Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs - Page 2

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs

By: Dr. John McDonnell

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print

Signs That Require Emergency Veterinary Attention

  • Seizures that last longer than 10 minutes
  • Seizures that occur more than 2 times in a 24 hour time period
  • Seizures that begin before your pet has completely recovered from the previous seizure


    By definition, idiopathic epilepsy is a seizure disorder with no known cause, however it is important for your veterinarian to determine your pet's general health and make sure there is no underlying disease that may be causing the seizures. Your veterinarian will take a detailed history and perform a complete physical and neurological examination. Recommended blood tests may include a CBC, serum biochemistry panel, toxin screen, urinalysis and fecal examination.


    The goal of treatment is to reduce the severity and frequency of the seizures while avoiding unacceptable side-effects. It is rare to completely eliminate all seizures in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. your veterinarian may choose to treat the disorder with anticonvulsant medications.

    Drug Therapy

  • Phenobarbital is usually the drug of first choice for idiopathic epilepsy. It is given two to three times a day by mouth at an initial dose of 1 mg per pound twice a day.

  • The other common anti-convulsant used in dogs is oral diazepam or valium.

  • Bromide is the active ingredient in potassium bromide and sodium bromide and is another anticonvulsant that can be used in addition to phenobarbital or as an initial monotherapy drug. Many dogs that do not initially respond to phenobarbital alone will have a dramatic decrease in seizure frequency and severity with the addition of bromide.

    Home Care

    At home, follow your veterinarian's recommendations regarding drug administration and monitoring, and maintain a complete seizure log with information regarding the seizures, any medication change, veterinary visits and illnesses.

    Haphazard drug administration or abrupt changes in medication may be worse than no treatment at all and may cause status epilepticus, a condition characterized by persistent seizure activity for a period of more than 30 minutes or repeated episodes of seizure activity without recovery in between.

    Blood tests will be required to monitor your dog's response to therapy and guard against toxic effects from the seizures as well as the anti-convulsants.

    The diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy is not a death-warrant; epilepsy is a chronic disease that can be managed in the vast majority of cases. There is help for you and your dog. Work with a veterinarian with whom you feel a good rapport. Educate yourself on seizures and their treatment.

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Dog Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful dog photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me