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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