Published: Jun 01, 2008 07:43 AM
Modified: Jun 01, 2008 07:43 AM
dog (or cat) had a seizure recently. She stopped on her own and seems normal now. Should we take her to the veterinarian? What treatments are available if she continues to have seizures?A:
Any pet that has a seizure should be brought to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. Prolonged or repeated seizures can increase body temperature and can be dangerous.
Seizures can be caused by toxins, metabolic problems, developmental problems, cancer, infection or can be idiopathic (epilepsy).
A visit to the veterinary hospital will usually include a good physical examination and a blood panel to look for evidence of liver, kidney or electrolyte disturbances. If no specific cause is identified but seizures continue, your veterinarian may begin seizure medication or recommend a consult with a neurologist.
There are many seizure medications available (phenobarbital, potassium bromide, gabapentin, levetiracetam, zonisamide). Your veterinarian will discuss options and monitoring with you.
The goal for seizure control long-term is infrequent seizures that are short in duration. With good monitoring at home and at the veterinary hospital, most pets with seizures can look forward to long and happy lives.
Erik Dorsch is a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital in Carrboro.