pexion canine epilepsy

A New Treatment for Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy: Pexion

We recently wrote about canine idiopathic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy where the cause remains unknown. Today we are looking at a new treatment; Pexion.

The severity of epilepsy can vary greatly between individual sufferers. Some dogs may experience a single, isolated seizure, whilst other can experience multiple seizures every week.

Recently Boehringer Ingelheim has announced their latest product for the treatment of canine epilepsy, Pexion® (Pexion) an alternative to the traditional phenobarbital or potassium bromide treatments given to epileptic dogs.

Are you using Pexion?

If your dog has been prescribed Pexion, let us know how your dog is getting on in the comments below. Join the discussion and keep the community updated with your progress.

What Is Pexion?

Unlike other treatments for canine epilepsy, Pexion contains the active ingredient Imepitoin. Imepitoin acts in a similar manner to previous anti-epileptic medicines, potassium bromide and phenobarbital, in that it works to suppress electrical activity in the brain.

Imepitoin partially activates GABA receptors, which are responsible for reducing electrical activity between nerve cells. This partial activation of the GABA receptors is believed to reduce electrical activity and help prevent seizures. Specifically, Imepitoin also has a weak blocking effect on calcium channels that allow electrical signals to be propagated along nerve cells.

See here for more information about Pexion 

Does Pexion Work?

A study conducted on Pexion during its development compared it to the traditional anti-epileptic medicine phenobarbital. A 20 week study of 226 dogs taking the medications found Pexion matched phenobarbital in efficacy, reducing the occurence of seizures by around 50%. 1

Is Pexion a Better Alternative?

The Pexion study showed that it had an effectiveness equivalent to phenobarbital, however, Pexion may be considered a better alternative as it has less severe side effects.

Unlike phenobarbital, Pexion does not pose a hepatotoxicity risk (liver toxicity). This means the regular testing required to ensure that a dog’s liver remains healthy is not needed whilst being given Pexion.

Treating the Epileptic Dog

It is commonly cited that around 0.5 to 5% of dogs suffer from some form of epilepsy, the severity varying between breeds and individuals. In dogs where seizures occur infrequently  owners may consider not using any medication at all, avoiding the side effects associated with anti-epileptic medications.

In dogs where seizures occur more freqently, such as once a month or more, treatment should be considered.

The introduction of Pexion gives owners and vets a greater choice when it comes to treatment, but does not replace phenobarbital and potassium bromide.

Owners should consult their vet and explore all the possibilities when dealing with an epileptic dog.

Seizure Types That Require Immediate Veterinary Assistance

Cluster seizures – When multiple seizures occur in one 24 hour period
Status epilepticus – A persistent epileptic state that lasts for longer than 5 minutes

For more information about epilepsy, such as the causes, what to do during a seizure and more, see this article.

Disclaimer: This article was written as a response to the release of Pexion and as a follow up to a previous article concerning idiopathic epilepsy. I am not affiliated with the product (Pexion) or the manufacturer (Boehringer). 

Featured Image: Onkel_wart

About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

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  1. You can stop the Pexion, you dont have to wean her off that.

    • I would suggest you read earlier postings on this forum. Dogs that have previously been managed on pheno and bromide and then put on pexion need to reduce the pexion slowly and increase other meds. Have you tried Keppra? Please be careful and when your dog is having fits one after the other use an icepack on the head and neck as the fits cause heat which can lead to more fits. I would also recommend reading on canine epilepsy websites, the Americans are using many natural remedies that can be used alongside medicines given by vets. Good luck.

  2. Amália Maria Nunes

    I will read carefully every post. I do not know if there Keppra in Portugal. I will ask the Vet. Potassium Bromide does not exist, the sale was proihbited. She continues with parcial seizures. I’m slowly reduce Pexion. Thank you for important advices.

    • When your dog has a seizure have small towels handy and cover your dogs face sit at its back and be as quiet and calm as you can. If you can get Bachs rescue remedy also called Five flower oil from a chemist or online herbal website, put 4 or 5 drops where you put flea treatment on the neck when you see signs of fit coming. The oil helps calm the dog. Ice packs keep temperature down. If you can get Skulcap and Valerian tablets from http://www.petdrugsonline, I dont know how far they ship to. Hope you are able to find something that helps.

      • Amália Maria Nunes

        Tank you very much. She is improving slowly with the withdrawal of the Pexion. We have increased the dosage of phenobarbital to stabilize her. Continues with parcial seizures, but now are less intende and less frequent.
        Tank you, again, for help and advice.

  3. Our border collie (between 7 – 8 years old) had a cluster of seizures (5 in less than 24 hours) without any prior attacks seen. After the fifth he was totally disorientated and confused. He was originally put onto Epiphen tablets of the lowest dosage. These seizures then stopped. 18 months on and though still no seizures the vet was getting concerned about an increase of liver enzymes in his blood and recommended that we went on to Pexion. We started his full dose of Pexion (400mg) tablets immediately and started to reduce the Epiphen. We did not notice any side effects from the Pexion and some two months on his epiphen is almost three quarters less. He will be off epiphen completely by early May. Once he had got over the initial fits (which took about two weeks) he is as lively and ‘normal’ as any other border collie and so far no more fits. When he is off the Epiphen completely we will have a further blood test done, but so far very pleased with the new drug Pexion.

    • Thanks for that, it is nice to hear a more positive response. We are due to reduce Millie’s Epiphen again tomorrow and I do feel a bit apprehensive. Even on 120mg of epiphen twice a day, Millie still has fits about every 4-5 weeks, so she would be due to fit around next week anyway. Her liver enzymes have reduced already since we first reduced her epiphen which is good news. Fingers crossed!

      Good Luck!


  4. My two year old bulldog had 3 single short seizures approx. 6 weeks apart. One day he had 5 within one day, several hours apart, 2 full seizures and 3 head shaking only. Vet started him on Pexion 400mg twice a day. Was very specific to trying to keep about 12 hours apart and on empty stomach; as instructed in literature. He had one more seizure within a few days of medication starting but so far, two months later, is seizure free. I’ve noticed no side effects at all, thirst, diet or nature. Vet suggests keeping him on the same dosage for the next 6 months to monitor effect and then reduce it to 200mg twice a day because at 22kg he is border line for the recommended dosage. I was advised that we could stop immediately the medication to see any negative effect, because like most people I would rather my little man be drug free, but I’m being patient because the last thing I want is to see another day of fits. I’ve read with interest the above comments and was a little apprehensive about this drug but the vet put him on it because of the fewer side effects and not needing regular blood tests. All I can say is – fingers crossed – everything is going really well. Good luck to all of you, I only wish you all could have had similar results.

  5. We live in the Netherlands. Pexion is very new here. Our doctors don’t know much about it and have no experience. We asked for pexion ourselves to treat our dog with cluster attacks of epilepsy. We now use Pexion for four days. Our dog weighs 9.5 kg and is on 1 tablet in the morning and 1 in the evening.
    He is now free of attacks for over 24 hours, while at first they seemed to increase. But now he seems kind of sedated. His coordination is very poor, he only wants to sleep and finds it difficult to walk. Prefers to ly down.
    Does anyone recognize this. Is this normal? Or is the dose too high although it’s conform what the medication advises.

    • It sounds normal to me. My dog was like this when he first started on Pexion, it lasted about a week then he got used to the medication and was back to normal.

  6. My dog Ben 11 1/2 a Border Terrier has been on Pexion for about 1 month. He was having episodes of trembling and depression, he did not loose awareness, or have fits, and was eating and defecating as usual, he did look confused and in pain hence the reason i took him to the vet. Eventually a diagnosis of a brain tumour. I did not have a MRI scan as it is costly and if it is a BT it would not cure him. Since being on this drug he is so much better, back to his old self and enjoying life. He has had no further attacks he drinks a little more but otherwise he is fine. I take each day as it comes, and treat him as normal. I am just happy to have him as long as I can, especially as his mom is in renal and heart failure at 15, losing them both is unbearable.

