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Dog Epilepsy

Updated on March 19, 2014

Dog Epilepsy - My Unique Pet

My Jack Russell Terrier, Milo, is quite unique in that he suffers from Canine Epilepsy or Dog Epilepsy. The very first time that he ever had a fit it was quite distressing to watch. His paws were pitter-pattering uncontrollably and he didn't have control over his limbs. I had experienced people with epilepsy in the past, so I new that it was neurological.

The first time that Milo had a fit, I tool him to the vet and they said we should monitor him for a while. A few weeks later he continued to have fits, and so I had to take him to the vets again. Sometimes he would have two or three in one week. The vet recommended that he had an MRI scan, which is quite expensive for a dog. However, Milo was insured so the insurance company would pay out as it was the first year of his condition. The MRI scan came back clear of any tumour or cancer, which was a big relief.

We then needed to decide whether to put Milo on medication or not. With the advice of the vet, we decided against it, because the medication can be expensive and have side effects. So only dogs with severe epilepsy go on medication. Milo is now quite old (15 years) and although he has a bit of arthritis and a few fits every now and again, I am pleased to say that he is still living a happy, healthy life.

Top Tips for Canine Epilepsy

  1. Insure your Dog so that expensive treatment can be covered.
  2. Do not restrict your dog while he or she is having a seizure.
  3. During a seizure ensure that the dog cannot injure itself by supporting the head with a cushion or blanket.
  4. Take the dog to the Vet as soon as possible.
  5. If your dog is taking medication make sure that it is administered regularly/at the correct time.

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Diagnosis and Treatment for Dog Epilepsy

Diagnosis of Dog Epilepsy - Your vet may be reasonably sure that your dog has epilepsy if he or she is experiencing frequent seizures. However, the vet may want to scan the dog to rule out or eliminate other problems such as cancer or brain conditions.

MRI Scan for Dogs An MRI scan can be very expensive, so it is always a good idea to get your dog insured. Do read and check the policy carefully as some only pay for treatment for the first 12 months of a condition, and some only pay out up to a certain amount. Many dog insurers will not pay out on previously diagnosed conditions. If you can afford it, it is best to insure your dog from a puppy and seek diagnosis or treatment as soon as possible.

Medication for Dog Epilepsy - Medication can cause side effects and be expensive. Canine epilepsy is actually quite common in young male dogs such as terriers. If the vet think that your dog can manage to live a full and healthy life without medication, that may be the best thing to do.

If your dog is having a Seizure - When your dog is actually having a seizure, restricting the dog may cause injury to limbs. The best thing to do is leave it and let the fit ride out. If your dog is hitting its head, put something soft to prevent head injuries such as a cushion or coat.

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      A close friend of mine had an epileptic dog. Unfortunately, her Riley's life was cut quite short due to the condition. It was a heartbreaking time for that family who truly loves their dogs. Very glad Milo is doing well.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 3 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I had a dog who had some seizures, but they were not due to epilepsy. It is definitely scary to watch your dog have a seizure.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Oh gosh, it really is hard to watch. But yes I'm confident that your dog knows how much you care for him and loves you for it.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      can't imagine dealing with this - it's so hard to watch our pets in pain or suffer in any way - but he sure is living a long life in dog years, that part is wonderful - you've taken wonderful care of Milo