Will Keppra Help My Dog?

Will Keppra Help My Dog?

Author WDF Staff


One of the most stressful things dog owners can deal with is seizures in their pets. Seeing your beloved dog twitch uncontrollably can be pretty nerve-wracking. Luckily, seizures aren’t deadly; they are simply horrible to look at. The good news for many dogs and their owners is the development of medicine like Keppra for dogs. As veterinary medicine advances, we get new ways of dealing with different issues. If your vet prescribed Keppra to your dog, here are a few things you might want to know about it.

What is Keppra for dogs?

Keppra is an anticonvulsant or medication often prescribed to treat seizures and epilepsy in dogs and cats. The active ingredient in Keppra is called levetiracetam, and it is usually prescribed in combination with other things, like phenobarbital. Unlike other “traditional” epilepsy drugs, Keppra doesn’t contain potassium bromide or phenobarbital. The idea was to create a drug with the same effects, but adverse reactions would happen less often.

dog sleeping

Is Keppra effective?

One of the first things dog owners want to know is, “Is Keppra effective?” Naturally, they want to know if the drug will help their dog. It makes no sense to switch medications if there are no significant benefits. The good news is that Keppra is considered very effective. In the initial efficacy study, dogs were treated with Keppra for 23 days. 15% were completely seizure-free. 69% of dogs had a 50% decrease in seizure activity. That can be considered really effective.

Another benefit of using Keppra for dogs in conjunction with other antiseizure medicine is that the dog will need smaller dosages of traditional meds like phenobarbital or potassium bromide. That means fewer side effects and safer overall treatment.

Is Keppra safe?

The whole idea of creating a drug like Keppra was to eliminate the adverse reactions traditional epilepsy medications might cause. It is no wonder many dog owners ask the question, “Is Keppra safe for my dog?” The good news is - yes, Keppra is considered safe. In the same study we mentioned before, dogs were observed for adverse reactions and side effects. You will be glad to hear that Keppra is really safe. Researchers only noticed mild side effects and no life-threatening adverse reactions.

dog playing

Keppra for dogs side effects

Keppra is considered safe, but all medications can cause side effects. The good news is that most of the side effects caused by Keppra are mild, and they are resolved pretty quickly. The most common Keppra side effects are;

  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Lethargy
  • Behavior changes
  • Vomiting

SAFETY NOTICE: When dogs are put on antiseizure medication like Keppra, the medications should never be stopped abruptly. The vet should tell you when to start lowering the dosage. Stopping abruptly can cause life-threatening seizures.

How is Keppra given to dogs?

If your vet prescribed Keppra to your dog, they should tell you all about the proper administration of the drug. The exact dosage and number of times your dog has to take a pill in a day can be different. The vet will know what the best option for your dog individually is. In most cases, dogs will take one pill, two or three times a day.

Where can I get Keppra?

The first step to getting Keppra for your dog is going to your vet. This is a controlled substance, and only licensed vets can get you a prescription. If your vet thinks Keppra is a viable option for your dog, they will write them a prescription. After that, you can go to your local pet pharmacy and get it there. You can ask your vet for a generic version of the medication instead of a branded one like Keppra. In that case, you can order it online, on Chewy’s online pharmacy.

World Dog Finder team

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