Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about Yuri's seizures
and want to know how to control them.Seizures are rhythmic, spastic muscle
movements which the dog is unable to control and often loses consciousness during. Many dogs will repeatedly have chewing motions and can lose urine and stool control. They may drool and be a bit confused after an episode, but seem to recover fairly quickly. There can be several reasons for seizures, and it is important to know why Yuri is having seizures to know best how to control them.The most common cause of seizures in young dogs is idiopathic epilepsy
. That means that we don't know why but a circuit of sensitive neurons in the brain
gets stuck repeatedly firing. Epilepsy begins happening most commonly in dogs 6 months to 6 years of age so he is in the right age range for this to be the cause of his seizures. We do believe that there is a genetic basis for dogs to have epilepsy as certain breeds are more commonly afflicted and siblings will often have them as well. If mom carried some of the genetics for epilepsy she may not be affected. But if she bred with a male that also carried some of the genetics for epilepsy (and he may not have been affected either) then together if the wrong combination of genes resulted we could get puppies with epilepsy.Other causes for seizure episodes are viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, metabolic diseases leading to waste products building up and affecting brain chemistry, low blood sugar, endocrine diseases like hypothyroidism
, or even granulomas or masses in the brain.Most of the other disease processes that cause seizures cause other symptoms, those dogs are sick or abnormal other than the seizure.Some dogs with lower than normal seizure thresholds will seizure in response to being exposed to artificial colors, preservatives or gluten. So you might wish to feed him a diet without artificial dyes or flavors and one that is wheat free. Blue Buffalo purports to produce these sorts of foods.Decreasing stress is also a way to avoid seizures so if you know an event will be stressful for him avoid it if possible. You can also use calming sprays such as DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) or pheromone impregnated collars to keep him calm.Exercise should be kept at normal levels. Exercise is a great way to naturally relieve stress and increase positive endorphin levels in the brain. In a patient with seizures I would have your veterinarian examine him, check a biochemistry profile to look at organ health and a complete blood count as well as a thyroid profile. We do want to make sure there are no underlying problems. If his seizures become more frequent than once a month or more than one happens in a day, even if it has been several months since the last one, I would discuss medication to prevent them. The reason for that is the likelihood of status epilepticus (one seizure after another) and possible brain damage is higher with those scenarios and we wish to avoid that.The most effective and commonly used drug to control seizures is phenobarbital. Although it is drug that has been around for along time recent studies show that for most dogs it is still the most effective and generally safe if used at appropriate levels.Other drugs that can be used along with phenobarbital or as a single agent include potassium bromide, Keppra ((Levetiracetam), Gabapentin or Zonisamide.If his episodes were more of a fainting or syncope episode (where he just seemed to collapse and lose consciousness rather than rhythmic muscle movements) then he may have a heart condition. Your veterinarian can also examine him for any heart rhythm abnormalities and recommend medication to help.Please let me know if you have any further questions.