Did You Know You Can Treat Dog Seizures With Gabapentin?

Does your dog suffer from seizures or chronic nerve pain? If so, you can effectively manage them with the medication gabapentin. You can actually use this medication with cats as well.

This drug is structured so that it is similar to neurotransmitter GABA without actually causing any type of interference. While this particular type of functional interference is not a risk, there are some side effects of this medication when used for dogs. As a result, you should only use gabapentin with your dog if you are under the supervision of a veterinarian.

What is The Gabapentin Dosage Amount for Dogs

The amount gabapentin that you will need to give your dog can vary as it is different for each dog. The more severe the pain your dog is experiencing, the higher the dosage of the medication to treat those pains. Most veterinarians agree that gabapentin works best for dogs when used in conjunction with another type of pain reliever. These are often called NSAIDS.

Know that every dog has a different reaction to the medication and the dosage amount, which is why it is so important that you only  administer this to your dog with the supervision of your veterinarian.

For the best results with your dosage, only administer the medication in its oral solution form to the dog. It offers easy administration of the drug and works perfectly with the metabolism of the dog and the short active half-life of the medication.

What Are The Uses of Gabapentin for Dogs?

You might be wondering if this drug is the solution that you have been looking for all this time for your pet. The simple answer is that gabapentin is effective at managing pain for dogs as well as seizures. However, there are several different conditions and disorders in dogs that the medication is successful in treating or managing.

While gapapentin is often prescribed for dog seizures, it is actually not effective in treating them on its own, unlike in humans where it can be used by itself. Instead, the medication has to be used in conjunction with other medications as part of an overall management plans for dog epilepsy.

As a stand alone treatment solution, there are several disorders in dogs that this medication can treat, such as:

  • chronic arthritis pain
  • allodynia
  • hyperalagesia
  • other nerve pain disorders

 What Are Some Gabapentin Side Effects for Dogs?

Just like any other medication, the use of gabapentin for dogs is not without the possibility of side effects. In most cases, the common side effects are ataxia and mild sedation. That being said, there are some more serious side effects that can occur with gabapentin usage with dogs. These serious side effects are normally the result of exceeding the recommend dosage.

Some of the bad side effects to watch out for include:

  • somnolence
  • severe lethargy
  • intense ataxia
  • depression

Since these normally occur from an overdose of the medication, you should take steps to empty the gut of the animal if you discover an overdose. Doing so can prevent these things from happening.

Are There Any Precautions With Gabapentin for Dogs?

When you get the medication, ensure that you are getting the oral solution approved for dogs and not the one of humans. This is vitally important because the version for human consumption contains xylitol, which is something toxic to dogs.

Also remember to never abruptly stop giving this medication to your dog as it can lead to some intense withdrawal symptoms. Doing so can give your dog intense pain or seizures.

Gapapentin can have a negative effect on certain conditions, such as renal complications and liver disorders. As a result, discuss the usage of this medication with your veterinarian if your dog suffers from those conditions. Otherwise, there could be some serious side effects for the animal.

17 thoughts on “Did You Know You Can Treat Dog Seizures With Gabapentin?

  1. Jane Pyle

    I am trying to find out how to dose my dog with gabapentin. She is a 7 year old Boston Terrier which we have raised from puppyhood. I have been concerned over her as over the last few months we noticed her have what seem to be muscle spasms in her legs, and she is also losing her hair. Her overall behavior is very lethargic, she never wants to play. She also has a problem in her right knee that really requires surgery to repair, which we cannot afford, and I think she possibly has either arthritis in her hips or dysplasia because she cannot stand to have that area touched anymore and it used to be one of her favorite scratch or massage spots.
    We recently moved and have not found a vet who we like…one kept trying to tell me she was “chasing rabbits”, and I may have bought into had I not been a dog owner for the majority of my life and also the proud “mama” of 4 other Bostons. So when it comes to knowing when a dog is dreaming and when they are not I think I am somewhat knowledgeable. And since it happens when she is obviously wide awake that would be another clue. The 2nd vet recommended gabapentin and my husband is prescribed that same medication for diabetic nerve pain. We are on a fixed income and to be able to use what we already have more than enough of would help us tremendously. When we explained that to the vet, and asked if he could assist us by telling us the dosage for her he became very adamant in the dangers of misdosing her if we tried to do this at home. Although I do agree with him that we do not want to give her the wrong dose I felt that in asking him to help us so that we could do it safely at home was indicative of our sincerity not to harm our baby.
    I simply would like to give her the dose that would be correct for her size and weight, she is 11″ high at the shoulder and weighs 17 pounds. Could you help with this? I am sorry to ramble on like this but I felt that an explanation of our situation may help in resolving our problem.

