Dear Dr. Sanderlin,
What, if any, is the treatment for apoplectic seizures in dogs. My 12 year old
cocker used to have them, then they went away with no treatment. Now they are
back, she suffers an attack every 2-3 weeks.
Seizure activity in dogs can be caused by many different conditions. The most
common are epilepsy, liver dysfunction or other metabolic disease, and by tumors
or infection/inflammation of the central nervous system.
The best approach to treating them is to start by having your family
veterinarian perform a thorough exam. Also, diagnostic tests, such as bloodwork,
including complete thyroid testing, urinalysis, and possibly even CSF analysis
or a CT or MRI scan of the brain are necessary to find a diagnosis for the
It is also necessary for you and your veterinarian to review any medical history
that could precipitate the onset of seizures such as vaccinations, heartworm
preventatives, diet change, household or environmental exposure to toxins.
Record the frequency and timing of episodes, duration and quality of convulsions
by keeping a journal of events that happen around the time of seizures. Are
there any changes or additions of people or other pets in the household? Changes
in schedules or routines in household?
Epilepsy is a common diagnosis made in many dogs. If the seizures are severe and
frequent enough, dogs may require pharmaceuticals such as valium, phenobarbital,
or potassium bromide to control the episodes. There are also specific herbal
remedies, acupuncture treatment, and homeopathic therapies available from a
experienced holistic practitioner.
natural hypoallergenic diet along with
fish oil, taurine, phosphatidylcholine, B complex vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants (VitC, Vit E, Selenium, Vits A&D) in products
such as Canine Antioxidant Formula, Cell Advance or Vetri-DMG can be therapeutic for epileptics.
Liver supportive supplements that contain milk thistle, N-acetylcysteine,
and alpha lipoic acid benefit liver function, especially while on anti-convulsant
drugs like phenobarbitol.
Steve Sanderlin DVM