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My boy Ari, 2 and a half years old, had an epileptic fit last night. It lasted about 30  seconds. I took him to the vet this morning, who said I must wait until a next fit to see how we can treat it. I gave him 1mg Alprazolam and 2,5mg Diazepam. He is looking oke now after about 18 hours. I am scared of a next fit. What should I do?

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Hi Phil, I am sorry that Ari had a seizure. There is not much you can do right now. Just to be save, you could ask your vet for rectal Diazepam. I he seizes longer than 5 minutes rectal Diazepam can be very useful. I keep my fingers crossed that he won't seize again!

Hugs for Ari.

Hi Phil. am so sorry to hear about Ari..he is the same age as my Harry, have just looked at your photos and he looks a great boy!!! I have never seen a dog have an epileptic fit but I saw plenty of people have them when I was a nurse and know how scary that can be so can only imagine the shock for you.....as i have no experience I can offer no advice but hope that it may be a "one off"  it sounds as if your vet is experienced so hopefuly he will will be a great support and resource for you. Fingers and everything else crossed for you both xx
I got some 10mg Diazepam amps that I can give as a rectal infusion. The vet said I can give up to 30mg if needed. Ari is 34kg. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it. @ Sue: will defnitely make that cup of tea!!

phil i am so sorry for this!!! I never had a dog with epilepsy, but i am familiar with human epilepsy: apart from the obvious advise (not hurt against hard surfaces. etc) in humans you should have a look at the tongue and make sure he's not stangulating . I hope it will not happen again, but in most cases in humans  is a treatable desease, just matter of trial and error until you find the right medication..

all the best and a bug hug!!!



Phil, firstly you don't know as yet whether it is an epileptic fit.  There are many reasons why a dog fits so your vet will have to rule out all these before you can truly say it is epilepsy.  He will test the liver and kidney function, also do a full screen on your boy's thyroid.  Lung worm can produce fitting, viral infection, chemicals, toxic substances, poisonous plants etc.

The reason your vet wants to wait until the next seizure is because he wants to monitor the frequency.  If Ari doesn't fit for a month or two, or his next fit doesn't occur for 6 months then he won't be treated at all.  The reason I know this is because I had a bitch years ago who fitted later on in life and only about every two to six months so I have been through all this.  I am surprised that you have put him on any medication because I would have thought all the necessary tests should have been carried out before Ari was medicated.

I wish you all the best in the world and hope there is a reason for this seizure that they can find and clear up.  Please don't give up hope yet.

My apologies Sue I thought Phil said he had given Ari Alprazolam and Diazepam.  You are right, 30 seconds is a very short time though I must admit I never made tea!!!  Did your vet not go through a series of blood tests to rule out any possible causes?  I too have heard of young dogs who have had one fit and never had another.

Diazepam is used for emergencies. If dogs are having more seizures in 1 month, they are usually put on Pheno. If the Pheno levels are fine (between 20 and 40 mmol) and the dog still has to many seizures, Potassiumbromide will usually the second add-on drug. 

If Ari will seize again I would recommend, like you said, a full thyroid, liver and kidney function.

I am confused.Diazepam is usually used when a dog(or human) is status epilepticus ,in other words he can't stop fitting.I wouldn't have thought it would be given as a treatment except in an emergency.I presume,from the postings, that Diazepam is given only when the dog fits but it would be better to stop the fits happening at all and that,as Astrid says,is usally by daily medication of Phenobarbital,whether the dog is fitting or not.

I think further investigation is needed before epilepsy is diagnosed.

Remember that Diazepam can cause respiratory depression,hypertension and even stop the dog regaining full consciousness.

I hope Ari remains in good health.

As you know Geordie has Epilepsy badly, he has cluster fits and has the rectal diazepam because of this. 10mg is administered rectally as he finishes the first fit, the idea being that it will bring him round more quickly and he will return to normal more quickly and also that it will hopefully stop him having a second fit and the fit therefor becoming a cluster. It is not used just for one off fits and he was epileptic for a long time before this drug was prescibed for him.

If it helps there are several articles on my web site under EPILEPSY in the HEALTH section.


Living With Epilepsy descibes what we experienced when Geordie first started fitting.

Thanks Astrid.  My bitches litter brother also fitted and again only spasmodically so was never conventially medicated.  He started when he was the same age as Ari and stopped at 7 years old.  He died at 14.  Anyway he was treated Homeopathically.  Has anyone used holistic treatments to control seizures? 

I have been in the unfortunate position of having a fitting dog.  If one of my present gang now, I would instantly have their thyroid levels checked, and if the results came back low (but normal) on the reference range I would insist that they were treated for hypothyroidism.  Most vets say a low on the range but 'normal' result is "normal" but for your dog, it may well not be.  The vet we now see at Cambridge says that the dog has to be treated within what is known as it's "clinical horizon".  Unfortunately, most general practice vets haven't the foggiest clue about this, and our dogs suffer, and are prescribed inappropriate drugs.

Once my boy was treated with an adequate dose of thyroxin, he had no further fits for the remaining 5 years of his life. Once a full thyroid function test has been carried out, you are within your rights to view a copy, even if your vet has declared the result normal.  The results should be given to you with a reference range.  If the the actual figure is low against the range, the chances are that your dog has a problem. The problem might then be getting your vet to  acknowledge this, and treating the problem. You might have to shop around to find a vet who has this level of understanding. Another problem for G.P vets is that the laboratories keep on changing the reference ranges, so what is that telling us???? Our pets suffer as a result.

A good thyroid result should be mid range, no peaks and no troughs.


I now get my guys tested by Hemopet.  In the U.K it can be done from here

http://caninefilmacademy.com/ and then click on "Monthly Blood Clinics".


This is FAR more accurate, because Dr. Jean Dodds has a database of thyroid levels of many breeds. The standard thyroid level reference ranges are based upon the results of 35 laboratory Beagles !!!





Further info, listen to Dr. Jean Dodds podcast on this site which explains why many vets miss the mark with thyroid diagnosis:







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