you understand the importance of this treatment and why it is necessary.
Your vet will be able to support you with this treatment, and regular health checks should be arranged so you can both monitor for adverse effects of the idiopathic epilepsy or the medication. Once started, AED treatment is continued indefinitely, in most cases for the rest of your dog's life, with periodic health checks and blood tests to ensure correct drug dosage, treatment efficacy and minimal treatment-related side effects.
Your vet will be able to advise you as to which antiepileptic drug AED is most suited to treating your dog's epilepsy. Factors that may influence your vets decision may include the type of seizure your dog experiences, how often they seizure, and if they have any problems with their kidneys or liver. The first medications your vet can legally prescribe to treat your dog's epilepsy in the EU are either Imepitoin or Phenobarbital.
If the desired reduction in seizures is not seen with the 'first line' medications, they may choose to 'add-on' Potassium Bromide as a second medication. There are several AEDs used to treat epilepsy in humans that are being used to treat epilepsy in dogs; however, these medications can only be used if the approved treatments have failed.
Always keep your dog on a constant diet as changes to what your dog eats can change blood levels of certain drugs. Furthermore, new diets are currently being developed, which might help to improve seizure control even further. Antiepileptic drug treatment is generally considered to be successful if the frequency of their seizures is reduced by at least half, though seizure freedom should be aimed for.
To determine whether the medication is working, an accurate seizure diary is required. From this you can track patterns in your dog's seizure frequency and severity to see if improvements are occurring.
Your dog may experience side effects of their AED treatment. The effects may occur soon after treatment starts or their dose is increased. These effects generally disappear or decrease in the subsequent weeks due to your dog's body developing a tolerance to these drugs. In some cases these side effects persist and must be monitored to ensure their severity does not compromise your dog's quality of life.
Side effects vary with different AEDs. Potential common side effects of AED treatment include sleepiness, wobbliness, increased appetite and thirst, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness of the back legs, weight gain, excitability, restlessness and behavioural changes. If your dog stops having seizures, or your dog experiences life-threatening side effects then your vet may recommend that the AED treatment is stopped.
Never stop treatment immediately as this can in itself cause seizures and status epilepticus - please consult your vet prior of changing medication. A Veterinary Neurology specialist can help you to help your pet with epilepsy.
2015 ACVIM Small Animal Consensus Statement on Seizure Management in Dogs
Your vet may prescribe medicines to control seizures. Always follow your vet's instructions when you give your dog medicine. Don't let him miss. The most common treatments for treating seizures in dogs are potassium. Effective: Phenobarbital for dogs is an effective medication that helps to control.