Your guide to
epilepsy management.

Animal epilepsy is a complex condition that can be difficult for pet owners to navigate. The diagnosis, stabilisation and long-term management of epilepsy requires patience and close monitoring. At TVM UK, we understand just how challenging this can be for both you and your pet. For this reason, we have called upon our expertise in animal epilepsy to provide this dedicated website to guide and support pet owners of epileptic animals in their daily life.

Is your pet having a seizure ?

Seizures typically last for 1-2 minutes, but can be longer. If the seizure lasts for longer than usual, for more than 5 minutes or they have two or more seizures in a day, contact your vet straight away.

Recording your pet’s seizures

Recording every time your pet has a seizure, using a seizure diary, is important information to help your vet manage your pet’s epilepsy.

As soon as the seizure begins, start timing it. If you can, video the seizure so that you can show your vet exactly what happened. It is also helpful to make a record of the events before, during and after the seizure for reference.

Epilepsy in Dogs

Epileptic seizures are a result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Canine epilepsy can manifest itself in many ways, depending on the location and strength of the abnormal electrical signals. There are three main reasons why this abnormal activity can occur; reactive seizures, structural or idiopathic epilepsy. Although the true cause of idiopathic epilepsy is unknown, in many dogs it is considered to have a genetic origin, with certain breeds more at risk than others.
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Epilepsy in Cats

Seizures and epilepsy are a common neurological problem in cats. The causes are broadly similar to dogs (structural and idiopathic) however epilepsy due to genetic causes are thought to be rare in cats. There are different manifestations of epilepsy in cats. Speak to your vet if you’re concerned.
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The answers you need

Treatment, daily life, food, seizures…we answer to all your most frequently asked questions!

What are the risks of not treating my pet ?

It is important to ensure that any animal with epilepsy is diagnosed by a vet and treated early with anti-epileptic medication.

If the animal is left untreated, the size of the epileptogenic zone (the area that initiates the seizures) in the brain may grow or new zones may appear, causing the epilepsy to get worse and your pet is likely to experience more frequent and/or severe seizures

Epilepsy is a chronic condition with no cure. Whilst epilepsy medication rarely stops seizures altogether, it can stabilise your pet’s condition by:

Reducing the number, intensity and duration of the seizures.

Shortening the recovery time needed after each seizure.

I think my pet is experiencing side effects. Should I stop treatment ?

Suddenly stopping treatment for an epileptic pet is not recommended, as it can trigger more seizures. Some dogs experience side effects shortly after starting treatment, however, they usually resolve without stopping the medication. However, it is important to tell your vet of any change in your pet’s behaviour or health. Depending on your pet’s condition, the vet may decide to adjust the treatment (by reducing the dose or suggesting an alternative treatment plan).

Can I leave my animal on their own ? If they have a seizure, I won’t be there...

Yes, although at first it may seem scary to leave your pet alone, it is important you continue to live a normal life. Remember that the vast majority of seizures usually only last for less than 2 minutes and typically stop by themselves. When you go out, just make sure to leave your pet somewhere suitable, free of hazards. There are also ways to check on your pet remotely, such as smart cameras connected to your phone.

My animal is hungry all the time, what should I do ?

Epilepsy medications can cause increased appetite, particularly in the first few weeks of treatment and usually subside on their own. Despite their hunger, your pet does not require any more food than normal and it is important that you do not overfeed your pet or suddenly change their diet.
If your pet continues to be hungry, there are nutritionally balanced, high fibre (filling), low calorie diets that may help to satisfy your pet. It is important to seek the advice of a vet or a veterinary nutritionist to make the most appropriate dietary choices for your epileptic pet and how to transition to a new diet safely.