Understanding Epilepsy (Detailed article with discussion of complementary therapies)
Epilepsy was recognized in ancient times and was undoubtedly one of the “difficult” diseases Hippocrates referred to. Understanding what causes seizures, how epilepsy is treated and how current research may help decrease the incidence of the disease, will help you deal with the condition in your pet.
See your veterinarian
Your veterinarian will be your best source for advice about your pet’s health. They know your pet, what treatments have been tried in the past, what was found on examination, and your pet’s other medical problems.
Be an intelligent consumer. Educate yourself about your pet’s disease and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand why a test is being run or a treatment recommended, your veterinarian will be able to explain why this will help your pet.
Remember anyone can post anything on the Internet so there is no guarantee the information is valid unless it comes from a reputable source. Share what you learn with your veterinarian. They can help you distinguish information that may be helpful from ideas that may be useless or even dangerous for your pet’s individual needs.
The information in this site is provided to help you understand the things your veterinarian will be discussing with you and may help stimulate discussion of the options available.
We cannot directly advise you on how to treat your pet. If your pet is having serious problems, you may wish to ask your veterinarian to refer you to a nearby Veterinary Neurologist (a specialist in diseases of the nervous system like epilepsy). To find a Board Certified Neurologist near you, go to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine homepage and search for a local neurologist.
If you have a pet with epilepsy, these are some of the key points for you to remember. They will be discussed in more detail:
- Don’t change or discontinue medication without consulting your veterinarian.
- See your veterinarian at least once a year for follow-up visits.
- If your pet has a seizure longer than 5-10 minutes or 3 seizures in a day, seek veterinary care immediately.
- Be skeptical of exorbitant claims of treatments.
Remember, live with epilepsy not for epilepsy. With appropriate treatment, most dogs have far more good days than bad ones. Enjoy all those good days! Enjoy your life and your pet. They have a serious disease, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying the time you have with them.
NB:This is another example of dis-ease that is correlated with diet and vaccination (among other factors). My approach is to gently lower the seizure threshold with fresh feeding and supplements like antioxidants + DMG while treating homeopathically and lowering the levels of drugs like phenobarb and potassium bromide. This approach usually improves the pet’s quality of life.–Dr. Jeff
Please note: The information provided here is meant to supplement that provided by your veterinarian. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of information at this site. Nothing can replace a complete history and physical examination performed by your veterinarian. -Dr. Jeff