Epilepsy, the Ever Changing Journey


OTLOO Mar 3 2016 am2

There is no “one size fits all” for treating epilepsy. Every case is unique & what works for some dogs may do nothing for another. Also what works now may not be as effective over time & for some lucky dogs, they may even see their AEDs (anti seizure drugs) eliminated all together. My name is Olivia & I live with canine epilepsy. In my five years I have had to change or adjust dosages of my medications more than once.

Twice a day (12 hours apart) I am given my daily medications. Initially, I was prescribed phenobarbital but that wasn’t enough to manage my seizures.  A year later, I was prescribed an additional AED, potassium bromide. In the last year the phenobarbital has become less effective so my huMom under the direction of my wooftastic Vet is slowly weening me off it & I now take Zonisamide instead. With luck, in a few months I will not be taking phenobarbital at all.

I have cluster seizures which means I will have more than 1 seizure in a 24 hour period. First I was prescribed liquid Valium but it wasn’t the cluster buster for me.  Instead, I used Clonazepam but again, over time it’s effectiveness has diminished so we have recently replaced it with the drug Keppra. I’m happy to say that I am responding well to my adjusted regime. With the reduction phenobarbital I feel more present & alert as it used to leave me in a fog.  My cluster buster Keppra is not only less harmful on my organs, it has less side effects & I don’t experience ataxia from using it.

My huMom has also learned of many ways to help me that we did not know in the beginning. Connecting with other families with epileptic dogs via social media has provided her with so much knowledge & support. Ocular Compression Therapy  was something she discovered while researching on the internet & we feel it is effective in stopping a seizure before it takes hold. We also have learned to apply ice packs if it appears that a seizure is coming on as cooling seems to help. The ice packs help after a seizure as well.  We also learned about supplements like melatonin,  vitamin b complex, magnesium & zinc.


Managing the side effects of my phenobarbital use is done with the use of Milk Thistle, raw beets and a liver toner treatment 4 times a year.  I also do a kidney flush treatment 4 times a year.

If you have a dog with epilepsy you know that it is an ever changing journey. Don’t get discouraged, there is a lot of help & support out there. Engage your vet & be open to trying new things & if they don’t help, try not to be discouraged. Remember that you are not alone in this fight.

CEO Olivia

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