Managing epilepsy in dogs can be challenging. To reduce seizures, many veterinarians prescribe Zonisamide. This anticonvulsant medication is effective alone and can be used in conjunction with other anticonvulsants to control the symptoms of refractory epilepsy.
Controlling epilepsy in dogs requires skilled veterinary care and often several medications to manage seizures. Some dogs respond to a single medication while others require several medications to control their condition. Zonisamide is a versatile anticonvulsant that effectively reduces seizures associated with refractory epilepsy. Prescription Zonisamide is often used as an initial treatment for epilepsy and works alone for some dogs. It’s particularly useful for dogs that cannot tolerate other epilepsy medications, including phenobarbital and potassium bromide, which can have adverse side effects. Zonisamide can also be used with potassium bromide and phenobarbital for epileptic dogs that need – and can tolerate – the combination of medications. Your veterinarian will provide guidance on the right medications to help control your dog’s seizures. Ask your veterinarian about required rechecks while your pet is on this medication and what tests may need to be performed prior to using Zonisamide.
For additional information about Zonisamide click the “More Information” and “Package Insert” tabs above.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that can be caused by genetics or a physical change in the body, such as scar tissue build up in the brain. The large majority of epilepsy cases in dogs are genetic, and about three percent of all dogs will have the disease in their lifetime. Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Dachshunds, Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are just a few of the common breeds prone to epilepsy.
The disease results in recurrent seizures, which can become more frequent over time. Seizures usually have a sudden onset and can happen in clusters or at regular intervals. They can include: loss of consciousness, physical collapse, body stiffness, sporadic limb movement, salivation, defecation, vocalization, disorientation, and other physical symptoms.
For many dogs, medication can reduce the number and severity of the seizures. The two standard medications veterinarians prescribe to control epilepsy are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. While they’re effective for many dogs, these medications can have serious side effects including liver damage and lethargy. Some dogs benefit from a combination of the medications.
Many epileptic dogs are now benefitting from a new generation of epilepsy medication, Zonisamide. This prescription sulfonamide anticonvulsant and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor is proven to reduce seizures and control the disease for many canines. Zonisamide is effective for many dogs when used alone, but it can also be used in combination with potassium bromide and phenobarbital. Dogs that cannot tolerate the side effects of other epilepsy drugs often do well on Zonisamide. If your dog suffers from epilepsy, talk to your veterinarian about whether Zonisamide would be beneficial. We offer Zonisamide capsules in three dosage levels.
Pet parents with epileptic dogs need to work closely with their veterinarians to manage the disease effectively throughout their dog’s lifetime. Regular monitoring and check ups are important. Consistency is also crucial when giving your dog anticonvulsant medications since missed doses can, in some cases, trigger seizures.
You can find a package insert which provides more detailed information on Zonisamide Capsule's indications, forms of administration, and side effects, along with other clinical information, by following the link below:
Zonisamide's Package Insert does not take the place of instructions from your veterinarian. Talk to your veterinarian if you do not understand the information provided in this document or if you have any questions about Zonisamide antiseizure medication for dogs.
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VetRxDirect's professional staff will provide answers to any relevant questions about this product. Specific questions related to dosages and recommendations are best answered by your pet's veterinarian.
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Based on the description of your dog's seizure, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian for the necessary course of action. Seizures can be brought on by many things and due to the large time span with no seizure, I advise that you get your pet evaluated. The drug therapy prescribed by your veterinarian will depend on the type of seizure your dog is experiencing. All medications used for treatment or preventative measures, including zonisamide, will require a prescription as well as close monitoring by your veterinarian.
A suggested range for zonisamide dosing is 5-10mg/kg by mouth every 12 hours. However the dose of zonisamide will need to be adjusted if given in combination with phenobarbital, a commonly used anti-seizure drug. Phenobarbital will increase the clearance of zonisamide, decreasing the overall exposure to zonisamide, which may necessitate the need for a higher zonisamide dosage. Factors including whether zonisamide is used a an "add-on" drug for refractory seizure therapy or if used as mono-therapy will affect the dose. Please work with your veterinarian to establish the proper dose for your dog.
Do I need a prescription to order this medicine? I've consulated with the Vet on dosage for our pet but want verify if prescription is need prior to ordering. If so, what are the precedures? v/r Terry
Zonisamide is a prescription medication. The process for ordering, since it sounds like you've worked with your pet's veterinarian and know what you need, would be to place an order; you'll include the veterinarian's information and your pet's information as a part of the order, and once we receive the order, we'll send a fax over to the veterinarian you list for authorization on the prescription. If the clinic issues you a written prescription for the zonisamide, you would need to mail that prescription to us. Once a prescription is received, we will process and ship the order.
Blood level testing would be a question best answered by your pet's veterinarian. We encourage you to follow the prescribing veterinarian's recommendations.