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Zonisamide is an anticonvulsant medication that is often used by epileptic patients as a way to help control the frequency of their seizures. While the exact means by which this medication exhibits its anticonvulsant effects is uncertain, it is widely agreed upon that it works by blocking the sodium and calcium channels, making convulsions a less likely occurrence, and more manageable when they do occur.
Zonisamide has been contraindicated for use in dogs with a hypersensitivity to sulfa drugs. Dogs that are pregnant should not take zonisamide, as this drug can lead to birth defects. Taking zonisamide with hepatic enzyme inhibitors can increase the metabolism and clearance of the anticonvulsant, but the actual clinical significance of this reaction is still unknown.
Zonisamide is not to be used in cats.
The dosage for zonisamide should be determined by your veterinarian, and that dosage should be adhered to regardless of what may be reported elsewhere. However, the average dosage for a dog with refractory epilepsy is 8 - 12 mg/kg by mouth every 8 - 12 hours.
While the use of zonisamide in pets has not been studied extensively, a few side effects have been noted. Sedation and ataxia are the two most notable side effects, however in some rare cases, skin reactions, blood dyscrasias, and hyperthermia have also been reported.
Ringworm in dogs and cats is an infection that must be treated to prevent its spread to other animals or contamination of your home. Find out how to treat ringworm in pets.
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Fluorouracil 5 topical cream is a form of chemotherapy used as a dog skin cancer treatment. A compound toxic to cell growth, fluorouracil prevents mutated cells from reproducing, thereby diminishing the possibility that the cancer will continue to spread. Learn more about fluorouracil here.
Gabapentin, an generic alternative to Neurontin for dogs and cats, is an anticonvulsant drug used to help keep cats and dogs with epilepsy from experiencing seizures. Often used in conjunction with other anticonvulsant type drugs, this medication is a popular component of many an epileptic pet’s treatment. Learn more about how Gabapentin works here.
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