Animal Health - General Expert Forum
Seizures
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Seizures

My dog started having seizures a couple months ago, and it was determined it was idiopathic epilepsy and phenobarbital was prescribed. She did fantastic on it for a month and a half then started seizing again, and they have become more frequent the past few weeks. The vet increased her dosage by half tablet a couple weeks ago, but she still keeps having seizures (lasting about a minute or so) and lately, they've been accompanied by temporary blindness, disorientation, hiding in tight spaces and pacing. Just started potassium bromide yesterday, but it could take 3-4 months to get regulated in her system. No one can seem to explain how the phenobarb would work for a month and a half and then the seizures return. Has this ever happened where the meds seem to be working and then, suddenly, they're not effective? Please help! We both need some rest!
Type of Animal
:  
dog
Age of Animal
:  
2.5
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
sheltie
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
March 26, 2012
City
:  
Springfield
State/Province
:  
IL
Country
:  
USA
2054217_tn?1330542034
Retractable seizures are a very serious concern as you have discovered. When a dog seizures there is a risk of neurological damage due to a lack of sufficient oxygen going to the brain and blindness, other sensory losses can occur.
I am concerned that the phenobarbital never really worked that first 1-2 months but instead the epilepsy simply wasnt that severe yet. also when someone has a seizure, especialy the first one, the body essentially "uses up" the neuro-chemicals that caused the seizure and it takes time for those chemicals to elevate out of control again. Has the blood  phenobarbital level been checked? Occasionally a vet will prescribe phenobarbital and follow the dosage instructions and not check the serum levels. It is very common, especially within the first 3-6 months to have to drastuically change the prescription levels as the dog's body becomes accustomed to the drug and metabolizes it quickly.
I would have your vet double check the blood phenobarbital levels and if everything looks fine then seeking a referral to a neurologist would be recommended. Epilepsy can attack any breed however shelties are known for being more susceptible to the more serious forms.
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