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3 goldens
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Has anyone here use this on their dog for seizures? Sophie has been on it two days and she is so loopy. She squats to go potty and then cant get her rear up or even just goes totally down.. She will be walking and fall over. But then she is fine for a while. I know these lack of balance is suppose to go away after a while, but I was hoping some on here could tell me of their experience with this drug.

she is 12 1/2 and has bad hips and knees to start with and I just feel so sorry for her becaue it is clear she doesn't understand what is happening. But her seizures are getting more often and worse, so something has to be done.
 

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Fiona was almost 13 when she went on Phenobarbital, she had ataxia problems from it too. After 2 weeks the ataxia wasn't much better so the vet let me drop the dose a tiny amount and you can guess what happened...more seizures. She did finally adjust to the side effects of it and never had another seizure.

It takes a while for them to adjust to it so hang in there. If Sophie has another seizure while on it a host of other drugs can be used in conjunction with Phenobarbital.
 

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Logan & Lacey in R hearts
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When our RB boy Logan was on it, the vet was very up front that the initial affects would bother us. He said to hang in there and within about 2 weeks he would adjust to the meds. While he wouldn't be totally 100% Logan, it would get better and to just hang in there. He said many people are so bothered by it that they stop the drug and of course we know what this does. The seizures return. He was at one level for quite a while. Then I started to notice slight head jerks. We checked the levels and decided we needed to increase it very so slightly.
One thing I did learn, is to be very diligent with giving it every 12 hours, give or take just a little bit. Generally we would give it at 6am for breakfast and about 5:30 for dinner. Well, it was during Christmas time, and I was off from work for the week or so. We of course all slept in. This meant Logan was now getting it around 7:30 to 8am. I started to notice some twitches and then it dawned on me what we had done. From that point on, I would get up about 6am give him the pills with a little spoonful of cottage cheese and we would all go back to bed. This fixed the problem. Good luck to you!
 

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I'm so very sorry that you and Sophie are dealing with seizures, as well as for being slow to join this thread.

After two Goldens with seizures, I have more experience with Pheno than I care to think about. After a few days, I simply rejected it for Joker because the side effects were too severe. If you can afford them, newer drugs like zonisamide and gabapentin do well at controlling many seizures with fewer side effects. GoodRx.com cuts the price of many medications in half, at least in my experience with them.

Good luck and please keep us posted. We care.
 
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I'm sorry to hear that your girl is having seizures. My dog has epilepsy, he's been on a variety of anti seizure meds since he was 1.5 y/o and he's 4.9 y/o currently. My boy was started on Phenobarbital after the third seizure event within a five week span. When his first seizure occurred he was immediately taken to a major veterinary hospital and checked by a veterinary neurologist for a multitude of possible causes. Blood, imaginings, neurological exams were all inconclusive. He was tested for toxins, thyroid, trauma, shunts, dehydration, glucose, Lyme, infection, ammonia levels, cancer/tumors etc. etc.. He had had no recent vaccines or recent exposures to flea/tick or heartworm prevention and was being fed a high quality diet. Again, nothing was identified as a potential cause of the seizures. Initially he was started on a loading dose of Phenobarbital (291.6 mg), and then 81 mg every 12 hours. Over the past 3+ years his medications have been changed & adjusted to ensure he was within a therapeutic range based on the meds he's been on. My dog has very nasty seizures every 10-14 days. He has been on Phenobarbital, Keppra, Zonisimide, & Potassium Bromide. Currently he is on Phenobarbital, KBr, Keppra and Valium suppositories should he cluster. If you have a veterinary neurologist in your area I would suggest a consult with them, seizure meds are not one size fits all and must be adjusted based on many factors.

The phenobarbital initially caused some lethargy but it went away fairly quickly, he struggled the most with addition of the KBr which caused severe ataxia, but after a couple of weeks his body adjusted to it. Yes, it is very difficult to watch your baby struggle with the addition of the medicine but they do somewhat get used to it. In my dogs case without the medicine he'd likely have a series of seizures that would end his young life. Keep in mind that with these medicines it is very important to have their liver & kidney function tests done twice a year. Also, if the doctors add KBr (potassium bromide) watch your dogs fat and salt intake. You really have to weigh the severity of your dogs seizures when deciding whether to medicate them, for us it was a no brainier. My dogs seizures are refractory and a real challenge to manage, that's why we rely heavily on a neurologist.

Also, during a seizure don't put your hands or anything near the dogs mouth as they may unintentionally bite. I try to protect my dogs hips by getting him totally on one side, protect his head during the thrashing and put a rag down to absorb any urine he may loose. After the seizure I try to cool him off immediately, he's usually confused, blind and nervous so I sit with him and reassure him everything is okay. If the seizure itself is longer than a couple of minutes and the Valium hasn't broken the cycle off to the emergency vet we go.

By the way we later found out that the breeder we got our dog from apparently knew that another dog from a previous litter of her's had seizures too but continued to breed her dogs despite being given that information. Because of this and many other factors the doctors believe that our dog has a heritable seizure disorder.

My dog's seizures are occasionally videotaped so his doctors can visualize and evaluate them. They are posted on YouTube if you'd like to see them. * Be warned they are graphic and disturbing.* On the YouTube search bar - My Muddy Meadows Golden Retriever.

Despite all this he is a wonderful, happy and active dog who we hope to have for many more years.

Good luck ...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I went and watched the Muddy Meadows video and it brought tears to my eyes, as watching my Sophie have a seizure does. So far she had not made any sounds while having a seizure and they don't seem to be quite as violent, but plenty bad enough. We adopted her 5 weeks after her 11th birthday from her previous owners who had gotten her when she was only 5 weeks old. She turned 12 on Jan. 8 this year.

Here are some pictures I have taken since we got her, plus a couple of puppy pictures her previous owners gave me. Also, one of her with our badger Great Pyrenees, Moose, also adopted. I have stayed in contact with her previous owners because it broke their hearts to have to give her up, and after she had her first seizure a year ago, I told them (e-mail as they are no in Wis.) about the seizure and she said Sophie had had several seizures until she was about 3 and none since. She had been on meds, but they made her so "loopy" the vet took her off. And no seizures in 8 years and they never thought anything about it since it had been so long. Wouldn't hve made any difference anyway, we would have taken her.
 

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