Image Source: Pixabay.com
Gabapentin is essentially a pain relief and anticonvulsant medicine used for relieving nerve pain in cats and dogs. It may also be used occasionally for treating seizures, though it isn’t the primary treatment approach.
Gabapentin for Treating Seizures in Dogs
Gabapentin is also commonly sold under the name of ‘Neurontin’. As mentioned earlier, this drug may be used in combination with other medication for the treatment of seizures. A seizure is defined as a physical symptom of any irregular electrical brain activity. It is basically a convulsion.
When a person or animal suffers from a partial seizure, only a part of their body is affected. On the other hand, a generalized seizure will impact the complete body system. Veterinarians inform that dogs suffering from chronic seizures usually require treatment for controlling these events.
Even though Gabapentin is not the primary technique or strategy for treating seizures, it is often administered with various other drugs. The drug is effective because it inhibits calcium channels. This helps prevent calcium from entering the cells and causing seizures. Gabapentin is often given to dogs affected by cluster seizures, i.e. those who suffer from multiple seizures in a very short span of time).
The standard dose given to a dog to control/prevent seizures is 4.5 mg to 13.5 mg per pound. The dose is administered to the dog twice or thrice a day. Chronic pain can be treated with a much lower dose (approximately 1.4 mg per pound, only once in a day).
In case you miss out giving a Gabapentin dose to your dog, you can give it to them as and when you remember. But if you don’t realize till the next day, you should skip it completely. Double dosage is hazardous to the dog’s health.
In case an accidental overdose occurs, then you need to take you dog to the vet as soon as possible. It is important to know that Gabapentin overdose could lead to extreme drowsiness and even depression.
Side Effects and Precautions
When ingested by dogs, Gabapentin may have certain side effects including ataxia and mid sedation.
Here are some precautions that you need to take when administering Gabapentin to your dog:
- Use with caution if the dog has decreased renal or liver function.
- Don’t discontinue the drug abruptly. Withdrawal is likely to cause rebound pain or seizures.
- Oral administration of antacids could hinder proper absorption of Gabapentin.
- Gabapentin has been associated with teratogenic effects and fetal loss. It may only be used during lactation or pregnancy if the benefits offset all potential risks.