How I manage canine and feline epilepsy

Speaker: Laurent Garosi

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How I manage canine and feline epilepsy

Epileptic seizures are aetiologically categorised as idiopathic, symptomatic or reactive.  Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common cause in dogs and cats.  The main aims of antiepileptic treatment are to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures while minimising potential side effects and optimising the owner’s and dog’s quality of life.  Most epileptic dogs and cats are treated pharmacologically successfully for life with phenobarbitone.  However, about 20 – 30% of treated dogs are reported to either be poorly responsive to first line anti-epileptic drug and/or suffer unacceptable side effects and toxicity.  In patients with apparent refractory epilepsy, it is essential to search for errors in diagnosis or management that may be responsible for treatment failure.  This presentation will discuss the why, when, what and how of first line anti-epileptic treatment as well as differences between cats and dogs.  In the second part, we will propose a step-wise approach to suspected refractory epileptic patients.


Learning objectives


  • Knowing when to suspect idiopathic epilepsy in dogs and cats
  • Knowing common causes of epileptic seizures in dogs and cats
  • Being familiar with first line anti-epileptic treatment in dogs and cats
  • Knowing differences in the use and side effects of phenobarbitone between dogs and cats
  • Developing rational approach to refractory epilepsy
  • Being familiar with commonly use add-on and off license anti-epileptic drugs used in dogs and cats