  7. Hi – just thought I would post a comment as I found the dialogue “helpful” if not a little scary when I tried to investigate this drug. Winston – an English Pointer and very fit – was 5 when he started fitting – months apart to start and then over the Christmas period they started becoming every 2 weeks. The vet suggested that we try Pexion and although very loath to put drugs into him after having a weekend when he had two within 2 days we started. He started on 1 x 400mg tablet twice a day but a week or so in he had 4 fits in 24 hours which was very scary. The vet upted the dose to 1 1/2 tablets twice a day at the beginning of February and since then no fits which is great. I cannot say he is not affected by the drugs – very hungry at times, thirsty, perhaps a little lack of balance but then he was extremely well co-ordinated – but if I think back to the fitting days then it I have to conclude it is better. We have a problem in that he hates taking the tablets but I cover them in butter which help them slide down – but still makes me feel like the evil witch when he disappears at the same time morning and night before they are due. So to all of you about to start this journey, I want to say that it is bearable and preferable and does work for some dogs. Good luck

    • Our nine and a half year old border collie has now been on Pexion for two months and he is now on the final month of Epiphen – 1 30mg tablet per day, until early June when he will finish completely. (he was on 60mg Epiphen twice daily for over 18 months) We had to change from Epiphen as the vet was concerned about an increase in his liver enzymes. From day one we did not notice any side effects from his Pexion, 1 x 400mg tablet twice a day, neither to date have we noticed any side effects/problems with the gradual withdrawal of the epiphen. Most importantly of all, no fits/seizures either.
      From reading all the comments, it seems that many of the less fortunate animals have been on several other drugs as well as Pexion – it must be very hard but I think that Pexion will work for the majority of cases and I am only sorry that others have not had the success that we have had. Do not give up too soon.
      (when we started the epiphen it took about two weeks for side effects to wear off but it did stop the fits.)

      • elizabeth hilton

        My border collie Maddie who is now 13 has also been on pexion 400mg twice a day for nearly a year. Initially she did very well and only had seizures every month or two. Now she is having them more regularly and sometimes one a week which is very disappointing. I always make sure she has the tablet 12 hours apart and on empty stomach. She weighs 20 kg and has never been on any other medication but Pexion. I dont want to increase her dosage and hope her fits will decrease again on their own. She still plays ball, goes on long walks with our young collie and is a very happy dog. I am convinced that years ago dogs did not have fits and wonder if it something to do with mans intervention to their diet. None of us really know what is in this dried food though I do feed my dogs on veg, veg juice , chicken and odd bits of liver. Her main nuts are Burns as vets do say that it is better than most, but who knows.

        • I was told from a reliable judge of Border Collies that if a breeding line produced a dog/s with epilepsy then that line should not be bred from again. However, if Border Collies (and other breeds) can fetch good money then many breeders will not take any action. Also our Collie was several years old before his first seizure. As in humans it seems that epilepsy can occur at any time and without warning. Again, according to our Vet, Pexion has – as yet – no side effects so it may be worth – with your vet’s advice – increasing the dose which I believe is initially set by your dogs weight. Our collie is on one 400mg tablet of Pexion twice a day, and not always exactly 12 hours apart. We also feed him on dried food as we have done with all our other dogs in the past and this is the first dog we have had with epilepsy. I think we are all learning about it but I do hope your dog’s fits will decrease. Good luck

          • Amanda Kirkman

            It is a problem worldwide and not just border collies but every breed of dog. People are making too much money from breeding dogs and we continue to pay good money for bad breeding. In breeding can cause the seizures and also diet. I am an advocate for feeding raw and my new little collie is a glowing example of all I learnt from my first gorgeous collie Izzy, who was epileptic and despite my best efforts passed over to the rainbow bridge last September. Look on American sights they seem to use every available resource to help their pets including natural remedies. My particular version if the BARF diet is from an american site and includes everything for good mental and physical growth of the dog, its so good everyday I get comments on the healthy gleaming, non smelly coat of my dog. I have fed her this diet from a puppy and would never buy pet food for my Pip, she is what she eats.
            Amanda and Pip

          • elizabeth hilton

            Hi there,

            I did buy my 13 year old collie from a welsh farm and she cost nothing, so I dont think she was inbred, but perhaps she was. I knew nothing about dogs having fits until a year ago when My collie started having seizures at the age of 12, but she was hit by a car at aged 9, so I often wonder whether that was the cause of her fits. I am a nurse and have to say that a dog having a seizure is much more distressing than a human. I do agree though that diet plays an important role in dogs well being, just like it does with humans. We are what we eat. Maddie has a beautiful coat and its still shiny at the age of 13. People do not believe she is 13 plus. So I do feel that her diet is right for her, but will certainly investigate BARF. Good luck to all those dogs on pexion which is the only epileptic drug I have used on my dog.

    • I give attila his pexion with 1/2 small spoon of organic peanut butter. He lines up for it.

  8. Hi, I have been reading how some of you have found Pexion. I have to say and it would appear from previous comments on here Pexion is potentially the cause for my German Shepard Indy’s clusters seizures and hyperactivity. she was on epiphen for 2 years, but due to her liver enzyme changes the vet recommended we wean of the epiphen (gradually) and put her on pexion. I noticed once the epiphen was finally out of her system, she was a lot more alert and energetic. at first we assumed it was because she was no longer on the epiphen. however she begun to then have cluster seizures, so the pexion got increased by the vet. these clusters would last 48 hours. however since last Saturday she has been anxious, hyperactive, cant settle and is having lots of mini cluster seizures or twitching. she has come home today post 2 days at the vets. she is on oral diazepam to keep the twitches a bay and PR diazepam when she has a grand mal. we have now been advised to come off the pexion and back on a lower dose of epiphne, i personally feel that her seizure pattern change is due to pexion, it seems that the clusters begun when pexion was introduced and then became much worse when the dose was increased. Has anyone else had problems with pexion?

    many thanks jo

    • Our Border Collie is now on the last three weeks of epiphen having gradually reduced the dose over a three month period (as above due to increasing liver enzymes) He was put onto Pexion two and a half months ago – one 400mg tablet twice a day. So far no problems but we will monitor closely as his epiphen is reduced/stopped.
      It is now over eighteen months since his last cluster of fits and we were sorry to have to change from the epiphen as they seemed to be doing the job well but obviously at a cost.
      Reading all the comments we now realise that our dog has had nothing like the severity of fits as some of the dogs on here have had and can only hope that the pexion will work for Koda as well as the epiphen did.
      Our best wishes Jo and to all the others, I am sure pexion will work but as ever there will always be some for whom it won’t.

      • Hi Wills,

        Thank you for your response, i really wish you success with the Pexion. i advise once your dog is only on pexion if you notice any hyperactivity/hyper vigilance to speak to your vet as in my experience and others we have found this to be the warning sign of sever seizures etc. After a week of cluster seizures, focal and grand mal, Indy is beginning to settle now we have reduced the pexion. she is back on a low dose of ephien and when she reaches a therapeutic blood level, my vet is advising to come off the pexion completely.

        All the best jo

    • Hi,
      What you describe is exactly what happened to my dog, behaviour change, excitability, worse frequency and cluster fits, the vet increased the pexion to max dose, fits worsened, cluster fits to status very rapidly and he had to have an anaesthetic to stop . Eventualy we had to let go as our lovely dog was gone long ago. I hope nobody has to experience the same and I can only wish that canine epilepsy will get better research…

      • Amália Maria Nunes

        Hi Jo
        You described what my dog has passed. She had parcial seizures all the time. I pulled out the Pexion.
        Sorry for my bad English.


        • Hi Amália,

          sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Pexion too, i Hope your dog is now doing well. Indy is slowly improving. and coming off the pexion too.

          Best wishes Jo

      • Hi Valentina,

        I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I am really concerned that Pexion although beneficial for some dogs, it is a danger for others. I was really worried Indy was going to have to be put down this week, but after a week of focal and grand mal seizures she is now home and on oral diazepam as still having focal seizures until the Epiphen has reached a therapeutic blood level. she will then be taken of Pexion and it has already been reduced and i have seen an improvement not only in her hyperactivity/personality, the seizures are becoming longer apart. Some may say coincidence but i believe it is the pexion and my vet is not going to recommend to anyone again.

        Best Wishes jo

        • Amanda Kirkman

          Dear Jo,
          It looks like dogs that have been on epiphen and bromide for a while maybe over a year, then put on pexion when the liver enzymes increase don’t do well on pexion. I wonder if the research shows how many dogs the pexion was introduced to in trials had been on any medication first. Interesting, I don’t think enough research and information has been given to vets. The paperwork seems to simple – withdrawing the pexion for example is to stop it as it doesn’t affect the liver? Why then have so many of our dogs had unstoppable fits when the pexion was withdrawn that vets have had to sedate them and like my beloved girl after two weekends of having over 30 seizures in a 24 hour period where PTS? More research needs to be done.

          • Pexion was never tested on any dogs that were already on medication for epilepsy… and is not recommended for cluster dogs, although that is not told when trying to use the drug on your dog (not with me anyway) I firmly believe that Pexion has caused some kind of damage to my dog due to the terrible side effects and mega clusters he suffered whilst taking this drug as he is much worse now than ever was before trying this drug.. I would urge people to try more trusted and conventional drugs before trying Pexion!!!!

