UNDERSTANDING SEIZURE DISORDERS
METABOLIC: Extracranial disease resulting in seizures can be separated into those causing or
arising within the dog itself (endogenous) for example due to liver disease, or those arising external to
the dog (exogenous) such as toxins. There are numerous metabolic diseases that can result in
seizures. These include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), liver
disease, kidney disease, electrolyte disturbances, toxins (poisons), anemia, and heart and lung
STRUCTURAL: diseases which result in seizures include hydrocephalus, storage diseases, cancer
(primary and secondary brain tumor), inflammatory disease (infectious and non-infectious
encephalitis), trauma (injury), and blood-vessel-based diseases. Primary brain cancers originate in
the brain whereas secondary cancers develop when cells from cancers outside the brain are carried
to the brain in the blood.
IDIOPATHIC EPILEPSY: is a seizure disorder without obvious cause. Idiopathic seizures begin
between 1 year and 4 years of age. Therefore, a dog that begins having seizures at 9 years of age does
not have Idiopathic epilepsy. Certain breeds of dogs are known or thought to have an increased
incidence of idiopathic epilepsy such as beagles, Belgian Tervurens, German Shepherds, keeshonds,
and collies. High incidence breeds include the Saint Bernard, German Shepherd, golden retriever,
Irish setter, American cocker spaniel, Wire-haired fox terriers, Alaskan malamutes, Siberian
Huskies, and miniature poodles.
DRUGS USED TO TREAT SEIZURES:
Phenobarbital is a barbiturate. It is the most commonly used anticonvulsant. Toxicity signs include
drowsiness/sedation, falling, increased drinking, urination and appetite. With high dosages or
prolonged use, Phenobarbital can cause damage to the liver. For best results, this drug needs to be
given consistently (every day) at least twice daily. This drug should not be altered without veterinary
Primidone is rapidly metabolized to Phenobarbital and some other metabolites by the liver.
Phenobarbital contributes 85% of the anticonvulsant activity due to its prolonged half-life. It seems
to work no better than Phenobarbital for most animals. Acute toxicity signs are similar to those of
Phenobarbital. Primidone may be more toxic to the liver.
Phenytoin (Dilantin) is a commonly used anticonvulsant in people. Because it is metabolized
differently in dogs, it is not as effective in dogs. It also can be toxic to the liver. Phenytoin is toxic to
cats and should not be used.
Diazepam (Valium) is a benzodiazepine. It is a very effective anticonvulsant, but is metabolized very
quickly in dogs, making its effects short lasting. It is given in emergency situations because it works
quickly. Acute toxicity includes drowsiness, lethargy, and depression.
Potassium Bromide is used mostly as a secondary anticonvulsant in animal’s refractory to
Phenobarbital, however, can be used alone. Due to its lack of metabolism it is the ideal
anticonvulsant for patients with liver disease. Acute toxicity includes vomiting, anorexia,
constipation, sedation and incoordination.
REFERENCED FROM THE WASHINGTON STATE COLLEGE OF VET MEDICINE WEBSITE
application for registration of medicine: chronic and prescribed minimum benefits (pmb) 2008 (version 1 updated 27 November 2007) section one: to be completed by the member general information details of principal member details of patient I declare and understand that my application shall be void if any information supplied by me should be false or incomplete. I grant perm
Memorandum Date: David W. Hempe, Manager, Aircraft Engineering Division, AIR-100 Brad Miller, Avionic Systems Branch, AIR-130 Information: Policy and Guidance for Electronic Flight Bag Class 1 & 2 System Architecture and Aircraft Connectivity Background The FAA has previously published AC 120-76, Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Approval of E
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