My yellow lab had his first grand mal seizure May 2011 at age 1 1/2. The way his body reacted afterwards almost killed him and cost me over $1500.00 in vet bills. Now at 2 years old his seizures are becoming more frequent despite the phenobarbitol. The solution his vet has is to keep increasing his medication. She also mentioned taking him to a neurologist for testing (I of course can't afford this), since he is experiencing this at such a young age. I have done some research and found studies showing changing his food to a completely gluten, soy, dairy and corn free diet may help. I put him on Natural Balance Potato and Duck about a week ago. He does not have any particular triggers to his seizures. He has them during different times of the day and in the middle of the night. I want to do whatever I can within financial reason to help my boy be healthy. Any advice as to anything else I can do besides give him more drugs is greatly appreciated.
Have you had phenobarbitol levels run to determine whether the dose he is on is sufficient or needs to be increased? How about the addition of potassium bromide?
I would also seek out liver protectors such as milk thistle or denamarin. Never heard of any dietary changes being recommended for controlling seizures but it certainly cannot hurt to avoid those ingredients in general even if it doesn't help. I guess a grain free diet is what your vet is advocating?
They haven't been able to test his phenobarbitol levels yet because he has to be on a steady dose for 3 weeks to do the test. Since they have to keep increasing it we can't do this yet. His vet decided yesterday to give him potassium bromide with the phenobarbitol and hopefully it will help get the seizures under control. This last 24 hour cycle of seizures consisted of 4 grand mals and he is now having facial twitching as well. It's taking longer for him to come out of them and get back to himself. Depending on how he reacts to the postassium bromide we plan to test his pheno levels in two weeks.
Phenobarb has direct effects on the liver. I would discuss a liver protector with your vet as well. denamarin can be costly for a dog his size so milk thistle may be an alternative. You mAy also want to ask your vet for some Valium enemas to keep on hand at home if he has more cluster seizures. I hope you can get these seizures under control quickly.