A new study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP), aimed to investigate how primary care clinicians in the UK approach initial management of canine generalised epileptic seizures.
The research included factors potentially associated with prescription and choice of anti-seizure drugs.
The study “Approach to initial management of canine generalised epileptic seizures in primary-care veterinary practices in the United Kingdom” utilised the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network to review electronic health records equating to 3,150,713 consultations (917,373 dogs) from 224 veterinary practices.
Dogs older than six years were excluded, and five hundred and seventeen cases were included.
Thirteen percent of the dogs received anti-seizure drugs at first presentation; the odds of administering anti-seizure drugs were about 14 times higher in dogs presented with cluster seizures.
The most frequently chosen anti-seizure drugs were phenobarbital and imepitoin. Of the dogs presenting with a single seizure and at least 6-month follow-up, 20 percent did not have subsequent seizures recorded.
Anti-seizure drugs following a single epileptic seizure were rarely prescribed, in accordance with International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force recommendations.
Less than half of dogs initially presenting with cluster seizures were prescribed anti-seizure drugs.
Imepitoin was frequently selected in the treatment of cluster seizures despite no authorisation for this purpose.
The full article can be found in the November issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice.