How To Document Your Dog’s Seizures
Idiopathic epilepsy can vary greatly from one dog to the next. Veterinarians often recommend that owners keep a detailed log of epileptic events. A log can help your vet understand how the disease is developing in your dog. It can also help the doctor customize a treatment plan for your animal.
Journals, notebooks, and legal pads make great logs. If you keep a handwritten log, make sure a pen or pencil is always handy. Many journals have pockets for storage. Savvy owners may use date books or calendars. This is a great way to enter information each day.
Some people would rather enter information on an electronic spreadsheet. The important thing is that it remains easily accessible. It needs to be readily available when a seizure occurs, or its accuracy may suffer.
Apart from completeness, details are the most important aspect of keeping a log. Any seizure activity should be recorded, of course, but your veterinarian will most likely ask you to give medication at the same time each day. Writing down when you do that is a great way to remember when and how much medication your dog receives.
Giving medication at the exact same time every day may be impossible for some pet owners. Keeping a log of when you do administer medicine helps you keep track. This can also help a veterinarian understand if a seizure occurs when medication is given late or early. Some people will mark down in their log book only that a seizure has occurred. Capturing as many details as possible is the best way to keep a record.
The log should also note if there is anything unusual about a seizure event. How long did it last? Did it appear to be a cluster seizure? Was the dog injured during the attack? If any aura or post-seizure activity is observed, that should be recorded too. Note how quickly or slowly the dog took to recover. You should also record any details regarding possible drug interactions or side effects.
The Importance of Keeping a Log
Since epilepsy is different with each animal, the same drug schedule for one dog may not work for another. The importance of keeping a log can’t be overstated. It helps veterinarians to customize a drug schedule for each individual case.
Ultimately, the lowest possible drug schedule is desired. For one thing, phenobarbital can be hard on the liver. Potassium bromide may be administered too. Recording a dog’s reaction to different types of medication is important to understand how to manage the condition. A veterinarian will adjust dosages according to the information you record in the log book.
Sometimes, a dog’s dosages may need to be increased after a certain period of time. This happens when additional seizure activity is recorded on a previously well-managed drug schedule. The most important thing to remember is to be very detailed when keeping a log. A veterinarian will appreciate a meticulous log, because it guide the successful management of epilepsy in your dog.
Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Understanding & Living with Canine Seizures
This guide will help you and your canine companion deal with canine epilepsy. You'll learn how to detect symptoms of an upcoming seizure, treat during and after a seizure, and prevent future seizures.
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