Epileptic Dog

This is Ke-Le:

We just got her last night. She’s been in 4 different homes since being picked up off the street a year or so ago, and is now staying with us. We want to make it work for her here, because changing homes all the time can’t be good for her health. She seems to love the environment, and though she hasn’t been with us even a day, all the dogs seem quite fond of her.

Our semi-paralyzed dog Jiro even let her sleep on him:

Ke-Le has epilepsy. Not as severe as it was a year back, apparently, but we are told we can expect a seizure once a month at least. She’s given medication twice a day (syrup for the epilepsy and a whole range of pills, apparently for brain re-construction) and otherwise causes no inconvenience to us at all.

In fact, the people we got her from (which was a group of people spookily referred to as “The Association” :astonished: ) told us that she is completely retarded, but we’re yet to see any signs of this. She’s slow, that’s for sure, but understands who her new ‘masters’ (or slaves really :s ) are, and actually has understood our toileting system from the get go; both of which are things we were told she wasn’t capable of.

One thing I want to know though: does anyone have any experience with epileptic dogs? Any idea what we should expect? (Or at least what I should expect, I know my wife’s seen it all already…) I had no idea epilepsy was something a dog could have… is there any medication out there anyone has heard of that can improve her health without making her so slow? Any advice or comments at all would be greatly appreciated!

You guys are amazing, gaboman. :bravo: :notworthy:

Strangely enough, we have just taken charge of an epileptic dog. He has seizures every day, and our vet is providing medicine this evening. I’ll let you know what he says.

Good luck!


Fantastic! (I mean… not for the dog… the poor thing) It’s good to know we can get some extra advise. We have the number of Ke-Le’s current vet, but since its someone I personally haven’t dealt with before I won’t put Ke-Le’s life in his hands alone just yet.

Ke-Le used to have seizures daily, but apparently its nowhere near as frequently now. We were worried the shock of a new environment would send her over the edge last night, but she actually came in and was quite calm. Well, that’ll give you something to shoot for.

I’m just worried about when her first seizure in our house comes… My wife taking care of everything, trying to calm Ke-Le and doing what needs to be done, and me running around in circles, pulling my hair screaming “ohmigud ohmigud ohmigud ohmigud”.

My research thus far suggests leaving the dog alone during a seizure, as there is a danger of getting bitten. :s

Hi All

I just visited the vet (Yang Min in Tienmu) tonight to get Baxter’s medication. Actually, while we (the dog and I) were at the vet last night, Baxter had a seizure. It didn’t last very long and was not very severe. There is not much you can do for a dog while it has a seizure. It is not consciously aware of you while it has a seizure. The dog is in danger of biting it’s own tongue. What you can do is to apply pressure to the dog’s jaws (where they connect) with your thumb and middle finger so as to gently force the jaws to stay open. Be there to comfort the dog after the seizure as it might be frightened or nervous. Also, there are certain warning signs to look for to indicate the onset of a seizure. I thought Baxter was just nervous but the shaking was the starting phase of a seizure.

I did some reading about epilepsy medication last night and found that the medication can have a sedative effect on dogs.

For a more natural approach to the treatment of epilepsy in dogs, and for more info on epilepsy and how to deal with it, please visit this site. canine-epilepsy.com/Resources.html

And this link is also interesting and explains epilepsy well. petz.co.uk/vetontheweb/new/article17.html

You guys break my heart.

What can I say?

:bravo: :rainbow: :bravo:

One thing I want to know though: does anyone have any experience with epileptic dogs? Any idea what we should expect? (Or at least what I should expect, I know my wife’s seen it all already…) I had no idea epilepsy was something a dog could have… is there any medication out there anyone has heard of that can improve her health without making her so slow? Any advice or comments at all would be greatly appreciated![/quote]

