Top Tips for Owners of an Epileptic Pet
- Antiseizure medications should be given to your pet at regular times every day to keep their condition under control and achieve stable blood levels.
- Keep an accurate diary of seizures, including the date, hour, appearance, duration and consequences of each seizure, as it is helpful to monitor the impact of their treatment.
- Keep the medications going, if you suddenly stop your pet’s antiseizure medications it could trigger a severe ‘withdrawal’ seizure. Talk to your veterinary surgeon before changing anything.
- Using a commercial ‘epilepsy / ketogenic-like’ diet or adding MCT oil to your epileptic pet’s diet may help to control their seizures, as well as the side effects of the antiepileptic medications. However, not all pets tolerate/like this diet and it may not improve seizure control in some dogs.
- If your pet is currently being treated with potassium bromide, then avoid sudden changes in their diet (specifically in the salt content) as it can lead to fluctuations of bromide levels in their blood and either low levels and loss of seizure control, or excessively high levels.
- Your pet is in need of urgent veterinary care if they experience two or more seizures within a 24-hour period or a seizure lasting longer than five minutes without stopping, this is a veterinary emergency and can be life-threatening so get urgent help.
- Record video footage of your pet’s seizures as it may help your veterinarian/veterinary neurologist to characterise their disease more effectively and is particularly useful for them to see at the time of your pet’s first referral appointment.
- Most seizures will fortunately stop by themselves after 30 seconds to 2 minutes. However, administering either diazepam into the rectum of your pet, or midazolam into their nose, can help to stop a fit that is not self-resolving. This medication can be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon.
- Do not put your hand near your pet’s mouth during an epileptic seizure and risk them accidently biting you, as it isn’t true that your dog or cat can risk swallowing their tongue and choke.
If you are worried about your pet, then ask your vet about a referral to our Neurology and Neurosurgery team. They can perform a full epilepsy investigation for a fixed price of £3,500. This all-inclusive price includes the initial consultation, blood tests for metabolic disease, general anaesthesia, an MRI scan of their brain, spinal fluid sampling and analysis, one day in the hospital and a follow-up consultation.