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Effect of an anticonvulsant drug on seizures in dogs after portosystemic shunt correction

K. J. Fryer, J. M. Levine, L. E. Peycke, J. A. Thompson, N. D. Cohen

SEIZURES in dogs that have undergone surgery to correct a congenital portosystemic shunt (CPS) are often refractory to standard anticonvulsant drug (ACD) treatment, and this frequently results in status epilepticus and/or death. The novel ACD levetiracetam is recommended for the treatment of human beings with seizure disorders and hepatopathy. This retrospective study investigated the incidence of postoperative seizures in dogs that had received either levetiracetam or no ACD treatment before surgical attenuation of a CPS.

The medical records of dogs that had undergone surgical correction of an extrahepatic CPS between 2003 and 2010 were reviewed. To be included in the study, dogs had to have received either no ACDs or levetiracetam before surgery, with details of the dosage recorded; dogs that had received other ACDs preoperatively were excluded.

A wide range of breeds were represented in the study population, with small and toy breeds predominating. The characteristics of the levetiracetam-treated dogs (n=42, 33 per cent) and untreated dogs (n=84, 67 per cent) did not differ significantly. The median duration of preoperative levetiracetam treatment was …

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