What Do I Do About My Epi-Dog's Medications With the Time Change?


November marks Epilepsy Awareness Month and it also marks the end to Daylight Saving Time, a time for clocks to "fall back" in many areas on November 7th at 2 AM EST.   
A question I am asked a lot, and do see often asked in dog epilepsy groups, is, "What do I do 
about my dog's medication when the clocks go back?"
If your Epi-dog (dog with Epilepsy) is on specifically timed medications, you will want to adjust his schedule a few days ahead of time, or at least for the first day of the new time change, stagger the dosage times. 
My FiveSibes Epi-tip is actually a simple formula for helping adjust your Epi-dog's medication doses to keep it as close to "normal" as possible. For example, if your pet typically gets his medications at 
7 AM and 7 PM, for the first day of end of DST, give the AM dosage at the new fall-back time of 6:30 (true time would be 7:30, a half hour later than usual), and give the 
7 PM dosage at 6:30 (true time would be 7:30). That way, while their internal clock says it's a bit late, their system can adjust to the "new" time and won't be going too long without the meds, thus risk upsetting the internal balance and possibly triggering a seizure.
I always preferred to ease Gibson into the time change and keep those seizure meds as close to on-time as possible. Some pets may need a slower and longer adjustment period, so take a few days prior to the time change to initiate it. Why do this? For an Epi-dog, specifically timed medications is an absolute must. Sometimes even the slightest change can set their system a-kilter and become a trigger. 
Time Change adjustments (Fall or Spring) for dogs with Epilepsy is a REAL thing. Epilepsy is NOT a one-size-fits all with every Epi-dog.

"You are correct in saying that seizure management is not a one-size-fits-all with every dog. Some dogs are exquisitely sensitive to the timing of their medications - and can have a seizure if the medication is delayed by an hour, while other dogs can tolerate fluctuations in their medication administration without negative consequences. The medications that are being administered probably also factor in - for example a drug like Keppra that is metabolized quickly in the body will be more likely to be affected to a delay in administration compared to other drugs such as phenobarbital or potassium bromide. I tell my clients that treatment of epilepsy requires an individualized approach, and it is important to find what works well for you and your dog - rather than what works for others. So for dogs that are very sensitive to timing of drug administration, I think a gradual adjustment to the time change is wise. For other dogs, this may not be necessary." 
~Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Professor, Neurology, Department of Clinical Sciences
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Winston Churchill once said that Daylight Saving Time is “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.”  
Oh, but how glorious is it to think of an extra hour of sleep! Hopefully, the time change will not affect your Epi-dog, other than that “extra” hour of sleep!

“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.”
~Winston Churchill  


  1. Good points. If they'd quit messing with the time it wouldn't be a problem. Politicians think they know better that Mother Nature.

  2. Layla woofs she hates daylight savings as Mom is grumpy and she needs to get up an hour earlier, leave us alone

  3. DST continues to vex me. Twice a year I stress about this despite employing an 'adjustment period.' I just wish officials would abandon the whole notion; in a global economy it makes no sense with all the different time zones with start and stops at different times (and then there are a couple of states...i.e. Hawaii & Arizona and parts of Indiana who don't participate at all and good on them). I wish more states would take the leap to return to normalcy and stop trying to manipulate time.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Acupressure and Ice to Relieve Seizures and A #LiveGibStrong Epi-Tip

The Rainbow Bridge Welcomes A New FurAngel - Buddy, the Christmas Husky - A Forever Symbol of Hope for Rescued Dogs

Fit For Our #FiveSibes Alpha Queen: Celebrating Harley's 14½ Birthday

#PrayersForHarley - Dewclaw Tumor

Shave a Husky? Don't Do it!