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Treatment options for dogs with seizures

Updated on July 25, 2009

Some dogs may take some time to recover from seizures

Perhaps there are not many other health conditions in dogs that can be as frightening as dog seizures. It just happens so suddenly and unexpectedly that most owners find themselves in panic, thinking the worst. Luckily despite those severe spasms and paddling legs, most dogs recover uneventfully. However, the good news is that in most cases, seizures can be kept under control thanks to the medical advances of the veterinary field.

Treatments for Seizure in dogs

  • Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is the most common medication prescribed in dogs affected by seizures. This medication may cause side effects such as some sedation, increased drinking and increased urinating and an increase in appetite. This side effects however, tend to dissipate after a while.

One important consideration is to ensure the dog undergoes routine blood work. This allows careful monitoring of liver function.These blood chemistry panels should be required every 3-4 months in order to detect signs of possible liver problems. According to Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels, bile acid tests appear to work more effectively in detecting early signs of liver failure before extensive damage occurs. Bile acid tests therefore should be performed on an average every 6 months. It is best to consult with a veterinarian about this.

  • Potassium Bromide

This medication is often used along with Phenobarbital when the seizures are not well under control or alone, in the case of dogs that have suffered some level of liver damage from the prolonged use of Phenobarbital.

While the fact that Potassium Bromide is gentlier on the liver is a big plus factor, its drawback is the fact that this medication may take three to four months until it is fully effective.

  • Oral and Rectal Valium

Not many dog owners are aware of this option but it can be very effective to control cluster seizures. Given rectally Valium may be effective within fifteen minutes. A veterinarian should be consulted about this option for dogs that suffer frequent seizures.

  • Alternative Medications

While Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide are the most common medications prescribed to epileptic dogs, there are also some less commonly know medications that are also effective. These include: Gabapentin, Levetiracetam, Felbamate and Clorazepate.

  • Rescue Remedy

This product is actually a Bach flower extract that can be be given to dogs that are recovering from the post-ictal phase. It appears to help some dogs reduce pacing an other behaviors that follow seizures. There is a lot more about this at this dog epilepsy website.

  • Acupressure

Something worth trying is acupressure. There is a particular point known is acupressure as the areas GV 26 which has demonstrated in some instances to be effective in ceasing a seizure when pressure is applied. It is locate right between the nose and the upper lip.

While seizures are quite scary, the good thing is that in most cases they are manageable. Always monitor your dog following a seizure to make sure he or she is recovering well. Contact a veterinarian promptly should your dog's seizure last for more than 5 minutes. Check your dog's gums and ensure they are their normal pet color. Consult with a veterinarian promptly if something does not seem quite right. in some cases, seizure may cause substantial harm, especially when clustered and long lasting.

More tips about treating seizures at home can be found at thisĀ pet home remedy website.

Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Living With and Without Seizures
Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Living With and Without Seizures

"If your dog has epilepsy, GET THIS BOOK!" -- Steve Dale, Animal Planet Radio, September 28, 2002



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