Zonisamide For Dog Seizures

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Robin Says:

I just wanted to let people know that I felt the vets did a poor job of believing the secondary symptoms of zonisamide. My dog, Ivy, has been having seizures for over a year now and we started with phenobarb, which she is still on, Zonisamide about eight months ago. The Zonisamide made a small difference in the primary seizures but she started having dry mouth and coughing almost immediately, then after several months, reddish patches on her left side and sores inside on the right side of her mouth (much less on the left side of her mouth). Three or four different vets tried to tell me she was just going to bleed out and I should put her down. I demanded that we start Lyrica and gradually take her off the Zonisamide. Lyrica is more expensive, but I have found that the improvement is well worth the expense. It was an uphill battle since when her minor seizures would reoccur (which I could tell was because of the reduction of Zonisamide) the vets all implied it was just her primary seizures and they did not really encourage me to try the change to Lyrica. In other words, since I was unexperienced in the process of reduction actually being the cause of reoccurrances and how they differ from primary seizures it was very disturbing and undermining to my confidence in my gut feeling of what was going on and to stay the course. They were much more intermittant and short, but very strong. However, the secondary symptoms all seemed to clearly, albeit, very gradually, improve. I am still holding a close eye on the phenobarb and am hoping maybe to be able to transition to only the Lyrica. This process will take at least another six months. Also, imo, the Zonisamide was also the cause of her being much more unaware of her surroundings and who I was.

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David Says:

I find it odd that the vets prescribed Zonisamide as a first line of treatment over something more natural. In my opinion dogs or any animal for that matter should probably not take medications that were made for human use. With all the side effects, withdrawal symptoms, binders and fillers, one has to wonder how it really is affecting their system internally and for the long run.

Hopefully Lyrica continues to work well for her. I just know we humans have been reporting some serious side effects with both of those drugs here on this site and would worry that it may be too much if taken for a prolonged period of time...

Have you noticed any other behavioral changes in your dog since taking Lyrica?

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Felicity Says:

Hi I have had my 6 year old Labrador on Keppra 1000mg 3 times daily and 75mg Lyrica 3 x daily plus 3ml potassium bromide 1 x daily and she is definitely more uncoordinated and has excessive thirst and appetite since the Lyrica was introduced 3 months ago. Her seizures are still not well controlled but the phenobarbs where starting to cause liver damage so had no choice to try an alternative. She raids dustbins, takes food off counters and now submerges her entire nose under the water when drinking and this all began when the Lyrica was introduced. The specialist vet looking after her is considering increasing her Lyrica to 100mg 3 x daily to see if we get better seizure control but I am not sure its the best idea with the changes I have seen already......

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Reno and Brittany Says:
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My 8 year old Rat Terrier has been suffering from epilepsy for about two years. Her initial doctor said if she only has them rarely she more than likely wouldn't need medication. And for about a year they came once every 4 months. But this last year they gradually started happening 4-6 times a month. Sometimes in clusters. Or 2 within 48 hours. So today we decided to take her to get on meds. Her vet prescribed her zonisamide. 25mg twice daily. Again she's a 7 lb female rat terrier, 8 yrs old, with severe anxiety. I just was wondering if anyone could give me an outlook from a similar situation by a dog owner, not just one veterinarian. Because we all know some of them make mistakes :(

Thank you,
Brittany and Reno Pup

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Ken Says:
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Sorry to hear about your puppy. I want pet owners to know that my eleven year old Golden Retriever had to be recognized today as a direct result from an initial dose of zonisamide. IT IS NOT SAFE. Her seizures were happening once a month for about six months. I took her to the vet who prescribed zonisamide 400 mg a day in two doses. I was apprehensive about the amount and the drug so I got the meds but did not start it immediately. While on vacation the following month she start seizing once a day and progressed to 5 episodes a day for two days. I decided to start the meds. The first 200mg was given that evening. The next morning she was very confused but hadn't convulsed all night so I gave her the second 200mg dose early morning. Within 3 hours she was in acoma and remained so for two days. She never recovered and I put her down the third day. The vet had followed the recommended dose . I looked up the drug so many times and finally found the recommended dosing in the PDR. It recommended one forth the dose that the vet did. Do your homework before giving this drug! I have lost my best friend.

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Sue Says:
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Re: Reno and Brittany (# 3)

I have a 5 year old Chaweenie that weighs 12 lbs. She stated having seizures at 11 months old. She is on zonisamide since then. She only had one or 2 seizures a year sms they are mild. We had added Gabapentin last year due to suddenly losing our big lab, she had a day of cluster seizures from anxiety.that was a year ago. She takes 1 25mg zonisamide 2x day and 1 100mg gabapentin 2x day.. it's working and she's doing quite well.. You have to have a vet you trust

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