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New and already increasing medication - panic!

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:34 am
by padncalsmom
My dog Paddington had his first seizure in November, and has started having "breakthrough" seizures. He started with 68.5 mg phenobarbital pills twice a day, and since he has had two seizures I have seen in the last 9 days, this morning the vet recomended he go to 1.5 of those pills twice a day, plus they are ordering another drug that starts wtih a p for him.

Is there any normal with this illness? It of course breaks my heart every time he has one, but I also don't want him to have any med side effects.

Pad turned 4 in July, he is about 80 pounds, and he is my baby.

Is there anytime of the day that is more likely to seize?

Any advice or support would be much appreciated.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:14 pm
by MK's mom


My boy weighs 72 lbs and is on 2 gr of Pb, twice a day and is getting KBr, 6 mls twice per day (BID). That is the P med you're referring to, potassium bromide.

Has your vet done levels checks on Paddington yet? They usually do that to see if your dog is in the therapeutic range before increasing meds. If the dosage isn't providing enough protection, then it is normal to raise the meds, but if he's putting him on KBr, then why raise the Pb? Is your vet knowledgeable about epilepsy? Some vets are and some aren't and you'll have to be the one to figure that out as time goes on.

None of us want our dogs on that medication, but it is necessary in our pups' cases becuase the seizures can't be controlled to a few a year.

Are you keeping a diary/journal of your boy's episodes? If not, start marking down the date, time and duration of the seizure so you have something to refer to in the future. Also make notes of anything that may have been unusual before the dog seized.

This is no fun, but you can manage it.


Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:46 pm
by richmauer
The P may be potassium bromide, which is very common in combination with phenobarbital. My Peanut takes both as do many of the dogs on this forum.
The diary is critical to seeing patterns in the seizures and being able to give the vets accurate information. I write down the meds given during the seizures, the number and times of the seizures and any other pertinent info or changes from her normal seizure patterns.
My Peanut seems to have seizures every 6-8 weeks, when a full moon is out. She always starts the seizures at night between 1030PM and 130AM.
Hang in there, you get used to it, as distasteful as the experience is. If you love your baby, you can handle it. Welcome to the forum.

Where do you keep your pup at night?

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:12 pm
by padncalsmom
Thanks for your responses. I've just started marking on the calendar when Pad seizes, and will add time of day, etc. He has been all over the board - 9 am, 3 am, 8 pm.

It is definitely potassium bromide being added - once you wrote it, I recognized the name. Pad did have a handful of tests when he was diagnosed, plus a check up test after starting on the phenobarbital. He has not had any x-rays or an MRI.

Thankfully he has not had one since yesterday morning, so I am calming down a bit.

Question - do you keep your dog in the room with you at night? I've always had my dogs sleep on the bed, and after Pad's first seizure I put up a gate at night so he can not go downstairs. The other morning he had gone into the spare bedroom, and a folding chair fell on him. Do you recommend keeping the dog in the same room with you? That's the only thing I can think of to keep him from potentially hurting himself on the metal railing for the stairs.

Again, thanks for your response. It is very calming to know there are folks out there with more experience.

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:32 pm
by MK's mom
MK sleeps in a crate at night, not because of his seizures but because he's bad!! :D I can't trust either of my boys, so we all sleep better with them crated. As for crating and the seizures, I think Pad would be safer confined because if he fell down the stairs he could get hurt. Can he jump the gate? Are his post ictal phases bad?


Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:34 pm
by richmauer
I keep Peanut with me at night, not caged. She hasn't ever been caged, so it would be difficult for her. Her post-ictal is very bad, so we must keep an eye on her and limit her movement to only a few rooms. Hopefully Pad won't have a bad post-ictal. Each dog is different. Some people crate them, some limit their area.


Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:19 am
by MK's mom
Historically, my dogs always slept with me until MK came into the picture. He's a devil and marks in my house, so I couldn't allow him to continue with that. At 2 y.o. I started crating both boys at night and they're in an adequate crate for their size and can stretch out and stand up inside. I felt guilty at first, but they got used to it quickly and I found that I was resting much better knowing I didn't have to sleep with one eye open wondering what they were doing during the night. :)

I also keep MK in the crate during post ictal because he races into walls and can really get hurt.


Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:15 am
by padncalsmom
My dogs will not go over the gate since it is at the top of the stairs. Pad is not running during his post-ictal phase, just kind of stumbling around. I will just have to wait and see. If I had been thinking, I would have taken the chair out of the room when I went to get the valium, but clearly, that's not where my mind was!

It occurred to me this morning that Pad's seizures started after I "upgraded" his food from Science Diet to Nutro Ultra. I'm going to go read the other section about food tonight. I'm also seeing that everyone seems to be against heartguard, so I will not give him that again, and will try switching to this other stuff in the spring. The flea/tick med will be a challenge, as our dog park is heavily wooded and home to ticks-a-plenty.

Here's to a seizure free week for all of us!

