Ocular Compression for Fits

Ocular Compression for Fits

Ocular Compression is a technique hoped to help dogs with epilepsy. We have covered fits and epilepsy in a previous blog (here’s the link to it:- Fits & Seizures)

Many people try very hard to minimise the amount of drugs or chemicals they use with their dogs, be that in the form of vaccinations or medication.  If your dog has seizures fairly infrequently, you may prefer not to go down the medication route for him because, as is always the case with drug therapies, there may be side effects caused by the medication itself that are less than satisfactory.

Recently I came across something called Ocular Compression, a technique used to stimulate the vagus nerve.  This stimuli is used in an effort to “shut down” the random signals being sent to the brain during a seizure and it is thought that it could reduce the severity of the episode or possibly even inhibit the fit from taking place at all.

Such an approach could be used by itself for less severe cases or possibly side-by-side with medication for more acute conditions.  It is very much in its infancy and something really quite new so I will be looking into this technique further but it does look like something that could help our furry friends who suffer with such episodes.



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    […] applying firm pressure to the eyes. Controlling Seizures in Dogs with Ocular Compression Canine Tip of the Day: Ocular Compression to help with fits | Learn Canine First Aid & Human Fir… Originally Posted by NutroGeoff Has anyone ever had a dog that has had seizures? My mom's […]

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    I thought it wasn’t good to put hands around their mouth area when in a seizure?

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      It depends very much on the extent and violence of the seizure. All dogs are different and each seizure can be very different too. If you know it is safe, then applying ocular pressure can be a real benefit. If, however, doing so could lead to you getting bitten (some dogs do “chomp” and bite down when seizing, then this method would be too dangerous for you to attempt. That said, in some cases you can actually prevent a full blown fit from happening so, if you know the symptoms your dog displays prior to a fit and you start the compressions quickly enough, you might actually be able to keep it at bay altogether.

  4. […] I mention in the clip about a technique called Ocular Pressure.  Here is the blog we wrote on that some time ago, should you wish to learn more about the technique: Ocular Pressure Blog by Rhodes 2 Safety […]

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    Hi Kerry
    I have a 5.5yr old Rhodesian ridgeback who started with idiopathic epilepsy at 4yrs. His frequency and severity of seizures have increased and he has been on pexian for 10months and has just had Keppra introduced this month as an additional medicine for few days before and after a seizure, we await the results to see if this helps.

    I have been pointed in your direction by my dog walker who has met you and also has Rhodesian ridgeback regarding the ocular compression you refer too, I am really interested in this but the link does not appear to be working? Watching Rain’s video of a mild seizure was like looking at Archie when he has a mild one and am reassured to know that he developed his epilepsy at 14months and is now 10.5yrs. We are hoping that with medication Archie’s become less frequent and the severity reduces given he has had some nasty violent/cluster seizures requiring diazepam rectal rescue.

    I would welcome any advice you could provide on the occular compression and anything else that may help.

    Many thanks
    Kind regards

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      I have replied personally Claire.

      Best wishes


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    Hi Kerry
    Could you possibly send me your personal reply to Claire as I could’ve written her request except mine is a 3year old Hungarian Vizsla
    Best wishes


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      Hi Gerry,
      Im sorry Im a little confused as to who you/Claire are and what information you need?


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    I have an epileptic mini poodle and first started ocular compression followed by a bit of honey several years ago. He has never been on phenobarbital. When a seizure appears imminent, staring into space….licking lips….I apply pressure to the eyes and it has always prevented a full blown seizure.

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      Sharon that is brilliant! That’s what I do with my boy too and for the most part we get away without a full seizure as well … its such a fantastic technique to be able to do

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    Hi – please can you tell me how long the pressure should be applied for and how many times?
    Our (almost) 2 year old female Lab, Bella, has just had her second seizure – I looked at your YouTube video and Bella’s was much worse, she was convulsing badly, foaming at the mouth and totally out of it for some time… I don’t know how long but know we have to time them moving forward.
    I am so worried about them getting worse, or worse still clusters so any additional techniques would be great if you could be a bit more specific about the ocular compression please and any more up-to-date info would be great.
    Thanks in advance, Jules

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      Hi Jules, Im so sorry to hear about Bella’s condition. The ocular pressure can be done as long as it takes to calm and help your dog. I would put the pressure on, count to 5 and then release and count to 10 … then repeat over and over. I dont know if you are able to see a “tell” that she is going to fit? If you can, its worth trying this procedure BEFORE she goes into one as it can help to minimise the duration and severity if you get in there before the fit is full blown. What I would say is that if she does start with clusters, please avoid a drug called Pexion. It is quite a new drug and has good results with some dogs and worse with others BUT it is not for dogs who cluster so please make sure if that happens and your vet recommends it, to query that aspect of the drugs performance.

      Best wishes


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