          • My vet put Izzy on pexion as she developed pancreatitus after being on bromide and epiphen for over 2 years. Initially she was fine, then after 34 days she had her first day of continuous seizures and spent a night at the vets sedated. I took her home the next day as she seemed better at home, more relaxed and I started her on diazepam tablets and had the rectal diazepam for clusters. She had a few fits every day until the following saturday when again she had them none stop all day. I couldn’t stop the seizures and after using 2 rectal diazepam I took her to the vets again, she had a seizure every 2 minutes in the car and her temperature was through the roof. She stayed at the vets until monday when they told me they couldnt stop the fits and put her to sleep as they didn’t think she could take anymore, that was in September 2013. I don’t think enough information had been given to vets about Pexion and it’s effects on our dogs, I hope that people try normal methods and holistic natural methods starting with the right raw food diet to help the brain.
            Amanda x

  9. Hello All,

    I am really driven to find out how many of our dogs have found their dogs seizures became worse once taking Pexion. My dog Indy only use to have grand mal seizures, once on pexion she had clusters seizures, including lots of focal seizures, again only since using pexion. she is now coming off it and i have noticed improvement already. PLEASE if your dogs seizures appeared to of become worse on Pexion i am going to contact Pexion company directly and express concerns as this is awful for our dogs to go through and us to witness.

    Many Thanks Jo

  10. My dog had managed to go 11 months without fitting, my vets advised to change from epiphen to pexion. not only did it not work my dog now takes 3 times the previous medication and is still fitting. I was assured the drug was proven before starting the course. only to find out that the drug does not have effect if previous medication for epilepsy had been prescribed

    • So sorry to hear about your dog, yet another one into the breach. I think more vets should be made aware of what dog owners are finding out on this forum, they may not be so quick to change medication and only prescribe pexion to dogs first before the traditional medicines. Good luck and I hope you find a balance again for your dog.

    • elizabeth hilton

      Hi everyone, My dog maddie has been on pexion for 10 months. Initially her fits reduced hugely after a few weeks on 400 mg of pexion. Now she has suddenly started having fits every 2 days. I then increased pexion to 600mg causing Maddie to become so hungry and agitated that I have now after 8 days decided to reduce her to half a tablet twice a day. As yet i dont know what the outcome will be. In our vets practice there are only 3 dogs on pexion, most seem to be on epiphen phenobarb or bromide. To date, pexion is still a very new drug and having been very happy with it initially, wonder if its now causing more problems. maddie has become glazed of late and not herself at all, constantly starving to the extent that at the age of 13, she tries to eat food from the counter which she has never done before. I think the drug is now causing hypoglycaemia so have to give her huge spoonfuls of honey to calm her down and quell her hunger.

      I will let you know how she progresses. All the best to all of you,


  11. Hi Everyone
    I have a 3 year old lab collie X who has recently started medication; 400mg pexion twice daily
    First seizure was in Aug 2012 and vet advised to keep a diary on any future seizures.
    Seizures slowly started to become more frequent and after having 3 seizures last Friday he was taken to the vets where he stayed over night and was given diazepam and they started him on pexion

    Most of his fits seem to be related to anxiety. If we were packing to go away this would cause a fit…..if we were out on a walk and he felt threatened by another dog he would have a fit. There was no common time or place – it could happen any where and with no warning

    After doing some research it seems like there is a lot of negative feedback around this drug. The vets where we are registered didn’t seem to discuss all options avaible to us and I am not even sure of what tests have been done with blood etc. All we were told is that when bloods were taken on Friday the only thing they found was a slightly reduced glucose level which is apparently common after seizures? He also have a elevated temperature
    We don’t know what else was tested for as I have read some where about thyroid levels being out can cause seizures?

    What is it that vets can look for by testing blood? I can then ask if this was tested when bloods were taken?
    It was briefly discussed that an MRI could be done to rule out other reasons as to why he is fitting. Nothing else has been mentioned about this – is this something you would recommend to do?

    I can’t help but think pexion was pushed on us without much discussion of other options and now starting to think we may have made the wrong descion by agreeing this was the correct treatment
    Our dog seems to be very ‘drunk’ like and wobbly on his feet. He has also started to drink a lot more water but seems to be getting better every day but still very sleepy. He went for a walk today and seemed to be his usual bouncy self when he was out

    I have briefly looked at diet change and even a homeopathic vet with possibilty of accupuncture as a treatment?
    Has anyone had any success with this?


    • Emily
      Our Border Collie started fits without warning just over 18 months ago – he was 8 years old then. He was put on a course of Epiphen which while stopping the fits can cause liver damage and we were advised to have regular blood tests – this we did but over the 18 months liver enzymes steadily increased which if left unchecked would cause liver failure. We started immediately on Pexion (1 x 400mg tablet twice daily) and gradually reduced the epiphen. He is due to come off this completely in three days time and then will only be on Pexion. Since he started both these medications he seems to be drinking more and can – at times – seem more ‘hyped’ than usual but apart from that he is fine though for the epiphen it did take a week or so for him to get used to it – but most importantly NO fits!
      I also wonder how many other dogs are on Pexion with little or no side effects – these will be unlikely to contribute to forums like this ( their owners I mean!). We found it most distressing to see the dog in seizure as I am sure anybody would. Don’t give up too soon on Pexion, ask your vet what they look for in Blood tests and if you are still not given full details I would consider changing to another.
      Good luck

    • Hi Emily,

      My Lab, Jack, has been on Pexion since May 2013. If you go to the top of the page you will see my early comments. Jack had been on Epiphen and Libromide before trying Pexion and although he was a bit wobbly for a week or so, once that passed he has been fine. He still has seizures, and we recently reintroduced the Libromide because they were getting quite frequent again (found out that if a dog has been on Libromide BEFORE starting Pexion then they must remain on it). I’m hoping that once the Libromide reaches the therapeutic level it will work with the Pexion to reduce the frequency of seizures to fewer than 1 per month (currently 2 or 3).
      The last thing I want to do is put Jack back on Epiphen because he was so dopey on it he was just existing and didn’t really enjoy life like he does now.
      I hope your dog will be OK on Pexion too.
      Fiona & Jack

      • My dog is on 600mg twice a day. He was on Bromide for about 7 months before the Pexion which he has been on since August.

        He is obviously one of the lucky ones as he hasn’t had a fit since mid-March and apart from initially being a bit wobbly, he now has no side effects at all.

  12. hi guys my vet has today suggested a change from 2mg/kg of pheno’s to pexion, the only reason being the effect of phenos on liver, phased in over 4 months. reading here has panicked me – she is a totally blind 3 year old wolfhound – the side effects when first on phenos were awful, she got them all and i had to literally hold her up for 2 weeks, but she is pretty stable on a relatively low dose. we will do ablood test before the change – if liver function is normal – well any updates on your progress with pexion?

  13. Since 03.02.14 my dog Theo has been taking Pexion rather than the Epitaur I had him on before. The frequency of the seizures is slightly less but their duration longer,all 3 since then having been clusters.
    The vet has now suggested increasing the dose to 2 tablets per day, which is half a tablet more than to date. My dog is a Labrador Retriever weighing ca. 30 kg and will be 3 years old in July.

    We have had to administer Diazepam 10mg rectally during these cluster seizures. In the past chemists have told me that there is no difference between the medication for dogs and humans other than the price. Would it be okay for me to try to buy the human rectubes as they cost a third of the price quoted by the vet?

    • Dear Susan,
      You can get all your medication either at a chemist or for animal medication from If you need a prescription your vet should issue on costing between £5 and £7. If you pet is not insured these are where I would buy from.
      Love Amanda x

  14. My 18 month old dacshund suddenly started having seizures about three weeks apart and lasting for a short time, usually 1-2 minutes. After various blood tests which all came out negative for any disease, the vet suggested Pexion which hasn’t made any difference so far, in fact yesterday he had two fits in a 24 hr period, so I’m wondering if it is the Pexion causing an increase frequency. He is not on any other meds, has Royal Canin dog food usuallly, but am now trialling something else as RC contains maize which I hear is not good for dogs with seizures. Heart breaking to see him fitting and not being able to help him. Not sure whether to continue with the Pexion or not. Am out of my mind with worry.
    Please can anyone let me know their experiences with this drug.

    • Susan – I agree it is most distressing to watch a pet having seizures. Our 10 year old Border Collie has been on Pexion now for over three months having been weaned off his previous drug Epiphen. So far he has been free of seizures and apart from being a little more ‘hyped’ than usual and a slight increase in his drinking all seems well. You do not say how long your dog has been on Pexion – but I think before you change/take him off Pexion speak to your vet or get a second opinion – perhaps a different vet/practice and ask how many dogs in their practice are on Pexion and what if any problems there may have been. Good luck

      • elizabeth hilton

        My border collie has also been on pexion for nearly a year now, she is 13. We know that pexion is a new drug and still in its early stages of complete effectiveness. I have noticed that vets seem to know little about the drug and very few dogs are “on it” Most vets seem to use the bromides, phenobarbs, epiphen etc. The pexion leaflets state there are few side effects and the drug can be withdrawn at any time. I did wean maddie off the drug completely for a week. She became much worse after 4 days and developed cluster seizures so i would not advocate that anyone withdraws pexion completely. She also now has slow heart rate with extra systoles and every now and then her back legs give way. Between times, she is fine. Drinks a lot, is permanently hungry and has minor tremors in her legs. She also has a tendency to lose bladder control and is on hormone treatment which has helped. I cannot bear the thought of putting her down while she still has a good quality of life. More and more dogs appear to be having seizures, I have to wonder why.


