Epilepsy in Dogs: How We Control Ours

I have spent hours trying to research this issue. This is not a scientific survey, but we have records of every seizure our dog, Wazir, has had, and we are personally convinced that Zonegran stops seizures. I studied zoology at University College London, so bear with me.

We have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Wazir. He is an epileptic. We used to blame the breeders for him, but now we know that epilepsy is possible in the meanest mutt and not just the crossbred show dog.

So if you have an epileptic dog, here are the facts. Wazir weighs 22 kg and is four years old, he has epilepsy ever since he had an encounter with a labrador who scared him by attacking him when he was one year old.

Wazir takes 50 mg of Gardenal (a barbiturate) and 750 mg of potassium bromide twice a day. This dose has been reduced from 75 mg (1 ½ Gardenal tablets) twice a day and the dog is much happier for it, being less “doped up” he transforms from an “old dog” to a dog that we believe is more normal for your 4 year old We tried a “super magnet necklace” and if anything it made things worse.

These drugs keep the epilepsy at bay, but about once a month, Wazir has a series of epileptic seizures.

We have dosed him, for the last 21 months, with Zonegran 100mg, two capsules every four hours when the attacks have started. After about 12 hours, the attacks stop and we give a single last capsule when the last attack has lasted for more than four hours.

This stops the seizures, but the dog doesn’t like the effect this drug has on him and we have to be crafty to get him to swallow the capsules. Smoked salmon, prosciutto and pate de foie gras are useful tools.

Zonegran is a medication used for human epilepsy. It costs, here in Spain, €130 for 56 capsules. At two capsules every four hours, plus one at the end, the pack lasts for around four months or four times of epilepsy. Our rule of thumb is to let Wazir have three attacks and then start Zonegran – the attacks wear off 12-15 hours after starting Zonegran.

Our vet (who we love and have known Wazir since he was 3 months old) told us there was no way Zonegran could have an effect in less than a week of consistent use, so we recently decided to try the monthly attack session. Wazir without using Zonegran and save money. Instead of having three seizures before we dose him with Zonegran and five or six seizures while it’s taking effect, over a period of time that normally doesn’t exceed 36 hours, the poor dog had 39 seizures in the three days before he was dosed. I could go to a pharmacy. that he stores the drug and nine attacks in the next 13 hours before the drug stopped them.

48 adjustments in 90 hours compared to an average of 9 adjustments in 24 hours. Wazir lost control of his bladder and bowel, which doesn’t normally happen. Obviously, he had a devastating effect on the dog, who we thought might have brain damage afterwards (he seems fine now, three days later). Poor Wazir, who normally goes blind after a seizure but needs exercise because he has seizures mainly when he sleeps or rests, was lying in his own excrement unable to move from exhaustion. My wife had to fly back from the UK to help me cope with the lack of sleep.

Zonegran is created by Eisai, an American/Japanese company based in London http://www.eisai.com. €30 per training session (approximately every month) at Zonegran is something few pet owners can afford. Of course, human drugs are often subsidized by the state, but if enough pet owners ask them, maybe they’ll launch a veterinary product. They don’t have an email address on the website and phone numbers take you to a nurse, so you may have the same problem getting through as I did, but persevere.

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