Dog Discussion: Reaction To Phenobarbital?

Reaction To Phenobarbital?
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Scottfick At Gmail Com
2006-03-31 19:00:16 EST
Our 75 pound German Shepherd began having seizures four days ago,
probably due to contact with an unpunctured can of bug spray we found
on the yard. She was convulsing almost continuously until we brought
her into the vet where she got atropine and diazepam.

The first two days we gave her 1.5cc's to .75cc's of diazepam at the
onset of each seizure. She was having around eight each day, lasting
less than a minute each.


On the third day we stopped the diazepam and started giving her 60mg
phenobarbital twice and on the fourth day we bumped it up to 180 twice
a day. The third evening her seizures became more frequent but less
severe.


Up until now her appetite and disposition have been good, but today she

is hardly moving at all. She is having small seizures while remaining
upright, she's incredibly tense and she is terrified of everything.
She'll lurch away when approached. Even the sound of her own name
being spoken softly frightens her. I can't get close enough to check
her pulse, temp or pupils.


Is this an allergic reaction to the phenobarbital, a withdrawl from the

diazepam or a worsening of her original condition? The constant terror

and loss of appetite are the things that concern me.


Caroline
2006-04-02 09:24:17 EST
"scottfick (at) gmail com" wrote
> Our 75 pound German Shepherd began having seizures four days ago,
> probably due to contact with an unpunctured can of bug spray we found
> on the yard. She was convulsing almost continuously until we brought
> her into the vet where she got atropine and diazepam.
>
> The first two days we gave her 1.5cc's to .75cc's of diazepam at the
> onset of each seizure. She was having around eight each day, lasting
> less than a minute each.
>
>
> On the third day we stopped the diazepam and started giving her 60mg
> phenobarbital twice and on the fourth day we bumped it up to 180 twice
> a day. The third evening her seizures became more frequent but less
> severe.
>
>
> Up until now her appetite and disposition have been good, but today she
>
> is hardly moving at all. She is having small seizures while remaining
> upright, she's incredibly tense and she is terrified of everything.
> She'll lurch away when approached. Even the sound of her own name
> being spoken softly frightens her. I can't get close enough to check
> her pulse, temp or pupils.
>
>
> Is this an allergic reaction to the phenobarbital, a withdrawl from the
>
> diazepam or a worsening of her original condition? The constant terror
>
> and loss of appetite are the things that concern me.

What was your vet's verdict?



Scottfick At Gmail Com
2006-04-06 09:16:40 EST
The vet was surprised that the dog was so agitated. We were expecting
her to be calm and to have an increased appetite as a result of the PB.
The vet didn't have a lot to say about it, so I stopped giving her the
PB four days ago. Things are going a lot better now. The dog is a lot
less fearful and she's resumed a fairly normal diet. It's difficult to
tell if she's having seizures because they're so mild now. She seems
to shiver briefly and maybe drools a little. It's only been nine days
since this whole thing began, so it's hard to tell if her symptoms were
a result of the PB or of her original condition, but the fearfulness
and disorientation did seem to directly correspond with the
phenobarbital.


Caroline
2006-04-07 15:10:35 EST
"scottfick (at) gmail com" <scottfick@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1144329400.133251.121360@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> The vet was surprised that the dog was so agitated. We were expecting
> her to be calm and to have an increased appetite as a result of the PB.
> The vet didn't have a lot to say about it, so I stopped giving her the
> PB four days ago. Things are going a lot better now. The dog is a lot
> less fearful and she's resumed a fairly normal diet. It's difficult to
> tell if she's having seizures because they're so mild now. She seems
> to shiver briefly and maybe drools a little. It's only been nine days
> since this whole thing began, so it's hard to tell if her symptoms were
> a result of the PB or of her original condition, but the fearfulness
> and disorientation did seem to directly correspond with the
> phenobarbital.
>

In my opinion (and I'm not a vet...just someone with a dog on a life
prescription of Pb) a starting dose of 120 mg (60 mg twice a day) is HUGE
even if your girl is a GSD, and I would expect to be disorientated with all
that coursing through my system for the first time.

Our vet started our girl on a small dose and we worked upwards with it over
a period of time. It was a fine balance to get a high enough dose to avoid
all breakthrough seizures, yet not have her overly sedated. She's a 7.5kg
Terrier mix, and seizure free for over the magic 12 months (yay!).



Scottfick At Gmail Com
2006-04-09 01:42:37 EST
Twelve months seizure free ( : congrats.. The last couple of days
went so well I thought the seizures might be a passing thing but after
an active day they seem to be back.


Scottfick At Gmail Com
2006-04-09 01:48:17 EST
How much does your Terrier mix take now? Do you expect the dosage to
ever change? I have a friend who got to watch a dog start PB and she
said the dog really aged fast. I've been reading about bromide. I
guess it's not as hard on the liver.


Caroline
2006-04-09 05:52:05 EST
"scottfick (at) gmail com" <scottfick@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1144561697.721189.265690@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> How much does your Terrier mix take now? Do you expect the dosage to
> ever change? I have a friend who got to watch a dog start PB and she
> said the dog really aged fast. I've been reading about bromide. I
> guess it's not as hard on the liver.
>

Hi

She's currently on 30mg/day, split into 15mg doses 12 hours apart. We will
increase this to 45 mg on days we predict will be stressful (long journeys,
general upheaval etc)..so we'll up it to 45 the day before, and leave her on
45 until the day after the perceived stressful event. This is done with the
vet's full knowledge and approval, and all dose changes and the reasons are
noted in her "meds & seizure diary". Before we had her spayed we had to
increase it during her seasons too...the hormone changes during a season
would trigger grand mals. We should have spayed her as soon as she was
diagnosed, but for various reasons this didn't happen straight away.
If she starts having regular breakthrough seizures on the 30mg, as opposed
to the very rare one-off seizure, then yes, we would expect to change the
regular dosage...but for now she seems happy on the 30mg, and the seizures
are pretty much controlled.

She is occasionally supplemented with Milk Thistle, which is supposed to
help the liver function... but we do this more for our peace of mind than
through any need. She had blood tests religiously every 6 months to check
liver function etc and so far there are no problems. she's been on Pb for
coming up to 7 years now.

I'm not sure if you are in the UK or not, but if you are you can contact the
Canine Epilepsy Support Group on 08707 469 329 for support, advice, drug
questions etc.


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