        • Dear Elizabeth,
          My partner and I where saying the same thing about the number of pets having epilepsy and fits. I think it is indicative of todays society. Some people are money driven and not bothered about repetitive inbreeding, then you have food manufactures making all this cereal based stuff they call dog food. I promote using a recipe for BARF especially developed in America for epileptic dogs, but brilliant for any dog. You are what you eat certainly applies to my dog, I get asked about her diet daily as she positively gleams. My previous collie was epileptic and started out on epiphen and bromide, we tried pexion too (my comments are earlier entries on this forum) after 1 month on pexion with no fits, she started having clusters every saturday after trying to stop the pexion, she had upto 30 fits each saturday and spent the last 2 sat evenings at my vets who sedated her to try stop the fits. She was put to sleep on 1.9.13 as we all agreed so many fits and no way of stopping them was no good for her. I think more people need to get their vets to put pressure on for more research into the withdrawing of pexion in dogs and find out why some dogs have more clusters during this stage.
          Good luck
          Amanda n Pip

          • Hi Amanda
            My 2 year old, 9kg JRT started having fits 2.5 months ago, 1 every 3 weeks then yesterday had 2 fits in 10 hours. Terrible to witness, they last for about 1.5mins, and he takes about 2 mins to stabilize, and seems fine after that. The vet has decided to put him on meds today – 1 x 100mg Pexion morning and night (I will be sure to spread at 12hr intervals). I am very interested in the diet you mention – BARF. Please could you let me know more about it, where I can get it (online perhaps?). I live in Cork, Ireland. I am so worried after reading all these posts, but he has not been on any other meds, so I am praying that Pexion will work for him. I will update these posts so that all readers can benefit.

          • If you find me on facebook or give me an email address I will let you have the diet details. I would appreciate any feedback and photo’s showing any improvements to the condition and general overall well being of your dog.

          • elizabeth hilton

            Hello to you all,

            I had to have my lovely collie dog Maddie 13 put down last monday. I think it was the saddest day of my life and I miss her so much. She was always with me. In the end I could not bear to see her excessive hunger, her stumbling her confusion and so many mini fits towards the end. I have another collie of one who belongs to my son and he seems fine so far. If he develops fits in later life I would never have another dog. I have said before on this forum that years ago dogs did not appear to have fits. I grew up with dogs as a child, the word FIT or EPILEPSY was never mentioned. The dogs had family scraps, bones from the butcher and both lived a long healthy life. Since all this dried food has come onto the market, I do wonder how good it is for our pets. Whatever the manufacture says, all these nuts are full of preservative since they have such a long shelf life. I have since started giving my young collie scrambled eggs, porridge oats, bananas. shin of beef, mince beef etc bones from the butcher and he has had no ill effects.

            I think if we and our pets ate more healthily and avoided the ever increasing preservatives in our foods, perhaps we would all feel better and live healthier lives. Good luck to all of you who have pets with fits. It is so distressing both for the dog and the owner.


  15. Our 6 year Spanish Water Dog was started on Pexion a month ago following two severe fits. He had never had a seizure but had developed liver and kidney damage as a result of eating slug pellets in Nov 2013. He survived the slug pellets but we knew there was also the likelihood of neurological damage from the chemical involved. He seemed to have been OK neurologically until these fits started.
    Our vet decided to put him on Pexion to protect his liver and we were happy to go along with it. However, it seemed to have no noticeable effect on the seizures which just continued until the last serious ones when they could not get him out of it and the decision was made to put him to sleep.
    On speaking to others they have reported the same results that Pexion simply did not work in controlling the seizures, has anyone else had this lack of result too?

    • So sorry to hear that, I really feel for you as I made the same decision in Sept last year with my beloved Izzy. At least you know you did all you could and stopped the suffering of your pet.
      Love Amanda

  16. My 16 month old working spaniel suddenly started to have cluster seizures 2 weeks ago. The vet went through blood tests, MRI scans and spinal fluid investigations – this resulted in her being diagnosed as epileptic. She was prescribed pexion.

    Unfortunately her seizures have continued daily since being on this drug and I am resorting to using diazepan to curb the seizures. I feel from looking at other drugs that this one is not as effective and will be today asking the vet to change it

    • If you look on the Canine Epilepsy facebook page you will see we have discussed Pexion a lot… I personally had a terrible experience with this drug, it sent my dog crazy and I nearly had him PTS… I am amazed that they are still allowed to sell this drug, I know many vets now that will not recommend it despite Boeringer engleheim giving them massive kickbacks as after prescribing it their clients pets have suffered unnecessarily.. my dog is worse now than he ever was before he was on the Pexion I believe it has left him with long term damage due to the pure quantity of seizures endured whilst taking it

    • my dog attila, had been on pexion and phenoelepitil and had been seizure-free for two month,
      when he then had two violent seizures that would not stop even with rectali valium. he somehow
      managed to survive until the vet infused him under heavy sedation for twelve hours. Since then they have added 800 mg of KBr to the other drugs and he has been seizure-free now for 4 months. If he maintains that
      for another two months the will slowly start to wean him off of the phenoelepitol and pexion.

  17. Our 13 year old Beagle was put on Pexion nearly 3 weeks ago as his seizures (which he has only been having for the past year) went from 1 every 6+ weeks to a couple a day. Initially using Pexion was great and for the first 11 days he was seizure free and was also brighter in himself. Unfortunately on day 12 he had a very bad seizure, foaming at the mouth, crying and thrashing about. We thought this was an adjustment to the medication but exactly 12 hours later he had a similar seizure and managed to bit his own tongue. Within less than 48 hours he had 7 massive seizures which he had never had before. He temporarily went blind during the seizures. We returned to the vets and the dosage has been upped – he has had a bout of ataxia but we feel we have no choice to continue with the medication although if he has another big seizure we are not sure if we want him to continue to endure this. Very upsetting for everyone, including our 2 other dogs that get very fretful just prior to the Beagle’s seizures and for a few hours afterwards.

    • Have a look through all of the previous comments.. if I were you I would stop giving Pexion Immedieatly – you do not need to wean off of this drug, I did it and saved my dogs life.. I hope you do the same…

  18. My 4 year old labrador, Bronte, has had fits for 4 years and only went on medication a year ago. I would not put her on Epiphen or similar because of liver damage and managed her fits with Taurine, Bach’s Rescue Remedy, Scullcap & Valerian, etc. Then my vet told me about a new drug, Pexion, which did not harm the liver, so I decided to try Bronte on it. She had mild side effects for a few days, the fits did not stop but were much less frequent. However, they seemed more severe and lasted longer. She has recently had holistic therapy with essential oils, professionally prepared and administered, and the therapist (who is also an animal communicator and completely genuine) believes she no longer needs medication. My only concern is whether to just stop Pexion (400mg twice daily) or half the dose and wean her off it gradually. There are mixed views on this forum – some say you can safely stop it immediately; others have been told by their vets to wean the dog off it. My reason for wanting to stop it is that I don’t wish to give my dog drugs if they are not necessary (they are also very expensive.)

    • I would speak with your vet and show them this forum, use great care and don’t stop the pexion like is suggested on the information sheet, reduce it slowly over a month or two. My input with my dog Izzy is on this forum and is from May to sept 2013 when my beloved friend was pts.
      Good luck
      Amanda x

      • elizabeth hilton

        I agree, please do not stop pexion straight away. I stopped giving Maddie, my collie of 13 pexion 600mg and she was in a terrible state for that week. She had so many fits, 3 in one day which lasted longer than normal and she became very confused. I urge all of you who are thinking of stopping this drug, to do this only if you have another treatment in place and to stop it slowly over a few weeks. I lost Maddie 3 weeks ago and I miss her so much, but I am glad that I was able to look after her for that year of seizures. They are so distressing to watch knowing that there is little we can do.

        good luck to all of you, Elizabeth

        • So sorry to hear that Elizabeth, I still miss Izzy today despite having another dog- Izzy was a sweet collie we were blessed with despite the epilepsy. My thoughts are with you. Thank you also for your comment, the research on pexion including the trials seem to have a few giant holes in it. All of you owners try your best for your beloved pets, my heart goes with you all – there is no illness in dogs that is so awful to watch. I hope most of you never have to make that final call.
          Love Amanda

    • You can stop using Pexion with no withdrawal.. I did it and had not problems – it saved my dogs life!! Incidentally, you should not be scared to use pheno barbital – correctly used and tested there is no need for your dog to have liver damage, my dog has been on it for 4 years and I use milk thistle to protect his liver.. his levels are really not bad considering – and if it were to help your seizures?

