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Monitoring side effects of antiepileptic drugs
  1. Chris Thomson, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM (Neurol), DipECVN
  1. Massey University, Comparative Physiology and Anatomy, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  1. e-mail: chris.thomson{at}

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EPILEPTIC seizures are considered to be the most common neurological problem in dogs (Podell 1996, March 1998). Epilepsy is defined as recurring seizures of neurological origin. Seizures most commonly arise due to primary factors (genetic or idiopathic), but may also be secondary due to either intracranial or structural brain changes (tumour or inflammation) or to extracranial diseases (toxic or metabolic diseases) that secondarily affect the brain. Antiepileptic drugs (AED) are used as the mainstay of treatment for primary seizures and as symptomatic treatment for secondary seizures. There are several effective AEDs for dogs, yet even with optimal use only about 60 to 80 per cent of dogs respond adequately to treatment, as characterised by reduced frequency and duration of seizures, and by having acceptable side effects (Podell 2013b). The basis for, and …

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