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Phenobarb Seizure Treatment for Dogs
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Phenobarb Seizure Treatment for Dogs

I've read many many many blogs about how dogs are reacting to Phenobarb treatment for seizures.   It is so concerning and I am so confused what to do.   For a few months after a lipoma removal surgery, our dog Ranger started to 'trip' while walking.   Then a few days ago he had a seizure during the night and again about 9 hours later.
We took him to the vet yesterday and were told they could try treating him for epilepsy, but it could also be a brain tumor causing the issue.   We cannot afford all of the expensive MRI/CAT Scan/Spinal fluid tests, which makes me feel so guilty, so we opted to try the Phenobarb.  

Ranger is a 10yr old chocolate lab, about 76lbs.   The dosage is 100mg two times a day.   We gave Ranger the first dose at 11am yesterday and he reacted with some 'wobbliness' and walking problems - which really seemed like the same problems after his seizures would occur.   We then gave him the second dose around 8:30 last night.  By 10pm he was a mess.  He could hardly walk, was falling, breathing heavy and crying.  He kept trying to get up over and over - so sad to watch!   He finally fell asleep around midnight as I was cradling his head in my arms because I felt like he was scared too.   He then slept all night after that.   He was a bit wobbly this morning but went outside to do his business and then ate like a madman for a bit.  

I called the vet this morning about how he reacted after the second pill and was told all dogs react differently and if I wanted to try to decrease the amount we could try that and see if it helps.   I swear it's all a guessing game - so frustrating.   I decided to cut it back and gave him 50mg around 11:30 this morning and he began to get groggy but has been laying down and sleeping since then.   Usually he would pace around and around for hours all confused so I'm glad he's sleeping.   I just don't know if I'm jumping the gun by decreasing so soon, or if I'm supposed to stick it out for the 5-10 days that the phenobarb is supposed to kick in and the dog adjusts - so they say.  My husband and I both work and I have worked from home the past 3 days, but how the heck do you leave a dog alone like this?

Alot of the blogs I have read say the dogs don't adjust and that the dogs lives just seem worse.  So scarey - I feel so bad.   I hear alot of horror stories and not many success stories too,which concerns me.   I know after all this it could even be a brain tumor and then I've put him through all this for nothing.  I'm so confused what to do!!  

Would appreciate other stories if anyone has similar situations.   Thanks much!!!
2 Comments Post a Comment
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82861_tn?1333457511
Meds work in dogs the same way as people - some of them just can't take them.  It sounds like your dog may not be able to take phenobarb, but don't despair.  There are other meds available to treat seizures in dogs.  Vets tend to start with it because it's very cheap and usually works well for most dogs.  I do think your vet started out with too high of a dose.  Usually you want to start low and work up to find the dose that keeps the seizures controlled.  It may not hurt to get a second opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Jaybay  -sorry for the delay - I couldn't find my login info for this site.
Thanks for your response.  We did feel it was too high and we decreased to giving him a 1/2 a pill twice a day and he has adjusted great.  He's still not the true same dog but he seems happier than before and hasn't had any seizures since we started the meds.   Thanks again for your response!
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