      • I used milk thistle as well when my dog was on epiphen and the output of her liver still deteriated enough to be put on pexion. I would also recommend that everyone reads these forum pages from the beginning as each dog is different and reacts differently to meds. You can’t just say yes stop the pexion with no weaning off- a lot of dogs who have been on other medication and then put on pexion have reacted badly to withdrawing pexion without gradual reduction. Each dog is different, speak with your vet and let them know each step, that is their job at the end of the day.
        Amanda x

        • Amanda… most vets have no or little experience of using Pexion.. the literature supplied with Pexion says you can withdraw immediately and I know lots of people that have and it has no effect.. my dog also takes pheno and potassium bromide. I have not yet met one person that this drug has helped and many people have had their dear pets PTS because of the side effects of this drug… In my opinion it should be banned – it has killed more dogs than it has saved, but of course that is not for public reading…….

          • I agree with you, my dog was one of them pts! All I am trying to say is that any changes you make with medicines especially with epileptic dogs needs to be done slowly. This drug given to dogs which have been on pheno or bromide then put on pexion need to be have some kind of medication in place prior to ‘stopping’ pexion. My dog had upwards of 30 seizures a day on 2 consecutive saturdays a week apart when I withdrew pexion as instructed in the literature. I advocate a natural raw diet and using natural remedies but with input from my vet. On the second weekend after again having 30ish seizures during the day, seizing every 2 minutes on the way to the vets, she was sedated as nothing else worked, she was put to sleep. I firmly believe that there are 2 main types of epilepsy, the first will react favourably to medication and live a normal life and then there are those that seem to get used to each medication that you try and the fits get more frequent until nothing at all works and these poor mites die young.

  19. My dog a Sealyham Terrier Ernie, started having fits at the age of 2 and after a short period of logging them was put on Pexion as they were occurring approximately two weeks apart.
    Since starting on 100mg of Pexion twice a day as a starting dose – this has been increased three times as the drug seemed to have no effect on the frequency of his fits, although he had a couple of fits 12 hours apart on two occasions.
    When he was put up to 250 mg he suddenly had 7 fits in 24 hours, rectal diazepam had no effect on stopping them.
    He was taken in and given pheno barbital IV which he reacted very badly to – anxious, crying, spooked at everything and starving and thirsty, running around panicking.
    I believe the Pexion had caused the increase in the fits and now the vet is weaning him off of Pexion and giving him a month with no drugs to see how we get on before deciding the next move.

    • elizabeth hilton

      Hello everyone, Even though I have lost my collie Maddie, I am reading up about seizures, cancers and skin problems in all variety of dogs. I have just finished reading a book by Ian Billinghurst. “Give your dog a bone” He is an australian vet who recommends only feeding our dogs RAW. I have another collie of 15 months and am terrified that he too could develop seizures, skin problems, etc so I have decided to give Jock regular raw bones and raw veg. Already I see a difference in his behaviour and he appears more calm on this new diet. Kibble and even the best of dog tins, seem to be bad news and are full of grains and chemicals. I do urge all of you to try a raw diet because if you think of it, before the days of dry nuts and tins of dog food, dogs ate and scavanged for their food which would all be based on raw bones and raw veg. Nothing was cooked and they seemed to survive without all these health problems that we see today.

      If I had had my time again with Maddie, I would not have put her on Pexion, but would simply have changed her diet dramatically and fed her a RAW diet and I am convinced with the help of brewers yeast, kelp and extra vitamins, she would still be alive today.

      All the best to all of you who use these anti seizure drugs. Elizabeth

  20. My four year old rescue dog Daisy started having fits back in June. She was put on 400mg of Pexion twice a day. The fits have not stopped or even decreased in frequency. The only thing that I have noticed since taking Pexion is that the postictal time is shorter and she recovers very quickly. The vet has now increased her dose to 1200mg twice a day. The maximum dose a dog can take is 1400mg! so she is nearly at the maximum dose. I am very concerned about giving my dog such a large dose of medication especially since the dose she has been taking seems to be having little or no effect!

  21. My dachshund started having seizures shortly before his second birthday about three weeks apart. After all the tests came back normal the vet put him on Pexion. Unfortunately the seizures increased in frequency despite going to the maximum dose. So I have to say that this medication has not worked for my dog. He is now on Epiphen and so far he has not had any more fits. Worried about side effects though.

    • Susan, You don’t say what dose of Epiphen your Dachsie is on, nor whether your Dachsie is mini or standard. My Shani is just over 9lbs, a mini longhaired. She was 7 years old in May and has been epileptic since birth. she is now on 15mgs pheno BID but also Gabapentin and potassium bromide. But she is not my first epi and I chose pheno because of its proven success. I also have a dog with liver disease (her uncle) so know how to help Shani deal with any problems caused by her drugs. Side effect initially is the ataxia, which should disapear in two or three weeks. She should have pheno level tested at 2 weeks and periodically thereafter. She can be given milk thistle to help the liver deal with any drugs. You could put her on Epitaur, which is for epieltpci dogs and recommended by Richard Allport, the homeopathic vet. Here is a link to it:

      • Hi Jean thank you for your reply. My dachsie is around 6.25 kg smooth. His takes 12.5mg pheno twice a day. The seizures occur less frequently now than when he was on Pexion, about three weeks apart. I asked the vet about milk thistle but he didn’t feel it was necessary at this stage (?) Otherwise he is fine with good energy levels. I will definitely look into giving the Epitaur. Is this an alternative to milk thistle?

        • Hello Susan.

          Luckily your dog is on a very small dose of epiphen..I imagine he is a standard if he is 6.25kg. Shani is just over 4kgs and has just had her pheno reduced to 15mg. But she is also on the other meds.

          My old vet back in England knew nothing about milk thistle, many vets aren’t familiar with things unless they are drugs, which milk thistle isn’t. The point of milk thistle is to try to prevent damage to the liver and not wait until there are problems. Epitaur is a support for the liver, but does not contain milk thistle. This link tells you what’s in the capsules and what effect they have Shani always had milk thistle separately until her liver enzymes were raised and now she has Doxion, which contains SAMe and milk thistle as well as other nutrients to aid the liver.

          There is a great epilepsy group that you could join online It’s mostly American but there are quite a lot of other nationalities too and the best one I’ve ever discovered. And I’ve had epi dogs since the 80s. If your boy is still having seizure with not a lot of time between you might need to increase the pheno slightly.

  22. Hi Wendy
    If your dog has not had other medication for fits/epilepsy, it might be worth changing the drug…
    Talk to your vet and see what he/she says, also show them this website.
    I was not happy about the dose my dog was having as there was no change at all in the frequency of fits and as it happened he had a couple 12 hours apart, which may have been due to Pexion.
    My vet read from the veterinary drug handbook about Pexion and said in some cases the fits will INCREASE on Pexion, which is why he took my dog off of the drug.

    • Did your vet reduce the dose gradually, Kay, or just stop it? Some say it is safe to stop at any time and others recommend it is done gradually.

    • Thank you for the advice Kay, Daisy has been on 1200mg of Pexion for 13 days now, so far she has not had a fit but she has never gone more than 2 weeks without one, so I am expecting one very soon. Iam not gong to increase her dose any higher if she has another fit even though the vet will probably recommend it. I am going to insist that she tries another medication even though the vet says that other medications makes them drowsy and they have no quality of life!
      I was talking o someone yesterday who’s dog as epilepsy but the epilepsy is controlled by diet. He said that it is something about the protein in their diet, do you anything about his Kay?

      • Hi Wendy, I do wish you luck finding the right medication. I noticed that someone had mentioned protein in the diet. When Bronte first began having fits I got in touch with the Canine Epilepsy Support Group who advised me to change her food to the lowest protein food available and rotate it (Chappie, Butcher’s etc.) I also used Bach’s Rescue Remedy and gave her a supplement called Taurine. Bronte has never had any meds other than Pexion and I agreed to it because I was told it was a wonder drug with no side effects. I am not convinced and thinking of taking her off it. Link to Epilepsy Support is and my contact is Anne Morley at Good luck xx

      • What a worry for you Diane that your collie is having fits as he is so young. Please do try cutting out all processed dog food, that includes tins of food. I am now giving my dogs who are young, raw mashed vegetables twice a day(that includes ALL VEGETABLES AND MOST FRUIT ) raw bones every other day for their teeth and raw heart, liver, chicken legs and wings and any other raw steak I can get cheaply from the butcher. I am convinced it is todays dry processed dog food that predisposes to the increase of fits in our beloved animals. I have said so often on this blog that fits were never mentioned in dogs fifty years ago and indeed I had never heard of dogs having fits until my own beautiful border collie started having them a year ago. Now I have lost her and I do not want to lose my young collie who is just one. Please just give it a try anyway. There is so much on the net now about BARF feeding for pets. Its very easy and much cheaper than those bags of nuts that are all sprayed with some ghastly fat spray to make them more edible.

