Otherwise known as Purple Day, Epilepsy Awareness Day is celebrated annually on March 26. It was created to increase the public’s understanding of this brain disorder and to eliminate the fear and stigma surrounding it. The good news is epilepsy can be managed if diagnosed and treated correctly, so awareness and research are important. Dogs can get epilepsy too, so in order to raise awareness of this illness in relation to our canine companions, we asked our supporters for their stories of how they have had to deal with their dogs epilepsy. Read Jenni and Valerie’s stories below.
My beloved rainbow girl Evie was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy in 2019, within 12 weeks of coming home with us. She took part in RVC epilepsy studies. Sadly we lost her to on Valentine’s Day 2021. Evie was a former brood mum, so I even notified the Irish and British racing boards as epilepsy can be hereditary. Evie was medicated first on Pexion (a big no-no for cluster dogs), then we tried Epiphen which she did wonderfully on.
Evie lived with rainbow boy Wally. He was amazing with her as he used to notify me when a seizure was imminent – he’d promptly disappear off during the seizure but kept coming back to check on his girls.Jenni
Dexter had epilepsy, nasty with clusters which could go on and on. It was treated with human drug Epilim which suited him best. We joined Canine Epilepsy Support Group, which gave us wonderful advice and support. We were told to sit behind him during fits so I couldn’t be hurt, and talk to him as hearing is the first sense to come back. Before we got this advice, he would be so frightened he could bite. After the seizure he always came to wagging his tail, very relieved he wasn’t on his own. He always needed to walk after coming to, and as sight is last sense to return we had many times steering him safely around the garden in nightwear! Cancer, not epilepsy took him in the end. He was such a lovely boy.Valerie
As you can see from these stories, diagnosis is key to successful treatment and management, as well as knowing how you can help your dog. Support groups are also useful, to help you realise you are not dealing with this problem on your own.
Please note, these stories do not provide veterinary advice, and if you are at all worried about your dog, or they have suffered a seizure, please contact your vet immediately. Some useful further reading around epilepsy in dogs can be found here Epilepsy in Dogs.