Handling epilepsy dogs have is a common problem. Epilepsy is a disease that causes seizures. What should be understood is that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Epilepsy occurs because there is electrical currents in the brain that cause the familiar seizures. This disease is common and can occur in any breed of dog, it is not specific to any one breed. The cause may either be genetic of heredity.
The disease is broken down into two categories. The first, and most common, is idiopathic. Idiopathic epilepsy means that it is a genetic condition. There will often be a history of the disease in the dog’s lineage.
The other type of the disease is often caused by a lack of nutrients, or a toxin in the environment. Lead and other toxic substances can trigger the epileptic seizures, as can a lack of certain vitamins.
The primary symptoms of epilepsy are the seizures. There are many types of seizures. People familiar with epilepsy in humans will recognize these categories. There are the grand mal seizures. In the grand mal seizure the dog might collapse, lose consciousness and exhibit other extreme behaviors. This type of seizure is associated with the first form of epilepsy.
Seizures come in all degrees. There are some seizures which are very slight. The dog may appear to be shaking and or twitching. It may not appear to even be a seizure to many people.
Having a dog with epilepsy can present many problems, however you can find ways to help treat the dog. While there is no cure for epilepsy there are medications that can treat it. These medications can limit the amount of seizures or limit the degree to which the seizures occur. Some of the medications are the same medications that humans use. Valium is used in some instances, as well as neurontin, are some of the medications.
If your dog exhibits the signs of a seizure you should do several things. First, observe their behavior so that you may inform the veterinarian how they were acting before and after the event.
Keeping watch over your dogs eating habits is very important. Besides what food they are eating, it is important to observe and see if there are any poisons or toxins in the area which they have access to.
Once the seizure has occurred, your veterinarian will conduct a series of tests. These tests will determine if your dog has epilepsy. These tests will range from determining the level of lead in your dogs blood, to taking advanced imaging tests of the dogs brain.
Making sure the dogs living space is free of pollutants is very important. In addition to this, once the dog as been put on medication the dog has to be watched. Many of the treatments have side effects that you must be aware of. Your vet will inform you about the specifics.
Some of the drug treatments can injure a dog if they are halted all together. Like any medication they should be slowly lowered and not completely stopped. Withdrawal all at once can cause injury to the dog.
Even though a dog cannot be cured of epilepsy there are drugs and lifestyle changes that can make the dogs life more tolerable. The fact that it has a disease does not mean that its quality of life will be terrible. With medication and diligent observation many dogs with epilepsy live happy lives.