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:31 am
by MK's mom
Heartgard is fine, but don't use the combos or plus's. Jean Dodds recommends that one or Interceptor. She recommends Advantix for fleas and I think that one takes care of ticks, too. Again, no plus's or combos.

There's so much controversy over the foods. My boys were on Eagle Pack their entire lives until recently when I switched to Canidae. I switched because something started aggravating MK's intestinal tract intermittently and I'm still not sure what is causing the problems. Neither of the foods I'm using has been on the recall list from last year. I have heard that Nutro foods aren't as good as they once were and many of the Irish setter people who used to use it said it changed at some point and their dogs were having problems. I don't know that first hand, just what I've heard others say.


Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:14 am
by adajadesmom
Sorry to have you join us. My Ada is about 75 pounds and has been on 2 grains PB twice a day and 750 mg KBR twice a day, but we just decreased her PB to 1.5 grains twice a day because she can't pick herself up off the floor and it's not improving.

I too, keep a gate at the top of the stairs. Everything else is pretty safe for her but she seems to have her seizures in the evening when we're there, so I keep her on a heavy blanket to keep her safe. Post-ictal for her isn't running, just 3 or 4 days of worse mobility.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:07 pm
by padncalsmom
Pad seems to be really unsteady for about 5 minutes, but then will get closer to back to normal. Of course, at that point he is ravenous, so I will give him a half meal and probably some biscuit treats as well. After that, he is very tired for the rest of the day, but that's about it.

Can someone let me know how to paste a picture in here? I can't seem to get the website to accept anything.


Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:25 pm
by skrpio
Wendy - welcome
If he started seizing when you changed his food over go back to the other stuff immediately. There is something in the new batch that is causing him problems and better to get him off it ASAP before anything has time to kick in. The problem with dry or prepared food is that the manufacturers can change or add things whenever they want and it is price that determines what goes into it. I am having problems with Brocky if I give him any kind of dry food added to his raw food - his skin is breaking out and his fur is falling out in handfuls. He is going to look like a Chinese Crested if it doesn't stop.
Check out dog food secrets link that Melissa and Raven ? put in to see what goes into it.

The border collie part of Paddington probably has the problem with the flea/tick and heartworm as "herding dogs" do have a problem with this stuff.

As for the gate at the top of the stairs - be careful. When they are post ictal nothing gets in their way. It's like they have some kind of super dog strength and will crash through what ever is in their path. Make sure the gate is strong and high.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:18 pm
by Dylans Dad
we used to let Dylan have free roam of the house, but now most of his seizures are at nite, or while he is sleeping
we keep him in the bed room with us. either with the door shut or a baby gate accrossed it, our bedroom is upstairs, and we had major worries about him and the stairs.
we are lucky in that the ice pack and ice cream his post ictal is almost non existent. but he does need out to pee about 1/2 hour after a seizure.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:31 pm
by richmauer
The FAQ page has info on posting pics. Here is what it says:

Can I post Images?
Images can indeed be shown in your posts. However, there is no facility at present for uploading images directly to this board. Therefore you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor to images stored behind authentication mechanisms such as Hotmail or Yahoo mailboxes, password-protected sites, etc. To display the image use either the BBCode [img] tag or appropriate HTML (if allowed).

I opened a free account at Photobucket, per Jane, and figured it out from there.

Also, Peanut has superdog strength in post ictal and went right through a baby gate and she's only 25lbs. So be careful with the stairs.


Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:03 pm
by KeelysMom
Hello and welcome. You'll find a wealth of info here and some kind folks too.

Keely had her first seizure in November also, on the 8th. When she had a couple more in the following days my vet ran some tests and then put her on Pottasium Bromide. She continued to have seizures and had 4 on the day before Thanksgiving. My vet was closed so we took her to the animal ER and they kept her overnight and put her on a pheno IV. We picked her up the next day, with instructions to continue the pheno (in pill form) and the KBr. She has been seizure free since. We recently had her levels checked, and she was on the low end of the therapeutic ranges for both, and the vet was pleased she was doing so well.

Both of my goldens eat Canidae and I use Interceptor and Frontline Plus (ticks a BIG problem in my area also) with no ill effects. We have decided to hold off on any vaccines for awhile.

The KBr can cause some weakness in the hind leg area, and Keely will sometimes drag those back feet if she's tired. When she first started the pheno she was pretty clumsy, but now she is back to normal, except for chewing and eating poop (yuck!), two things she had outgrown previously.

Both dogs sleep on their beds, or on the floor, in our bedroom and I don't worry about falling down the stairs, as we are both light sleepers, and she couldn't have a seizure without one of us waking up (small upstairs area - two rooms w connecting bath). Murphy (the other dog) would wake us up too, as he gets very excited when she seizes. When this first started we did have the doors closed up there so she couldn't get out, but that was more because of her clumsiness until she adjusted to the meds. Post Ictal I would always be with her as I'm usually too freaked out to sleep anyway.

Hopefully, the combo therapy will work as well for you as it has for us - good luck!!