Epilepsy is very common in some breeds of dogs. If it is left untreated, it can lead to crippling or fatal consequences for your pet. If your dog exhibits the signs of epilepsy, it is extremely important to get him to a qualified veterinary professional as soon as possible to start treatment. The article below details out the symptoms, treatment and side effects of this disease in dogs.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that involves sudden and recurrent attacks to the dog's muscles, senses or brain function. The dog may lose conciousness out of nowhere, or it may suffer seizures of varying levels of severity. The presence of seizures is common to dogs with epilepsy, but it is not the only diagnostic factor. Seizures can also be brought on by poison, low blood sugar and other chemical stimulants.
To determine if your dog is epileptic, the veterinarian will perform an examination, a blood test and possibly a urine test to rule out other causes of seizure activity. These tests may reveal a chemical cause for the seizures, and will determine the course of treatment.
Most dogs who suffer from seizures are medicated with phenobarbital. In many cases, small amounts of this drug will control a dog's epileptic activity. However in some cases, phenobarbital loses its effectiveness, or if it is used on a long-term basis and in high quantities, it can have other negative effects on your pets organs. Potassium bromide is an alternative which is used for dogs with liver issues and those with adverse reaction, or unsatisfactory response to phenobarbital.
Epileptic dogs need a stable and nutritious diet to supplement their medication regime. Whatever the course of treatment, it is imperative to administer medication and feeding times consistently to keep all chemical levels in the blood as stable as possible. Spikes in salt levels, for instance, can bring on fits of ataxia, which is a loss of coordination and muscle control. Regular exercise, vitamin supplements, and eliminating toxic substances such as hairspray from your home can also help in reducing seizure recurrence.
- Canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com (CanineEpil)