There were three rebound hounds under our roof this weekend with the addition of Dixie - a two year old epileptic doxie. I brought her home from the shelter for a few days since the veterinarian was concerned that the kennel environment would trigger seizures. Luckily she hasn't had a single episode at our house and she's doing great! Like most dogs with epilepsy, Dixie gets a daily dose of Phenobarbital to control her seizures. Phenobarbital is a sedative than helps to control neurons in the brain. It is relatively affordable - typically no more than $1.00 a day at the most - so having an epileptic dog is not as expensive as you might think. Many dogs are not diagnosed with epilepsy until they are several years old. Watching your pooch have a seizure can be terrifying, but there are several things you can do:
1) Above all, remain calm and observant.
2) If possible, clear the area of sharp, hard objects and place bedding around your pet so that it will not get injured.
3) Don't try to touch your dog's head / mouth! She will not be in danger of swallowing her tongue - that's a myth - but she could easily bite you in her unconscious state.
4) Turn off the TV and any music and dim the lights to keep the environment as quiet as possible.
5) Take notes if possible so that you can share the details with your veterinarian later. Record any circumstances that may have triggered the seizure and also note your dog's behavior during the episode.
For more tips, check out the Canine Epilepsy Site to read more about how dog owners cope with their pup's seizures.