Category Archives: Epilepsy

News and developments in the treatment of epilepsy

* Epilepsy app for dog owners launches in Europe| Epilepsy Society

Source: Epilepsy app for dog owners launches in Europe| Epilepsy Society
20 January 2016

Epilepsy Society congratulates the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) on news that their app to help dog owners  improve the lives of pets with epilepsy will soon be translated into seven European languages.

The Pet Epilepsy Tracker, launched in the UK during National Epilepsy Week in May 2015 by the RVC, was developed with Epilepsy Society to map seizures and medication requirements.

Holger Volk, professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at the RVC, said the app is a powerful tool in combatting the most common neurological conditions in dogs.

He said: “The main advantage for owners will be the control of an unpredictable and previously uncontrollable disease. Additionally, vets will gain a greater understanding of medication given to a dog, with a record that allows them to spot patterns in seizures.” Continue reading

* Seizures in dogs are distressing and dangerous


Jon Geller 10:29 a.m.   MDT   June 26, 2015

Jon Geller       (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Jon Geller (Photo: Courtesy photo)

First, there are some muscle twitches, and trembling of the head. The eyes will appear to glaze over, and possibly roll upward. Then there will be general muscle rigidity and stiffness, along with profuse salivation, uncontrolled and noisy chomping of the jaw and clattering of the teeth. Finally, a loss of balance and toppling over, followed by a paddling motion of all four legs. Loss of bladder and bowel control is likely. Your dog will not respond to your voice or touch. He has just had a seizure.

Seizures in dogs can be just as distressing for their owners as they are for the pets. They can occur at any time, unpredictably and out-of-the-blue. Older dogs and younger dogs are equally susceptible, depending on the cause. Seizures can be solitary episodes, occur in clusters or be continuous. Read the full article....

If your dog is having a seizure, do not try to intervene because you may be accidentally bitten. Get to a veterinarian as soon as possible afterward.

Your veterinarian’s job is to rule out any underlying cause of the seizure, initially by getting a thorough history, doing a physical exam and running a complete blood panel. Was there any exposure to toxins in the household or outside? Has your dog had a previous trauma that could have caused a brain injury? Could your dog have ingested medication being taken by anyone in the household? Has your dog had access to sugarless gum or other foods that might contain Xylitol? Has he been eating normally, and has he been acting abnormally in any other way? Is there any evidence of previous seizures, such as water or food bowls knocked over, or unexplained noises at night that might have been your dog falling over?

Some more common causes of seizures that can be identified include low blood glucose, possibly due ingestion of Xylitol (an alternative sweetener), a tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) or brain (in an older dog), or inadequate calorie intake in a small dog without a lot of reserves. Alterations in some electrolytes such as sodium and calcium could potentially cause seizures, as well as infections or parasites. Scar tissue that has formed around previous brain trauma can trigger a seizure, just as a genetic malformation in the brain can cause one. Ingestion of psychoactive drugs, moldy food, compost, dead animals, certain plants and other various sundry items that dogs like to ingest can also lead to seizures.

In cases where no underlying cause is identified, epilepsy is diagnosed and considered to be hereditary. Epilepsy is most common in dogs 3-8 years old; when epilepsy is diagnosed, most likely the dog will be on an anti-convulsant medication for the rest of its life.

The most common medications used to treat seizures in dogs are valium (for immediate treatment) or combinations of drugs such as phenobarbitol, potassium bromide and Keppra. Several other medications are also used where the first wave treatments are ineffective. Depending on the size of your dog, the cost of the medications can vary greatly.

Seizures should never be ignored; untreated cluster or continuous seizures can lead to hyperthermia with body temperatures above 107 degrees and irreversible brain damage. Repeated seizures can cause “kindling,” which makes further seizures more likely. Most seizures can be effectively treated long-term with a combination of medications with minimal side effects.Cats can have seizures also, although it is less common. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the cause and make the best plan for treatment.

Jon Geller is a veterinarian at the Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation Clinic.

Source: Seizures in dogs are distressing and dangerous

* Juvenile onset epilepsy can be a rough road for dogs – Columnists – Cape Breton Post

Source: Cape Breton Post

author_thumbnail Dr Darren Low - Cape Breton PostDr. Darren Low
Published on March 06, 2015

Darren Low

Darren Low

I diagnosed four-year-old Brandy with epilepsy when she was just a pup. A border collie mix, she started having mild seizures at six months of age and they quickly became worse. Her little black and white body would twist and thrash, her jaws would clench and she would drool profusely. She would even eliminate during a bad one.

