Controlling Canine Epilepsy with Potassium Bromide

Potassium Bromide is a drug that’s increasingly being used to manage dogs suffering from epilepsy. Canine epilepsy is one of the causes of seizures. Seizures give rise to uncontrolled behavior and involuntary movement of the muscles and limbs. Seizures vary in intensity and some pets may suffer from occasional seizures, while others may suffer from several episodes of seizures with few minutes of rest in between. Dogs suffering from seizures experience abnormal neuron activity in the brain. This can lead to death in certain cases and it’s thus important to seek prompt medical care to initiate early treatment. Most medicines prescribed for pets suffering from seizures are administered for life. Although the dosage may be altered according to vet instructions, sudden discontinuation causes the recurrence of seizures.

Types of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is categorized as primary and secondary epilepsy. Dogs suffering from primary epilepsy are mostly genetically predisposed to the condition. The cause of primary epilepsy might not be attributed to any factor during diagnosis. Secondary epilepsy may be attributed to metabolic disorders, toxicity, trauma and degenerative disorders. Young pets with a genetic predisposition may also influence the development of secondary epilepsy. Since the seizure threshold varies in individual pets, stimuli or medications that trigger seizures in some dogs may cause no harm to others. Accurate diagnosis helps determine the type and severity of epilepsy in individual pets and this helps determine the type and dosage of medication.

Treatment of Epilepsy in Dogs

The treatment of epilepsy begins when the pet experiences several seizures within a short duration of time. Dogs are prescribed anticonvulsant medications that act as sedatives on the neurons present in the brain. Pet owners should administer prescribed medication on time to avoid future episodes of seizures. It’s important to avoid skipping even a single dose, as this could increase the pet’s chance of developing seizures. Phenobarbital is the most widely used drug that controls epilepsy. Pet owners should understand that anticonvulsant drugs only control epilepsy and don’t provide a complete cure. Due to this, it’s important to detect potential causes of epilepsy in dogs and take measures to eliminate the stimuli that trigger seizures. Another drug that’s being used to control epilepsy is Potassium Bromide. However, the levels of Potassium Bromide in the blood have to be monitored after initial administration.

Potassium Bromide for Dogs

Potassium Bromide is broken down into its components, namely potassium and bromide. This drug inhibits abnormal neuron activity in the brain and thus reduces episodes of seizures. Since Potassium Bromide is processed by the kidneys, it reduces the risk of liver problems and toxicity. The vet may often prescribe Potassium Bromide along with Phenobarbital to control epilepsy. The general dosage of Potassium Bromide is 20 to 40 mg per kilogram of body weight. The drug requires a prescription and is available at pharmacies. The medicine is available in both tablet and liquid form and benefits dogs that may be intolerant to Phenobarbital.

Side Effects of Potassium Bromide Include:

  • Nausea
  • Sedation or drowsiness
  • Polyuria and polydipsia
  • Toxicity syndrome


Potassium Bromide causes toxicity syndrome if the level of drug is too high in the blood. Due to this reason, frequent Potassium Bromide level tests are necessary. Since pet health concerns vary, it’s important to determine if the drug is beneficial to individual dogs.

Pet owners should learn techniques to manage dogs suffering from seizures. Dogs should be kept in a stress free environment and provided good quality food products to maintain proper health.