K9 Epilepsy Tips
This page is going to be more of a tip page for people who have a dog with Canine Epilepsy than an informational page about Canine Epilepsy. If you need some good informational links, I will list some at the botton of the page.
When Topaz’s seizures started, I found a page called Epi Guardian Angels. I emailed them and got an email back from an “angel” who also has an epileptic Aussie. We communicated through email a few times and I found her advice very helpful. They have a page on Emergency Care that is good to read over.
Another EXCELLENT site is Canine Epilepsy Resources. Also, I highly recommend that you join their EPIL-K9 email list. This list is full of very helpful members who all have a seizure dog and are always willing to give advice and help out whenever needed. I have learned more on that list. It’s truly an invaluable tool to the owner of an epileptic dog.
If your dog has a seizure the most important thing is to STAY CALM! Know that the dog is not in any pain and although it looks very scary, the dog is ok. He will not bite is tongue either, so don’t worry about that.
First, make sure the dog is in a safe area where nothing can fall on him. If you have other animals, get them away from the seizing dog. Sometimes, other animals can attack a seizing dog in the pack…esp a female dog. We have not had this happen, but others have. We try to lock our other dog and cats up when Topaz is seizing.
Next, get your “seizure emergency kit” and be ready to administer medications also grab an ice pack if you want to try this technique. I have only tried it once and I can’t say if it helped or not. I also didn’t have crushed ice either. For information on the “ice pack technique” click here.
I also don’t have an emergency kit unless we’re away from home…and we rarely are. But I always mix some Rescue Remedy with a little Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream along with a valium and some phenobarbital crushed up and have it ready for him when he comes around. It’s his after-seizure cocktail.
Ok…here are my tips:
- Be sure to feed your epi premium food – whether it be a high quality kibble or homemade or raw. We feed raw, but we fed kibble prior when the seizures started.
- Start a journal. I use this blog to write down everything that I can remember about each seizure or other events that could be triggers. This is easier for me than writing things down in a notebook. I also write the entry right after the seizure happens, usually when he’s calming down.
- Be familiar with the “known” triggers, however, know that what may trigger another dog, may not trigger yours. Rosemary is a trigger for Topaz and a lot of other epis, but not for some. Also, I believe fish may be a trigger for him.
- Whereas it’s good to know the known triggers, try not to dwell too much on finding the trigger for your dog. You may never know what triggers your dog and you will drive yourself crazy if you never do figure it out but stay focused on it.
- To medicate or not to medicate…we didn’t start the medication until after Topaz had had more than one seizure in a 30 day period. Some people wait longer. I think this is a personal preference and depends on what your vet says and what you believe.
- We used to give Topaz Taurine. I don’t know if it helped or not. We haven’t given it to him in a long time.
- Rescue Remedy is a must! We give this after a seizure, when he’s acting a big odd, or we’re having company, during fireworks season, and when there’s a thunderstorm. It’s to calm them down. There’s a pet remedy now, but we just give the regular one. It comes in a spray now too, which I’d like to try.
I may add more to this list as I think of things, but those are my tips for now.
I will also add links to this page as well in the future.