15 Prescription Medications for Controlling Dog Seizures

Dog seizure or epilepsy is a neurological disorder. There is an involuntary contraction of muscles that causes trembling, shaking and convulsions. Before you know the various prescription drugs available to treat seizures you must understand the types of dog seizures.

Types or Phases of Dog Seizures

  • Pre-Ictal
  • Ictal
  • Petit Mal
  • Grand Mal
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Post Ictal
  • Pre-Ictal

In this phase there's a noticeable change in dog behavior. There will be involuntary head shaking, and salivation. The dog may also start whining.


This is the actual seizure. It may last for a few seconds to five minutes. The dog may appear paralyzed. There could be spontaneous urination as he will lose bowel control. He will start foaming and there will be rapid jaw movement. The Ictal phase has three stages of severity, Petit Mal, Grand Mal and Status Epilepticus. The Status Epilepticus is highly dangerous as the dog will have many bouts of convulsions with little or no rest. Medical intervention is absolutely necessary. Seizures can kill your dog as they cut the supply of oxygen to the heart and the brain.

Post Ictal

During this phase the dog will regain consciousness but may show signs of blindness, fright and deafness.

Epilepsy or dog seizure cannot be cured but if the right medication is administered the seizures can be successfully controlled.

15 Common Dog Seizure Medications

  • Phenobarbital
  • Valium
  • Potassium Bromide
  • Chlorazepate dipotassium
  • Felbamate
  • Levetiracetam
  • Zonisamide
  • Propofol
  • Diazepam
  • Topiramate
  • Primidone
  • Neurosyn Tablets
  • K-Bro Vet Chewable Tablets
  • K-Bro Vet Oral Solution
  • PrimiTabs

Very often after conducting tests on your dog the vet will diagnose Idiopathic epilepsy or epilepsy with no known cause of seizure. You must make sure to record the number of seizures your dog has had after the first one. Make note of the duration of the seizures as well as the physical symptoms. Medication is given daily and the potency of the drug may be gradually reduced after several years.

The medication that the vet will prescribe is based on the severity of the epilepsy and your dog's medical history.

Possible Side Effects

  • Sedation
  • Liver disease
  • Bitter taste
  • Gastric irritation
  • Nausea
  • Tremor

Epileptic seizures commence in a dog's brain when abnormal nerve tissues send signals to nerve impulses. Head injury or tumors may also cause canine seizures. If the seizure has reached a life threatening stage the vet might recommend surgical intervention. However since the risk of dog brain surgery is high, pet owners may choose to treat their dogs exclusively with medication. Some owners may prefer canine acupuncture or holistic treatments to control seizures. Although it's scary to watch your pet go through a seizure don't attempt to lift your dog or put a spoon in his mouth. Maintain contact with your dog and speak to him in a calm tone.

If your dog suffers from epilepsy, you will have to frequently correspond with your vet to determine the effects of medication and to report any new seizures.