Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Share your story, questions, concerns.

Moderators: Box40Rin, Liz Hansen

Post Reply
jining
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:03 pm

Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by jining » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:15 am

Hello, I have a 6.5 year old pug named Enzo who had been overdosed with phenobarbital by the vet after having his first seizure on Feb 1 which lasted almost 5 minutes. He is not epileptic to my knowledge and has never had seizures before this but I am hoping you knowledgeable folks can help us. Its been exactly 4 weeks since this happened (the vet acknowledged their error and took care of the entire bill thankfully) and he just came home yesterday but he is not anything like the dog he used to be. He is currently not on any anti-seizure medication, only on Lactulose to reduce toxins in his blood and Pentoxyfilline which the doctor prescribed this past Tuesday to increase blood flow to the brain. He had phenobarbital on feb 1, loading dose of 20mg/kg and then switched to keppra from feb 2-11th.

Some background: He was diagnosed with a liver shunt about 1.5 months ago, but the doctor decided we should manage it medically rather than with surgery because it is risky for a dog of enzos age. He also had bladder stones that were caused by the shunt, and they were making him uncomfortable. The doctor recommended we remove the stones, so I had that surgery performed. The night enzo returned from surgery, Jan 31st, he was acting fine, but then later in the night he began acting odd, I assume from the pain meds he was given (tramadol which from what I read may cause seizures?). He seemed dizzy and was growling and barking (maybe a seizure?) so I took him to the 24 hour emergency vet. At the vet, they had him in the back and said he had a full on seizure flailing his limbs and what not (I did not see it myself), and they gave him phenobarbital (loading dose of 20mg/kg), which was a mistake because it is metabolized by the liver. The day after, he was transitioned from Phenobarbital to Keppra given by IV, 20mg/kg. Keppra was discontinued 2/11. He was in a coma-like state for the first week, kind of padding and vocalizing until he began trying to try and stand on his own and slowly progressed to being able to balance himself and walk about 2 weeks ago.

Currently, he is unable to see and doesn't seem to even know my wife and I are there. He can walk on a leash but he walks towards the left, and will walk right into objects if I don't steer him. He will accept soft food out of a syringe and also drinks out of a syringe. He doesn't really react to my voice, but while he was sleeping I squeeked a toy and he jumps up, so he has some hearing, and he has the ability to see bright lights because I flashed a light in his eyes and he reacts. He sleeps most of the day, but sometimes he gets energetic/maybe frustrated and starts barking and running around his large fabric kennel bumping into walls. The only thing that seems to calm him is taking him on a walk outside until he tires out. The doctor seems to think he will improve with time, but he hasn't really made any remarkable improvements in the last week. I really hope this is just temporary because I miss my dog. I am wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or heard of a dog taking this long to recover from a seizure/phenobarbitol/keppra?

Please let me know if you would like any additional info as there are a lot of details I could not include without making this too long.

Thank you for the help.
Aaron

cjcolorado
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:23 pm

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by cjcolorado » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:42 am

Goodness, I don't have experience with an overdose; but, I couldn't read and not reply. I hope that he recovers to a manageable degree and also that your vet takes responsibility for such a terrible mistake. Best wishes for both!
Cindi

-Emily, 4 1/2 y.o. Lab/GSP with idiopathic epilepsy
diagnosed late 2013, currently treated with 64.8MG of PB, BiD

richmauer
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Morristown, NJ

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by richmauer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:26 am

Oh my! what a story. Personally, I would take him off the epilepsy meds and see what happens, since he never had a seizure before. It sounds like he may have had a stroke from the operation. If that is the case, hopefully he can fully recover with time. What a nightmare.
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:53 am

Hi Aaron,
I'm so sorry this happened to Enzo. Jake was was overdosed on Keppra last summer and it was the worst thing we've been through with him, and that's saying a lot. Pb is a different drug all together. I think I would have Enzo evaluated by another vet or better yet, a neurologist if you can. We've had a couple of animals that have had strokes and a neurologist or a knowledgeable vet will be able to tell if that's the problem.

Lynne

jining
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by jining » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:38 pm

Thank you for the kind words. He is currently not on any epilepsy meds. I never thought that it could be a stroke, I will bring this up to the vet when he goes in for a check-up tomorrow. If it was a stroke, what is the typical recovery time? The after-stroke symptoms seem to be very similar to what Enzo is dealing with.

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:06 pm

Hi Aaron,
Unfortunately the only person who can answer that is your vet. I think just as with people there are different degrees of damage, from minor to major. With our cat he had a pretty bad stroke and only lived a few months. Our dog's (he was 15) was much worse and had to be put down an hour after he had it. That's why I think a neurologist would know more specific information on what may have happened, and if it's the Pb doing this or not. As we all know here anything having to do with brain function can be different for every dog.
Let us know how you make out.
Lynne

jining
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by jining » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:57 am

Thank you, I will mention this to the vet today when Enzo goes in for a check-up.

jining
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Phenobarbital overdose with extremely long recovery

Post by jining » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:54 pm

well, the vet doesn't think it was a stroke... and that it will just take more time for him to recover. He has made a little prograss, he can kind of eat out of a bowl now if I place it in front of him, but still is blind and not himself.

Post Reply