According to DVM360, seizure disorder is the most common neurological condition in dogs. Veterinarians typically use phenobarbital and bromide to control seizures, but sometimes a vet will call on an additional medication to improve seizure control. Topamax, commonly referred to by its generic name topiramate, is an alternative anti-convulsant traditionally used by humans and increasingly prescribed by veterinarians for dogs.
Topamax Use in Dogs
Topamax helps reduce seizures by inhibiting repetitive nerve stimulations. It's most helpful for dogs who suffer from multiple seizures during a short time, known as cluster seizures. The vet may prescribe topiramate if
- your dog experiences adverse reactions to his seizure medication;
- phenobarbital or bromide aren't sufficient for controlling your dog's seizures;
- your dog has secondary epilepsy from a condition that decreases his level of consciousness;
- your dog takes other drugs that don't safely interact with phenobarbital or bromide.
Topamax Side Effects
Topamax is available in tablet or capsule form and generally is given twice a day. Sedation is the most common side effect, though other effects may include appetite loss, weight loss, vomiting and stumbling.
Topiramate may interact with other medications. Dogs with compromised liver or kidney function should not take this drug. Pregnant and lactating dogs should avoid Topamax. If a dog is taking Topamax, he should take it under veterinary supervision and not abruptly stop taking the medication, which risks rebound seizures.