Brain Disease in Dogs: Understanding Characteristics and Treatments of Seizures

Seizure brain disease in dogs can be due to various conditions and determining the cause of theBrain Disease in Dogs: Understanding Characteristics and Treatments of Seizures seizure is important in understanding how to treat it.  There are common issues that owners with dogs treated for seizures should be aware of.  These issues are important concepts to be aware of in order to successfully manage any dog being treated for a seizure disorder.  The best aid to successfully treated seizure brain disease in dogs is an educated and committed pet owner.

The character of the seizure can vary depending on the type of brain disease in dogs that causes it to occur.

The type and duration of the seizure as well as the frequency can help determine if an active disease process is affecting the brain or if the dog has epilepsy.  An acute onset of severe, frequent seizures could indicate an infectious, toxic, nutritional, metabolic or neoplastic process.   An intermittent seizure disorder with no other neurological abnormalities in between the seizures, which has been going on for a year or more, is most likely epilepsy.  Click here to learn more about different types of seizures. A dog whose seizures are caused by an active disease process is best managed by treating the primary cause, however, anticonvulsant therapy may still be advised.  Epilepsy is a seizure brain disease in dogs that is best treated with anticonvulsant therapy.

Seizure brain disease in dogs and what owners should do and expect from treatment.

Owners that have a dog with a seizure disorder must understand that successful treatment is largely dependent on their actions.  They must make a commitment to follow the advice of the veterinarian exactly and administer the anticonvulsant drug at the proper dose and frequency.  Never abruptly discontinue an anticonvulsant drug a dog is receiving, as doing so could cause the animal to go into status epilepticus (continuous seizures).

Owners should expect some sedative effects of the medication used to treat seizure brain disease in dogs.  However, the sedative effect of anticonvulsant drugs is often temporary and disappears as the animal either adjusts to the drug dose or as the dose is decreased. The drug chosen to treat seizure brain disease in dogs will be the one which controls the seizures with minimal to no side effects at the most practical expense.

Unlike people, a few seizures a year in a dog is unlikely to have a disastrous effect on his/her daily life.  Seizure brain disease in dogs is considered well controlled on anticonvulsant therapy even if an occasional seizure episode occurs.  Click here to learn what to do if your dog has a seizure at home before he is on medication, and here if he has a seizure while on medication. Seeking appropriate medical advice for seizure disease in dogs can be very successful in controlling your dog’s seizures.  If he/she has been diagnosed with seizures and is being treated by a veterinarian, follow the doctor’s advice.

Potential causes of treatment failure of seizure brain disease in dogs.

The most common reason for anticonvulsant failure of seizure brain disease in dogs is inappropriate administration of the medication.  Pet owners who are lax in giving the correct dose of drug on schedule may find that the treatment is not as effective as expected. Again, it must be stressed that following the medical advice of a veterinarian is very important for successful treatment of seizure disease in dogs.

Sometimes failure can be the result of the veterinarian advising treatment.  Some veterinarians may try to use drugs less frequently or at lower doses than recommended.  Other veterinarians may try a drug at the recommended dose and frequency, get no response, then try another drug at one dose and get no response, and not give either drug a fair drug trial.  A true failure of an anticonvulsant used to treat seizure brain disease in dogs exists if control of seizures is not achieved when the drugs are prescribed correctly and the dose was increased slowly until toxic signs were observed and the owner administered the drug faithfully.

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Dr Stephen Atwater

Stephen W. Atwater, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology) is a board-certified veterinary oncology specialist. His professional interests include utilizing emerging therapies for difficult to treat cancers.

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