Frankie, my black lab who died last year of cancer at age 11, had petit mal epilepsy - a milder form of epilepsy than the grand mal type. Before he was put on medication, Frankie suffered from seizures once about every two months which increased in frequency. We found about his seizures when he was about three. The vet in the U.S. put him on phenobarbital, a kind of barbiturate, which controlled his seizures. He was on 30mg twice a day in the beginning (2 pills/day), then decreasing the dosage as he grew older. When he was down to 15mg twice a day(1 pill/day), his seizures started again, so towards the end of his life he was on 1 1/2 pills/day. The dosage depends on the dog’s weight and the severity of his condition, and you should consult with your vet. Also phenobarbital may affect the dog’s liver function, so Frankie had to have a blood test every 6 months to make sure that his liver wasn’t overtaxed. Phenobarbital is a controlled substance (even in Taiwan), but you should have no problem getting it through a vet, and it is relatively inexpensive. PM me if you have further questions, and good luck with your puppy. V

What a coincidence to run across this thread today. This afternoon as I was leaving the house my dog had another seizure and I was thinking of posting something about it. This is the second epileptic dog I

About 10 years ago we had a shepherd-terrier mix with epilepsy. There really isn’t anything you can do other than give him/her the medication and hope for the best. Once a seizure starts, you just need to wait for it to end and, as someone else already posted, be there to try to provide comfort and reassurance. I never had any problem with him trying bite anyone, but we kept our hands away from his mouth.
Our dog would have seizures once every 2-3 weeks and would be very incoherent afterwards. When a seizure was about to start, he would walk around trying to get our attention and try to get close to someone.

On the positive side, other than the occasional seizures, he lived a long and relatively normal life. Probably the best dog I’ve ever had.

You know dogs can sense oncominh seizures in humans? Many are trained to warn a person or provide support when the fit starts.

Does anyone have any experience with alternative medcines for epilepsy in dogs, or perhaps dietary changes? Would love to hear about them.

Definitely like to hear people’s experiences on this point. I’d rather that than doping her up all the time.

There was a doctor at the Warner Village Dog Expo Dealy that said he could help our Ke-Le with Chinese medicines. Though I’m reluctant to try it, we are going to meet with him at some point and find out the details of such treatment.

One bit of advice we learnt after the second day: limit any epileptic dog’s water intake. Our pup’s a full grown golden retriever and we give her about 200ml an hour. Give them much more than that and they’ll be a bit on the schitzo side.

I saw a documentary once about a boy who was epileptic. The doctors kept trying different drugs…but nothing seemed to help. Plus, the side effects of the medications were making his quality of life worse…not better. Finally the doctors decided that surgery was the only option left (to seperate the two halves of the brain). The mother had to litteraly steal her son out of the hospital and then take him to an alternative clinic she read about.

The alternative clinic just changed his diet…and he never had a seizure again.

So yeah…I hope you guys can find some type of alternative medicine that works.

I’m a frequent lurker, but this is my first post. I was delighted to see the topic on canine epilepsy since I’ve been dealing with this with my 4-year-old Welsh Terrier for the past two-and-a-half years.

Initially I was really freaked by her seizures, but it is now simply a part of life. Just as people have various ailments, so do our beloved pets. Her seizures last for several minutes. She’s somewhat disoriented for another 5-10 minutes, but after that she’s back to her normal playful self.

My pup was having seizures about every week or so even with phenobarb twice a day. Recently, on the advise of a vet friend in the States, I’ve also started her on potassium bromide (Kbr), and her the frequency of her seizures is now down to about once a month, which is an enormous improvement.

I’ve been to many vets here and have tried alternative therapies, including acupuncture, which didn’t do anything for her. I’ve become quite frustrated with the vets here, who charge astronomical prices for the phenobarb. To their defense, however, the number of canine anti-epilectic medicines available here is limited to say the least.

I was being charged between 1,500 and 2,000 a month for her phenobarb. My vet friend in the States sold me a jug of phenobarb pills (totally above board, just make sure you have a vet’s prescription slip to show to customs when entering the country in the event you are questioned) for US$100, which will last for about 1.5 years! Meanwhile, the Kbr can also be obtained easily from a vet in the States and is quite cheap.

Despite being the canine anti-epilectic drug of choice of many vets in the States (and Kbr has been shown to be so effective that over 50% of dogs taking it in conjunction with phenobarb can have their phenobarb intake gradually reduced without an increase in seizures), only a few vets here have even heard of it.

Of course these drugs can have side effects and in the case of phenobarb, checks of liver function are recommended every 3-6 months. It is a constant challenge to find the perfect balance between the number of seizures acceptable to the owners and how much you want to drug your furry friend.

Hope everyone will continue to share their experiences.