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Treatment with gabapentin of 11 dogs with refractory idiopathic epilepsy
  1. S. R. Platt, BVM&S, DipACVIM, DipECVN, MRCVS1,
  2. V. Adams, BSc, DVM, MSc, PhD2,
  3. L. S. Garosi, DVM, DipECVN, MRCVS1,
  4. C. J. Abramson, DVM, DipACVIM3,
  5. J. Penderis, BVSc, MVM, PhD, CertVR, DipECVN, MRCVS1,
  6. A. De Stefani, DVM, MRCVS1 and
  7. L. Matiasek, DVM, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Centre for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  2. 2 Centre for Preventive Medicine, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  3. 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
  1. Dr Garosi's present address is Davies Veterinary Specialists, Higham Gobion, Hertfordshire SG5 3HR
  2. Dr Penderis' present address is Division of Companion Animal Sciences, University of Glasgow, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH
  3. Dr Abramson's present address is Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, 1111 West Loop South, Suite 160, Houston, TX 77027, USA


Eleven dogs diagnosed with refractory idiopathic epilepsy were treated orally with gabapentin for a minimum of three months at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg every eight hours. They were all experiencing episodes of generalised tonic-clonic seizures and had been treated chronically with a combination of phenobarbital and potassium bromide at doses sufficient to reach acceptable therapeutic serum levels without causing significant side effects. In each dog, the number of seizures per week, the average duration of the seizures and the number of days on which seizures occurred were compared for the three months before and after they were treated with gabapentin. A minimum 50 per cent reduction in the number of seizures per week was interpreted as a positive response to gabapentin, and six of the dogs showed a positive response. After the addition of gabapentin, both the number of seizures per week (P= 0·005) and the number of days with any seizures in a one-week period (P=0·03) were significantly reduced. Mild side effects of ataxia and sedation were observed in five of the dogs, but they were not severe enough to warrant the treatment being discontinued during the trial.

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