        All the best,


  23. Hi Val
    He decreased gradually, five days with one morning and night and five days with a half morning and night…
    He has not replaced it with anything though, no fits as of yet…. he used to have one fit approx. a fortnight. So since last Thursday no tablets of anything. Fingers crossed.

  24. Hi my border collie started fitting just after his first birthday which was a total shock for us as a family. Took him in overnight as it was a Sunday they took good care of him and put him on phenobarbital . Started him on a small dose but now has 60mg twise a day has cluster fits every three weeks. Spent more time in hospital as the fits were not controlled , now also has pexion 100mg twise a day. He went three weeks without any fits and then to the pattern had another cluster fits that lasted all day don’t know where to go from here

  25. I am sorry to hear about your dog Diane, I think it is trial and error with all drugs, drugs all have pros and cons. Has your vet mentioned potassium bromide? I think that you can use that with phenobarbital if your dog tolerates it. I will NOT put Ernie on phenobarbital – he came off all drugs 9 days ago and no fits yet….. his last fit was 12th July so he was due to have a fit a fortnight after that, so far so good. if I have to I might start on potassium bromide.
    Also if your dog is just one isn’t that unusual for it to be idiopathic epilepsy? I thought the fits normally start around the age of 2 for that? Has the vet talked about any other causes? Suggested an MRI scan?
    I think the raw diet my work for some. Ernie has a good dry dog food with no grains at all, but I would consider the raw if he has fits and they are not controlled by other drugs.
    Sorry Wendy I didn’t see the question you asked about protein. I haven’t heard of a link to protein. I will look at the link that Val b posted.

    • Hi Kay I’ve investigated that border collies if they have idiopathic epilepsy starts after there first birthday which is what happened to brody. He has been seen by the vrcc veterinary referrals cancer and critical care centre they have ruled out brain tumours or anything else other than what they have said he has. Thank you for your advice .

  26. I forgot to post this.

    people may have seen it but I was interested in this on that link….

    Pexion 100 mg and 400 mg tablets for dogs

    Contra-indications, warnings, etc

    Do not use in case of hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients. Do not use in dogs with severely impaired hepatic function, severe renal or severe cardiovascular disorders.

    The pharmacological response to imepitoin may vary and efficacy may not be complete. Nevertheless imepitoin is considered to be a suitable treatment option in some dogs because of its safety profile. On treatment, some dogs will be free of seizures, in other dogs a reduction of the number of seizures will be observed, whilst others may be non-responders.
    In non-responders, an increase in seizure frequency may be observed.
    Should seizures not be adequately controlled, further diagnostic measures and other antiepileptic treatment should be considered.

    The benefit/risk assessment for the individual dog should take into account the details in the product literature.

    The efficacy of the veterinary medicinal product in dogs with status epilepticus and cluster seizures has not been investigated. Therefore, imepitoin should not be used as primary treatment in dogs with cluster seizures and status epilepticus. Transition to other types of antiepileptic therapy should be done gradually and with appropriate clinical supervision.

    No loss of anticonvulsant efficacy (tolerance development) during continuous treatment of 4 weeks was observed in experimental studies lasting 4 weeks.

  27. My bichon is 5 years old and recently started to have fits. He is now on Pexion 2 in the morning followed by 2 at night. They are defintly not working. Sometimes he is having four fits in two days. Then he may go 5 days without a fit.
    I feel that I can’t leave him alone in case he hurts himself.
    Please can you give me any advice?

    • Hi Niki
      I am sorry to hear about your dog.
      I can only advise talking to your vet about your experiences.
      If you think that your dog has become worse or is fitting more then perhaps ask if you could try another drug.
      You know your dog best, how he is acting on the tablets and whether he is worse or if there is no change.
      I hope things get better for you soon

  28. Well my Daisy managed to go 4 weeks and 1 day without a fit until Monday of this week where she had 8 fits in 24 hours. I rushed her to the vets because she was in a very bad way (hallucinating, stressed and not with it) now 3 days on she is still a bit nervous, has only just remembered who we are but the dog I know seems to be gone. I am hoping that it is a result of so many fits in such a short period of time and she will get back to normal. My vet has now agreed with me after 2 months of telling them that Pexion is not working! She is booked in for an MRI next week because my vet suspects that she has a brain tumour. I am hoping and praying that that is not the case and she is the way she is now because of so many fits in such a short period of time. Has anyone else experienced this with their dog?

    • Hi Wendy – yes, our own dog had the exact pattern that you describe. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in February and was seizure free for three months on Pexion. He had another small fit, but then had eight siezures close together a few weeks ago and was exactly as you describe. We rushed him to the vet and it took three days for him to settle again. He was staggering, crashing into things, falling over, etc but he did recover and was back to being bouncy, happy and enjoying life after three days. It is an ongoing process for us at the moment as all blood tests for thyroid problems etc are proving inconclusive and we are changing the medication. Fingers crossed here for you and dog.

      • Hi Sal, have you changed your dogs medication yet? I have had a long discussion today about changing Daisy’s medication. I have to start her tomorrow on epiphen and she is also going to give me kappra to keep in the house to give to her if she has cluster fits again. Daisy is still not 100% after nearly a week, she seems to have forgotten certain words and is not interested in the slightest about going for a walk whereas before the 8 fits she loved her walks. She is going on Thursday to vets just so that she can check her over, fingers crossed her problems at the minute are due to so many fits in such a short time, please let me know how you get on with the medication Sal, all the best of luck

  29. Hi daisy my border collie brody has been on pexion and phenobarbital for two months and totally agree with you that it does not seen to stop the fits. he had many fits all through the day and night which was Tuesday the 2nd of sept he still is not 100% now we are waiting to hear from our vet as they do not really know what to do with him he is only 17mouths x

  30. Every three to four weeks he has cluster fits x

    • Dear Dianne,
      My dog Izzy was put on pexion when it had been out a few months, she had her first fit at a year old and continued to have 3 or 4 fits every 3 weeks. My vet put her on epiphen initially and when that didn’t stop the siezures added Lebromide, she still continued to have seizures regular as clockwork. I took her down to Cambridge University to their Animal Hospital as Anne Van Haesenbrauk a top neurologist had studied canine epilepsy and I was so desperate to help my beautiful dog. They did a brain scan and drew fluid from the spinal column and found nothing so she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy. We continued on the medication adjusting the doses but she still had regular fits until she had a really bad episode and we found that the bromide was not suitable and we nearly lost her t pancreatitus. It was at this time that pexion came out and I weaned Izzy off the Epiphen whilst starting with pexion. I had also changed her diet to BARF using mainly chicken inc bones and found other natural ways like Bachs rescue oil, skullcap & valerian tablets. Nothing worked and when she was just on the pexion we thought we’d cracked it as she went for 6 weeks nearly without a fit, and then she started having them weekly-every saturday and she had in excess of 30 seizures over the weekend, she spent the last 2 weekends at my vets heavily sedated with valium. After the first weekend I stopped the Pexion as suggested in the notes and wish I had put “The Valium Protocol” in place before stopping the Pexion. I believe to this day that if I had reduced the dose slowly it may have made things better for her as the withdrawal brought on the clusters that took her life. My vets could only sedate her to stop the fits temporarily and as soon as they brought her round the clusters continued- after so many (every 3/4 minutes) her temperature had risen to high and we don’t think she’d have been able to function like that, so the decision was made by us and my vet to put her down- she was only 3 and a half. If you look up the canine epilepsy guardian angels website, they have loads of information on there, most of the people have had an epileptic animal and are full of ideas that you may find helpful.
      I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you find something that works so you don’t have to go through the pain of losing your dog. My postings on this forum are exactly a year ago, from May/June to 2nd September hen Izzy was pts and no longer suffering. May the angels be with you.
      Love Amanda x

  31. Thank you Amanda I will defo look on their web site thank you for sharing your story x

    • I am so sorry that so many people are not having any luck with Pexion.

      Murphy is a 25kg labradoodle and has been on Pexion for just over a year now. He started out having 400mg twice a day and we’ve gradually had to increase this to 600mg twice a day, but ‘touch wood’ its working brilliantly for him. He doesn’t cluster fit, but as soon as he has a fit I administer rectal diazepam. There is no pattern at all to his fits, he has only had five so far this year, and hasn’t had once since mid-June.

      I really hope that other people on here do find something that works for their dog, its an awful, heart breaking disease.

