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Dog Seizures - How to Give Epileptic Dogs Medication: Tips, Tricks, and What to Expect

If your dog is epileptic, then you know that giving them their medication can be a hassle. It's hard to get them to take it, and it's hard to keep track of when you gave it to them last. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to make the process easier for both you and your dog. We'll also discuss the common side effects of epileptic medication, as well as why it's important to have regular vet checks

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Routine is Essential

First and foremost, it's important to get into a good routine with your dog's medication. Give them their medicine at the same time every day, and try to make it part of their daily routine so they know what to expect. If possible, give them their medication in a treat or food that they enjoy so they don't associate it with something negative.


To assist you in keeping track of when you gave your dog their medication last, consider utilizing a pill organizer. If there are many persons in the home, this is an especially excellent idea to avoid double dosing.


Tips for giving your dog medication

Giving medication can be stressful for both dogs and owners. The last thing you want is to have it affect your relationship with your pet. We have put together a list of suggestions of things you can try to hide your dog's medication in;


  1. Use their regular dry food - just moisten it with warm water, roll it into a ball and hide the pill in the middle. You can make up a big batch every 3-4 days and keep it in the fridge.

  2. Honey and cottage cheese - adding a little bit of honey to some cottage cheese and hiding it in that can work well for dogs with a sweet tooth.

  3. Low-fat cottage cheese - is great, low risk of causing other problems like pancreatitis and is a cost-effective option.

  4. Roast Pumpkin - yes lots of dogs love veggies too! roast some pumpkin or your dog's veggies of choice at the start of each week. It's easy to hide the tablets inside and most dogs love it.

  5. Warm roast chicken or cooked fish - just like us, smell, warmth and texture can be important for some dogs - if they don't think much of chicken cold try heating it up.

What you should avoid

  1. Anything with artificial sweeteners in it - particularly Xylitol. This is toxic to dogs and can cause problems even in very small doses. It is found commonly in things like peanut butter and ice cream

  2. High-fat foods can cause pancreatitis in some dogs so should be avoided as a way of hiding the medication.

  3. Highly processed foods are not good for your dog in general so should be avoided.

  4. Raw food, especially raw meat are high risk for food-borne illness and so we recommend not using them to hide medication. Cooked whole foods should be used instead.

  5. Other food and drinks that can causes seizures in dogs include but are not limited to mushrooms, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and nutmeg.


Side effects of Epileptic medication in dogs

As with most medication, side effects are possible with dog epilepsy medication as well. The most common side effects of epilepsy medication, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, ataxia (wobbly) and an increase in liver enzymes.It is because of these side effects as well as your dog's seizing frequency that you should have regular checkups at your vet. If dogs are on daily medication, they should have a full blood health screen at least once every 6 months.


Behavioural changes have also been noted as a side effect of Levetriraceta, otherwise known as Keppra in dogs. These changes can include aggression, separation anxiety and compulsive behaviours. If you notice any of these changes in your dog's behaviour, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.


As previously stated, it is important to have regular vet checks while your dog is on epilepsy medication. The most common blood test done is a complete blood count (CBC) and a biochemical profile, which includes a liver panel. These tests help to assess your dog's general health as well as to catch any early signs of problems with their medication.


How Medium-chain triglycerides can benefit your dog

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that can be used with traditional dog epilepsy medication. MCTs have been shown to help control seizures in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, improve behaviour, and reduce the risk of epileptogenesis and they also have very few side effects. If you are interested in trying MCTs for your dog, please speak to your veterinarian about the best way to incorporate them into your dog's treatment plan.



FAQ

How long will my dog need medication?

This is often the question that dog owners want to answer the most. The answer, unfortunately, is not always straightforward. For some dogs, they may only need medication for a short period of time while others may need it for life.


The decision on how long your dog will need to be on medication is usually made by your veterinarian based on the frequency and severity of their seizures as well as how they are responding to treatment. If your dog is having multiple seizures a week or their seizures are not well controlled with medication, they may need to be on medication for life.


What if my dog spits out their pills?

If your dog is spitting out their pills, there are a few things you can try to help make sure they are getting the full dose of their medication.


-Try hiding the pill in a ball of dog food or treat. If your dog is food motivated, this may be enough to get them to eat the pill without realizing it.

-Another option is to crush the pill into a powder and mix it with a small amount of water. This can then be syringed into your dog's mouth. Always discuss with your veterinarian if this is a safe option for the medication your dog is taking before doing so, as different medications and formulations are designed to be absorbed differently and crushing the pills can affect this.

-If you are still having trouble getting your dog to take their pills, please contact your veterinarian as they may be able to prescribe a different form of the medication that is easier for you to give.


How much will it cost for my dog's seizure medication?

The cost of dog epilepsy medication can vary depending on the type and brand of the drug. For example, phenobarbital is one of the oldest drugs used to treat dog seizures and is generic, so it is often cheaper than newer drugs. Newer drugs, such as Levetiracetam (Keppra), often have a higher initial cost. The best way to find out how much your dog's seizure medication will cost is to speak to your veterinarian or pharmacist. They will be able to give you an estimate of the cost based on the type of drug and the size of your dog.


How often will my dog need seizure medication?

This will depend on the type of seizure medication your dog is taking as well as the severity of their seizures. For example, if your dog is taking phenobarbital, they may only need it once a day while dogs taking levetiracetam (Keppra) may need it two to three times a day.


It is important to follow your veterinarian's instructions on how often to give your dog their seizure medication as this will help to prevent breakthrough seizures. Breakthrough seizures are seizures that occur despite being on medication. They can be caused by many things, such as not giving the medication at the right time or skipping doses. If you think your dog is having a breakthrough seizure, please contact your veterinarian.


What are the side effects of dog seizure medication?

The most common side effect of dog seizure medication is sedation. This means that your dog may be more tired than usual and may not want to go for walks or play as much. Some dog owners find that their dog's personality may also change on seizure medication, but this is often a very subtle change.


Other side effects of dog seizure medication can include:

-Increased appetite

-Weight gain

-Lethargy

-Dizziness

-Unsteadiness

-Diarrhea

-Constipation


If you notice any of these side effects in your dog, please contact your veterinarian. They may be able to adjust the dose of the medication or switch to a different drug.


I hope this gives you some helpful information on how to give your dog seizure medication. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

Happy Medicating! :)"


Blog about tips on how to give epileptic dogs medication, how to get into a good routine of giving them, what the common side effects of epileptic medication are, and how long you usually have to give medication for"


dog seizures, epilepsy in dogs, canine idiopathic epilepsy.




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