Fly Biting Seizure

by Wendy

Reader Question: Fly Biting Focal Seizure

I have a 11-12 month old poodle mix that came out of the pound. A rescuer pulled her out because she had a really bad ear infection. Turns out her ear drum was ruptured.

She does that fly-biting stuff. It seemed like is was less often, but it is now happening a lot. I have different vets saying different things. One says she would not treat my dog until the seizures turned into grand mal seizures. Another vet said not to wait because a grand mal seizure can be very dangerous. My canine had blood work done and that was fine. Her ear is getting better as well.

Should you treat for focal fly biting seizures that happen a lot throughout the day and night?
Thank You,

Vet Recommendations for Fly Biting Seizures

Hi Wendy,

I usually do not treat focal seizures unless they are severe enough to adversely affect a pet’s quality of life.

In your dog’s case, I think the best thing to do is to first deal with her known health problems, like the ear infection, make sure she is eating a well-balanced diet made from healthy ingredients, and let her settle in to your home for a while. Stress can exacerbate seizures, and it sounds like her life has been pretty stressful up to now.

If after she is healthy she still continues to have frequent focal seizures, you’ll have a decision to make. I think the chances of her progressing from focal seizures immediately to “grand mal” seizures that are severe enough to pose a risk to her health is pretty low.

You should have time to step in with anti-seizure medications if you start to see her developing generalized seizures. Remember too that anti-seizure medications can have some side effects (lethargy, vomiting, liver problems, etc.), which is why many veterinarians hold off on using them until they are truly necessary.

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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