  32. My 14 year old Bichon who has never had a fit all her life had several in one weekend a couple of weeks ago. We went to bed as usual one Friday night, only for me to be startled awake about 3 hours later by her distressed barking. She seemed to be having some sort of fit. She’d wet the bed and the episode lasted roughly about a minute. Of course being startled awake and seeing her like that scared the living daylights out of me. I phoned the vet who was on call that night and she agreed that it sounded like some sort of seizure and to take her to the surgery the following morning. After a very sleepless night and 7 and a half hours later she had another one- This one didn’t seem to last as long as the first one, but otherwise was exactly the same with the distressed barking, wetting herself etc. I phoned the vet again to tell her that she’d had a second episode then took her to the surgery and hour or so later after she’d come round a bit. The vet immediately started her on Pexion 100mg half a tablet twice daily because of her age and being quite frail. On examination she also had a bit of a temperature- nothing too drastic- but gave her a long acting antibiotic injection just to be safe. Saturday afternoon she perked up alot and seemed to be back to her usual self. Saturday night however was really bad. I gave her the second dose of Pexion later that evening and maybe an hour or so later I noticed she wasn’t herself again. Very heavy breathing and I started to get a bit worried again and never left her side. Low and behold nearly 14 hours after the second seizure she had that morning she had her third. I was alot calmer this time for my dogs sake rather than mine but was still very upset to see her like this when she’d perked up so much just hours earlier. Again the episode was exactly the same as the other two (distressed barking, wetting herself and it lasted about the same as the second one). Then about hour and a half later just as we’d settled down for bed she had a fourth. Although I remained calm for her I was now VERY concerned. Her breathing became very rapid. I should have phoned the vet but didn’t because I knew she would have got even more distressed if I had to take her to the surgery again and she needed to be admitted overnight. Instead I had her right next to me all night keeping contact as much as possible. The very rapid breathing went on nearly all night and she wet herself several times but there didn’t seem to be any seizure that I was aware of. Early the following morning (about 7.30am) she had another one and again it was the same as the others. That was just over a week ago (it will be 2 weeks next Sunday, 23rd Sept) and she hasn’t had anything since. I’m assuming it’s the Pexion that has stopped her from having anymore of these seizures and I will be continuing to give them to her. The main reason I have come to this page was to see if there were any side effects to this drug. My dog was drinking a little more than usual before starting Pexion, but now it’s increased even more. It’s not just her increased thirst either, but her appetite now as well. I don’t really want to stop giving this drug to her as I’d much rather her have increased thirst and hunger over seizures any day. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Before I go the vet seemed to think that these seizures were more likely to be age related rather than epilepsy as she’s an old girl now.

    • Hi Tracy,
      Glad to hear that your dog is better on Pexion – I can confirm that increased hunger and thirst are two of the side effects of Pexion. I hope she will continue to do well xx

      • Thank you so much for replying. Angel has gone what would have been 2 weeks today with no fit, but just now as I am writing this she is in my arms recovering from a very slight one. I just hope she’ll perk up later on now. It is now nearly 6am and I am up at this unearthly hour on a Sunday because Angel woke me up at about 4.30am desperate for a drink. I am kind of relieved to know that increased hunger and thirst are side effects, but Angels thirst seems a bit extreme. It’s not the first time she has woke me up during the early hours crying for a drink. And when I take her downstairs for one she is drinking solid for a good couple of minutes sometimes longer. She has had a load of blood tests done fairly recently- kidney function being one of them- and apart from that one being slightly abnormal everything was fine. I’m not sure though if they checked her glucose levels. I will be getting back in touch with the vet on Monday to check. I don’t really want her to be poked and prodded too much now that she is old and fragile as a trip to the vet really distresses her.
        The fit she had this morning now was different to the others. She wet herself the same as before and she also had that rapid like breathing. But there was no barking this time though. I don’t actually think I’d have noticed that she’d had one if I wasn’t awake and she was in her bed by my feet. Thank you again for replying. What do you think about her extreme thirst though. As I said in my first post, before she was put on Pexion her thirst had increased which I put down to the hot weather, but it has now sky rocketed.

        • Hi Tracy,
          I wouldn’t class my dog’s thirst or hunger are extreme, but both are certainly noticeably increased since being on Pexion. Also, her fits have changed on the drug – they have been fewer but of longer duration and much more pronounced. And instead of having the usual warning beforehand, she has simply collapsed in front of me and on another occasion discharged her anal glands, though she has not yet been incontinent in a fit. My vet agrees with me that anything regularly exceeding 4/5 minutes is dangerous, and Bronte’s last fit was of 10 minutes’ duration. It is for this reason that she is coming off the Pexion – so far been on half the dose for a month, now on a quarter for another week and then she will come off it altogether. The vet confirmed that it is not necessary to wean them off it gradually, but she wanted to see what happened, if anything, on a reduced dose. So far, the result is positive. My vet admits to being disappointed with Pexion’s performance after all the hype.
          It sounds as if you may need to visit your vet as you mention; would it be an idea to phone first and find out if they tested Angel’s blood glucose last time? Kidney health can be a concern in old age but it sounds as if that was reasonable at the time of her last test.
          I know how you feel; it is devastating to see them suffering at any time. I hope you can get some answers and that you and Angel can find some peace and rest. Try to stay positive – that won’t be easy – but if you can be as calm and relaxed as possible it will help you both.
          Good luck and lots of love xx

          • Thank you for replying again Val. I am sorry to hear about your dogs fit lasting 10 minutes. That must have been truly horrifying to see. I’ve noticed that most of the replies about Pexion on here have been negative. I seem to be the only one to say that it has worked. My baby is tiny so maybe it only works on little dogs 🙂 I don’t know what breed Bronte is with you, but my Angel is a very small Bichon- so small she’s still mistaken for a puppy, even at 14. Anyway, since my last reply Angel hasn’t been very well. I haven’t taken her to the vet yet as I didn’t want to get her even more upset. I’m gonna phone this morning though to see if her vet is on duty. I agree that Pexion has changed the way she has a fit. Sadly though I think there is alot more going on with Angel. I am preparing myself for the worst. I am also thinking she is having fits in her sleep as the past 2 mornings in a row now she has also soiled her bed as well as wet it. All in all, I refuse to let her suffer. The vet told me when I first took her the following morning after having 2 fits in a matter of hours that she was very frail and I think I’d rather make that god awful decision for her to go peacefully rather than her have a big fit or something and lose her that way.
            I really hope all works well for Bronte and thank you again for getting back to me about the thirst and hunger. It’s good to know and I will also inform my vet as when I first asked her she didn’t know. Love from us both xx

  33. I have 2 boxers reg and Harvey who are nearly 3 years old , last year reg started to have seizers , after lots of care and attention from my vet the fits were under control and reg was put onto Phenobarbital , he had one fit every 3-4 months ( I could cope with that ) but because stay on Phenobarbital can damage his liver my vet wanted to wean him off Phenobarbital and start using pexion , with days of starting pexion he was fitting he was having 10 to 15 fits a day , after seeing my emergency vet they stopped the pexion straight away , they said to carry on with the Phenobarbital and after a day of being off pexion he stopped having the fits , the vets are now going to try a differnt medication but I will never have him on pexion again . He is back to being very playful and loving .

    • Try adding a few drops of milk thistle tincture to his diet (in water) it helps protect dogs liver just like it does for humans.
      Obviously check with your vet first.
      Amanda x

      • Thank you for that Amdanda I vet had never mentioned this , reg is due back next week for his bloods so I will emotion it ty very much 🙂 x

  34. I would not recommend Pexion to anyone. I have lost my little baby girl Princess who was only 5.5 years old to Epilepsy a few months after my Vet recommended to change her medication from Phenobarbital (Ephiphen) to Pexion. The Vet`s reason for the change was that the blood tests seemed difficult to take from my small chihuahua and apparently Pexion had no damaging side effects. Says who exactly. After a few weeks being on Pexion my baby started acting funny she would snap at me and be very insecure but i was told it was a normal side effect as we were wheening her off epiphen to go on pexion. However a couple months has passed and she was still very snappy and she would be confused at some times, i felt her eye sight got worst as well, however we were happy as she had no seizure for several months since she was on Pexion whilst she was on epiphen she would have one or two every couple of months. However came the 5th month on pexion my dog was very unsettled this whole month and been depressed twice we actually had to take her to the vet as we didn’t know why she was so down. She would not eat, play want to be stroked or want to go for walks which was very unusual as she was such an active little dog. The doctor couldn’t really give us an explanation just told us to watch her as she may be due on a seizure. 2 weeks on and she had not one but 3 clusters seizure during the night one after the other each being longer than the previous ones she has managed to recover after each until the fourth one (by when she was at the emergency vet) where i had no control or knowledge of what was happening. The vet put her on Vallium drip as well as done a quick blood test on her but she was so weak and worn down due to these cluster of seizers (which she has never ever in her entire life she had before) that by the time the 5th seizure came her heart would give up after the last one the vet performed CPR and managed to bring her back for a brief time but slowly my little angel faded away as it was just all too much for her. I am so very devastated for the loss of my baby girl and i wish i have never switched from epiphen to Pexion as according to this vet Pexion has not helped my baby girl`s seizures but made it worst instead of her having one seizure each month pexion stopped her having one but instead it collated it them and she ended up having even more dangerous cluster seizures. Pexion has killed my dog and i couldn’t do anything to stop this. Please if you love your dog do not go on pexion without doing the much needed research pexion had the same effect on my other dogs. your dog`s idiopathic seizure could easily turn into cluster of seizure on Pexion as pexion is not a certified drug for all seizures and is definatelty not able to control cluster seizures.Unfortunately it is too late for my dog but it is hopefully not too late for yours.

