I have an 8-9yr old dalmatian mix who I adopted in Sep '00 from the shelter. About 4-5yrs ago she had a seizure and has had a few over the yrs but never on a consistent basis.. Im talking MAYBE one every 5 or so months. I always make sure to keep her Phenobarb incase she needs it but the last 3 times Ive had her levels checked at the vet they said it was too low to count and since she was doing well to just wean her off it, which I did from a chart she (the vet) gave me. Shes done very well off the meds (shes been off of them for 2-3yrs) with a seizure here and there and they havent been any more or less frequent than on the meds. This morning she had one laying on the bed that lasted longer than usual and I made sure to give her canned dog food to make sure her blood sugar was up (bc I know that can cause her to have a seizure also) and she ate it fine, but was still shaky for a bit afterwards. My question is, should I ask the vet about putting her back on it everyday or leave her off of it? I dont want to put her back on something that has long-term effects on her health. Thanks in advance.
i am in a similiar situation. i am fostering a dog who has a history of epilepsy. i have had her close to 2 years now and she has never had a seizure since day one of me getting her. after numerous tests and her levels always being low i decided to wean her off the medication. she has been off the meds now for just about a year and has not had one seizure. so knock on wood it will remain that way.
typically we would not put an epileptic dog on phenobarb if they are only having a seizure a couple of times a year. its not frequent enough to warrant daily medication. if the seizures are bad ones, lasting minutes instead of seconds, or are extremely violent, then in that case daily meds are indicated even if the seizures are not frequent.
what you choose to do should be discussed with your vet after she has had a full physical and routine bloodwork to check liver functions.
Thank you for the reply. She did just have a physical and extensive bloodwork and testing done and everything came back normal. Another question I have that I forgot to ask to the vet.. when she has a seizure like the one today, do I give her a 1/2 a pill (that was her 'normal' morning dosage) to 'boost' her phenobarb levels or just feed her and let the levels straighten themselves out? I plan on calling the vet and asking the same thing but am wanting opinions too.
Have you guys considered using a different medication? My Mom's dog, a Chi/Terrier mix, has epilipsy(sp?) for 3 years or more. Our original vet had us use Phenobarbitol for it, but 2 1/2 yrs later they said that he had liver problems and couldn't explain why. I've started going to a new vet in our area, and he is wonderful! He explained that Phenobarbitol could cause liver damage, and suggested to use a different medication. He put my mom's dog on Potassium Bromide instead, and the liver issues have gone away, the dog is more energetic, losing wieght, becasue he had put on so much with Phenobar, he had wieghed around 10 pounds before the Phenobar, and even with strict diet and excerise wieghed around 18 pounds when he was on the phenobar, they say that weight gain is a side effect. We are very happen with the results of the new meds. You may consider talking to your vets about it. Just a suggestion. I wish you both the best of luck with your dogs.
k9luver phenobarb doesnt work like that. you cannot just give her a pill when she has a seizure and have it work right away. phenobarb levels are established after being on the medication consistently for weeks. the phenobarb bloodwork is done to check the level of medication in the body. if she hasn't been getting any phenobarb there are no levels to check, or straighten out. does that make sense ? if you want something that works right away and doesnt remain in their system then you may want to discuss valium suppositories with your vet. while your dog is seizuring you can give her one of these and it should help stop the seizure. but it only works seizure by seizure , its not a long term control like the phenobarb is. it is probably not a bad idea to have a few on hand anyway because the longer an individual seizure lasts, the higher potential there is for permanent organ and brain function failure.
gsdgirl - it is great that the dog can be controlled by potassium bromide alone. many dogs cannot and need that in combination with the phenobarb. if salty starts having seizures again i will re evaluate her situation, but as long as she remains seizure free i am going to keep her off all meds for it.