    1. madfuskills Post author

      Hi Jane,

      Unfortunately, the commercially available human liquid-product contains xylitol, which can be hepatotoxic in dogs. For this reason, you really need to get it from a vet in order to give it to your dog.

    2. LW

      hi jane – my dog had the same thing happening with what I thought were tremors or muscle spasms. Come to find out they are partial seizures due to a brain tumor. You really should consult a vet about this possibility. My dog is almost 10yrs old and odd thing started happening about 4 weeks ago: panting, extreme thirst, not very hungry, tired and of course the ‘tremors’.

      1. JLD

        Excessive lethargy, weakness, hair loss, excessive water intake & hunger, excessive panting are classic symptoms of Cushing’s disease: Test ASAP! Just went through this with my dog. The Gabapentin was also causing mild tremors.

  2. LW

    Jane – also gabapentin can be bought online for 24 cents a pill (300mg). That cost is extremely low! Don’t pay what your vet is asking. You can get a 3 month supply for less than $24, that’s $8/month.

  3. LW

    Jane – you need to buy the gabapentin that is specific for dogs. Also, the dosage amount depends on your dog’s issue(s) not her weight. The worse the seizures and/or pain the higher the dose, not to exceed 1200mg/day. Also, once you start this medication it should not be stopped. You will need to taper off. Sorry for all of the emails.

  4. Carol Davis

    I have just started my 10 year old female boston on gabapentin two days ago. My vet has me giving her 100 mg every 6 to 8 hours. So far I am very pleased with the results. She is very coherent and manages her time with her 7 other canine friends very well.
    I am wondering if I should have a liver and kidney function test done now so w have a baseline to compare to later on down the road.
    I also have a 31 year old horse that has been on Gabapentin for a year now. He takes 1200mg once daily for control of his seizures. Prior to the use of the Gabapentin he had fallen into a routine of having seizures at least once every week.

  5. bk sanderS

    my shih tzu was just diagnosed with an adrenal tumor and abscess on her pancreas. She is 131/2 and the surgery risks are very great and also post complications are great so the vet prescribed liquid gabapentin for pain. This makes her stomach growl and gripe and makes her unsteady but doesn’t do much for the pain. please any suggestions?

  6. Kati

    Jane: panting, hair loss, and excessive thirst are symptoms of Cushing’s Disease. Your vet should have tested the dog for Cushing’s , as it is quite common in middle aged dos and can be managed with medication. Shame on that vet for being so negligent!

  7. cat

    hi all have a basset hound and beagle mix i would like to know the lows dose i can give my dog i have a vet appointment for but it is a week away i just want to give her something more for the pain to i got her to the vet plz help she is my little girl

  8. Patsy Sellers

    I have an 8wks old chinnuane she is having seizures bout twice a day she was born with a big head vet says she was born with starts with H kinnda like down syndrome. I live on disability so much hard but I dont want to put her down ive been goggle alot of medicine for her like gabapain sugar .My question is there some medicine I can buy for her or do for her I dont want to let her suffer but ild like to try to save her .what should I do.

  9. rosemarie riccio

    My vet recommended Gabapentin for my 14 year old husky. She has Arthritis. How long does it usually take before she will start feeling better? Will I see a difference?

  10. Maria R.

    I think my 17 pound dog (POODLE )is in pain what kind of medicine can I give him? it hurts me to seeing him sad he does not want to do anything he walks very slow and makes this (hem,hem) sound like when we humans are in pain…PLEASE HELP I don’t have money for the veterinarian.

  11. Dee

    I have an 11yr old Toy Poodle, that just had 2 knee surgeries last year–luxating patella (over $4,000 + $1,000 spent on useless Adequan shots & laser treatments, the year prior) who fell off my couch, a couple of weeks ago and now she’s limping. I know there’s nothing broken, probably just a sprain (she’s gradually putting weight on it, doesn’t yelp when I touch it) so I decided to tape it myself ($1 for a roll) and give her some of my gabapentin ($3 per 90 pills), instead of running to the vet and spend another $400+ for xrays/*potentially dangerous* pain meds/blood tests/exam, etc., etc. I love my dog more than anything, but I refuse to continue to get ripped off, if I can handle things at home. She was improving, even before I took action, which is another reason I decided to treat her myself. I really feel as though vets are taking advantage of people these days and overcharging, as much as possible.
    I also have a RED LED Light (for pain, etc.) that I am using on her several times a day. And, she gets Dasuquin, Resveratrol, CoQ10 and several more supplements, daily.
    I have read that gabapentin is extremely safe for dogs. I take it myself, for chronic pain and find it quite effective. I really question why vets don’t prescribe it. But then it costs *pennies* per dose vs. Rimadyl, which isn’t even as safe (or effective) just judging by my dog’s reaction, compared to the pain she endured after her surgeries.


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