All the diagnostics I could run were completely normal, so all we could do was control the seizures with medication to give Brandy quality of life. Her family knew there were challenges ahead, and that it would be a lifetime commitment, but as they told me from the beginning, they were in this “for better or for worse.” Continue reading

* The Role of Diet in Treating Epileptic Dogs | | Pet360


Diet is an often overlooked component of treating dogs with epilepsy. No, I’m afraid I don’t have any insider information on a miracle food that prevents seizures. The ketogenic diets that help many human epileptics don’t seem to be very effective in dogs, and research has not shown a link to any particular ingredient that when removed, leads to a decrease in seizures. That said, keeping a close eye on an epileptic dog’s diet is still vital for several reasons.

Most dogs with moderate to severe epilepsy receive phenobarbital and/or bromide, and Continue reading

* RVC research sheds light on epilepsy treatments — Why don’t the fits stop?

Royal Veterinary College
Source: The Royal Veterinary College, London
27 August 2014

Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.

The study found that dogs that experience more than one seizure a day and male dogs were less likely to become seizure-free when receiving anti-epileptic drug treatments.

Border Collies and German Shepherds were also found to be at a significantly higher risk of not responding to epilepsy treatment than other breeds

New research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) canine epilepsy clinic has shed light on why some dogs do not respond to anti-epilepsy treatments. Continue reading

* Video: Husky cross Blu is on a 50-day adventure with his family to raise awareness of canine epilepsy – News – Ipswich Star

Source: Ipswich Star

By Matt Bunn  |  Thursday, July 24, 2014  |  12:00 PM

Blu and his family

Blu the Husky who suffers from canine epilepsy is setting off with his family on a 50-day UK tour to raise awareness of the condition. Left to right, Kienan, Vicky, Rob and Aaron McGukin.

A plucky pooch whose battle with canine epilepsy touched the hearts of dog lovers across the country has set off on a 50-day UK adventure with his owners to raise awareness of the condition. Continue reading

* It’s all in the brain, for humans and their pets – development of new epilepsy treatment

Source: The Age |
March 10, 2014
By Hinalei Johnston

Dr Sam Long, Head of Neurology with patient, Ruby. Credit: Wyndham Weekly.

Dr Sam Long, Head of Neurology with patient, Ruby. Credit: Wyndham Weekly.

There are many parallels between the conditions suffered by both humans and pets, as they are exposed to the same environment, which means research in medical and veterinary science fields often has human implications.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are focusing on ground-breaking research into a range of conditions suffered both by animals and humans. The research will hopefully change the way pets and humans are diagnosed and treated, and Continue reading

* Ask the Vet: Dealing with pet seizures | The Desert Sun |

Written by Dr. Brittany Yates – Special to MyDesert
January 16, 2014

What do I do if my pet has a seizure?

First thing, try not to panic.

Next, try to grab a hold of your pet. Do not try and stick your hand in their mouth and grab their tongue. During a seizure, pets are not aware of you, and may accidentally bite you.

If you can, try to video the episode your pet is experiencing. This will help your veterinarian determine if this was indeed a seizure. Also, try to time how long the episode lasts and any characteristic things your pet does during it.

A seizure is an abnormality in the electrical activity of the brain. There can be various causes Continue reading

* Canine Epilepsy article by Dr. Janice Huntingford

by Dr. Janice Huntingford: The pet doctor | Windsor Star

Seizures can be very scary if they happen to your pet. Seizures are usually accompanied by thrashing, yelping crying, excess drooling, and possibly urination and defecation. Continue reading

* Kesgrave: Blu the epileptic Husky cross preparing for an adventure across the country

Kesgrave: Adorable Husky cross, Blu, is showing signs of improvement in his battle against canine epilepsy…now he is preparing for an adventure across the country

News – Ipswich Star

Matthew Bunn Thursday, November 7, 2013 4:00 PM

Blu is preparing for a big adventure

Blu the Husky cross has epilepsy, [his] owner Victoria McGuckin of Kesgrave has raised £1800 via Facebook to fund special treatment

He is the plucky pooch whose fight against canine epilepsy struck a chord with animal lovers across the world. Continue reading