    • I am so sorry to read what you and your lovely dog went through. I also was advised to change as Pexion is better for the liver. My dog also started having cluster seizures and I got a second opinion and took her off the Pexion back on to pheno plus KBr. We trust in our vets to do the best but in my case I wonder if my vet made any money for each dog they got on the new drug. My dog is fine now thankfully and I’m so sorry you were too late.

  35. Eva, your story has made me cry, I am so sorry for your loss. My dog Daisy has followed almost the same pattern as your dog from being on Pexion. We are now in the process of weaning he off of Pexion onto epiphen. She has been on epiphen for nearly 2 weeks now, unfortunately she is still on Pexion because the vet says that she has to follow a protocol and wean her off slowly. She is on the maximum dose of Pexion (1400mg plus 120mg of epiphen twice a day) She has got to have a blood test at the end of this week to make sure that the level of epiphen is high enough to start reducing the Pexion. The combination of the 2 drugs are making her very drowsy and sometimes she falls over or walks into things. I am hoping that that will ease once she is not on such a high dose of medication. Pexion is a very pricey treatment ( which I wouldn’t mind paying for if it actually worked) with no benefits at all!

    • I understand that Pexion has no weaning off period. I put mine back on epiphen for a few weeks then stopped the pexion. I think it says you can do this on their website.

    • I know i wish i came across this thread before it was too late for my baby girl 🙁 We have received her ashes today so it has been a very emotional day for all of us. I am still yet to write a long letter to my Vet about my disgust and disappointment. I have a bad feeling that Vets are describing this new medication Pexion because they are getting huge commission and they are treating our dogs as test animals to see how they react to this medication. As this is still being a fairly new medication it has not been thoroughly studied, hence none knows if this medication actually has any benefits for our dogs. I would advise everyone to stick to what works or if nothing seem to work to stick with Pheno so Epiphen or something similar as even if these medications have a side effect (which could damage liver but doesn’t always damage your pet`s liver ) it will control both idiopathic seizure as well as cluster seizure. I believe so far Pexion has not helped any dog to actually be seizure free and 80% of forums i read all reports that Pexion works great for the first few months than suddenly our beloved pet`s starts to suffer from not one but multiple seizures aka cluster seizure which is even more dangerous than a grand mal seizure.
      I really hope my little Angel can help to save other dog`s life from this nasty medication that should have never reached the shops or shall i say the vet`s shelves. Please share this post where you can to spread the world about this medication that Vet`s seem to describe for every epileptic dog 🙁 Let`s not let Vet`s treat our dogs as test animals.
      P.S. I have read a post online that claims that putting a packet of ice on the back of your dog whilst she or he is having a fit helps to get them out quicker and make quicker recovery. It seemed to work a lot of people who have epileptic dog. Also giving them a spoon of ice cream seem to help their blood sugar level back on track. I will try to find the link and copy it in here for you guys.I hope your dog`s get better and will live a long healthy life.

  36. I know i wish i came across this thread before it was too late for my baby girl 🙁 We have received her ashes today so it has been a very emotional day for all of us. I am still yet to write a long letter to my Vet about my disgust and disappointment. I have a bad feeling that Vets are describing this new medication Pexion because they are getting huge commission and they are treating our dogs as test animals to see how they react to this medication. As this is still being a fairly new medication it has not been thoroughly studied, hence none knows if this medication actually has any benefits for our dogs. I would advise everyone to stick to what works or if nothing seem to work to stick with Pheno so Epiphen or something similar as even if these medications have a side effect (which could damage liver but doesn’t always damage your pet`s liver ) it will control both idiopathic seizure as well as cluster seizure. I believe so far Pexion has not helped any dog to actually be seizure free and 80% of forums i read all reports that Pexion works great for the first few months than suddenly our beloved pet`s starts to suffer from not one but multiple seizures aka cluster seizure which is even more dangerous than a grand mal seizure.
    I really hope my little Angel can help to save other dog`s life from this nasty medication that should have never reached the shops or shall i say the vet`s shelves. Please share this post where you can to spread the world about this medication that Vet`s seem to describe for every epileptic dog 🙁 Let`s not let Vet`s treat our dogs as test animals.
    P.S. I have read a post online that claims that putting a packet of ice on the back of your dog whilst she or he is having a fit helps to get them out quicker and make quicker recovery. It seemed to work a lot of people who have epileptic dog. Also giving them a spoon of ice cream seem to help their blood sugar level back on track. I will try to find the link and copy it in here for you guys.I hope your dog`s get better and will live a long healthy life.

  37. My 3 and a quarter year old lab has been on Pexion since a cluster of fits in May – he’d previously had single episodes each 6 months. The vet said that this cluster – of 3 inside an hour – meant that he had to be medicated and Pexion wouldn’t lead to drowsiness.

    Dizzy died 2 nights ago. He had a continuous, almost hour-long seizure, followed by sustained heavy breathing and staring ahead. I have no idea whether Pexion helped or not, but really? 3 years old?! Devastating. I don’t think my kids will ever understand cos I sure as hell don’t.

    • Hi George,

      I am so sorry to read our dog Dizzy passed away at such a young age. My princess was only 5 as well when she passed away last month due to a very similar seizure as your situation. Unfortunately there is not much that can explain what happened but it is scary that everyone`s dog seem to be getting cluster of seizures and longer fits on Pexion than on any other drugs. My dog was fine on Epiphen but the vet wanted to change to Pexion and 6 months later my dog is no longer with us. It still breaks my heart and in my opinion which i know it doesn’t really matter. Pexion has contributed to both of our dog`s such a short life 🙁
      I am sorry again for your loss … It will get easier…

      • Familiar story, my dog Izzy was also a casualty of this drug, She was put to sleep on 2nd Sept 2013 and I still talk about her every day, the whole family misses her too and it is over a year on. So sorry for your loss – more vets should read these postings before giving Pexion. It seems when other drugs have been used the pexion seems not to work. More research should be carried out on it as it can also have disasterous effects when stopped as instructed if no other medication is in place prior to withdrawing pexion.

  38. Hi My dog Beau…. A Springer Spaniel was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy about 12 months ago….. he was having a seizure about once a week He was prescribed Pexion at the lowest dose and this then reduced the fits to once a month this continued until the increase in frequency returned… To cut a long story short we find ourselves in a viscous circle, where beau builds a tolerance to a higher dose the fits return as we do to the vet and so does the same with the vet charges… Don,t get me wrong I would sell my soul for my dog, but I have found more words of advice on this site in the last half hour than I have when my vet buries his head in his dosage book… I can tell when Beau is going to Fit.. Some classic signs are Extremely clingy….I.E constant pawing and wanting to be on my knee etc… It also seems to happen between the hours of 2-6am when all is quiet… I would say that over exertion is a trigger as is any stress, i would like to thank people for taking the time to put experiences on here, I will be trying the high protein diet,vitamin supplements and rectal Diazapam -prior to any seizure and will report…. if he suffers another cluster I will be taking some of these comments to the vets and demand that pexion is stopped as the story from Eva is scarily like mine!!!

  39. My twelve and a half year old Cooker Spaniel started fitting about two years ago and the fits continued in frequency and duration for the fist year without any treatment.
    The vet then suggested Pexion and it had seemed to stop the fitting until the last 2 months where Georgie has again begun to fit in clusters. His fits are long and he is always doubly incontinent.

    As to the drug side effects, he walks around as though he is drunk (it really is quite distressing) and has a voracious appetite eating anything he can find, paper, tissues plants in the garden, nothing is safe. I know he is an old dog, but I love him and really don’t know what to do for the best

  40. I have two dogs both on Pexion. Mable who is 9 years old and has been on Pexion 400mgs x 2 twice a day (12hrs) apart since December, 2013 and was doing well but now has to have Keppra added as she is fitting more regular. Fizz who is 5 years old has been on Pexion with Keppra same dose as Mable is doing great after having numerous fits which she was admitted to the emergency vets in August, 2014, she is also on Epiphen.

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